This came up in conversation: How many men over 50 date younger women?I insisted that whatever the stats might show, it would be a large number, and if men had the option, their dating preferences for women 10 or 20 years younger would swell.

An age difference of up to 10 years is generally not looked at askance by anyone who knows how old each partner is, but as that gap gets closer to 20, things start to look a bit more off balance.

Once a man is literally old enough to be a woman’s father (or vice versa, for older women), public opinion starts to shift from acceptance to skepticism. Mary’s University’s (Halifax) Sara Skentelbery and Darren Fowler examined the phenomenon of “age gap relationships” (AGRs) from an evolutionary perspective, noting that such pairings have benefits in terms of species survival.

After the wedding of a celebrity husband and his much younger wife, media coverage invariably focuses on the inappropriateness of the age gap.

Whether it’s the new dad George Clooney (56) and his 18-year-younger wife, Amal, or Donald Trump (70) and his First Lady, Melania (age 47), commentators become psychoanalysts, suggesting that the younger woman is clearly seeking a father figure.

It’s well known that men tend to marry women younger than themselves, a pattern that leads to increasingly unbalanced male-to-female gender ratios as you move up to older and older age groups.

Men also have a lower life expectancy than women, leaving women in the 75-and-up age bracket with fewer and fewer choices of heterosexual partners.

Bennett and Benedetto may make for a particularly striking example (“Lovely fetus you’ve got there, ma’am, here’s my number, have it call it me in 18 years or so”), but older men getting romantically involved with younger women is hardly a rare phenomenon.

Every day, there seems to be another outrageous new celebrity coupling announced via pictures of some May-December frolicking: Jennifer Lawrence sharing a lollipop with Darren Aronofsky; Sean Penn dating Vincent D’Onofrio’s daughter; Mel Gibson having his ninth child with his 26-year-old girlfriend; Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen double-dating with their 47-year-old and 58-year-old respective beaus; Leonardo Di Caprio’s sending another lady-love packing upon her reaching the ripe old age of 25.

Age-disparity relationships have been documented for most of recorded history and have been regarded with a wide range of attitudes dependant on sociocultural norms and legal systems. Relationships with age disparity of all kinds have been observed with both men and women as the older or younger partner.

In various cultures, older men and younger women often seek one another for sexual or marital relationships.

How’s this for kismet: One fateful day in 1966, singer Tony Bennett met and took a photo with a couple after one of his shows.