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Posted Sun, August 15, 2010 10:48am EDT

Hollywood’s Hottest Cougars: Why They LOVE Their Prey So Young!

Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Demi Moore…Hollywood’s sexiest middle-age starlets are on the prowl for hot, young guys — and their pack is only getting expanding!

When Mrs. Robinson first set the precedent for cougars in the 1967 film, The Graduate, she was one of a kind. Now, snagging a hot, young man when you’re 40+ is almost as trendy as over-sized sunglasses! Jennifer Aniston, Madonna and Demi Moore are just a few of the many Hollywood A-listers who have attached themselves to sexy and much-younger studs in recent years…and experts tell us we can expect to see a whole lot more middle-age women on the prowl!

“I think that the idea of older women with younger men has become more mainstream,” psychologist and relationship expert Dr. Jenn Berman explains to “Women are more economically secure and more independent as time has gone on — and it makes it possible to be with a younger guy.”

Over the last few decades, women have become more self-sufficient and economically independent, Dr. Jenn says. Instead of looking for their knight in shining armor who will support them, many women are looking for someone who will make them happy – and younger guys tend to do just that.

“It’s exciting to be with a younger man,” Dr. Jenn says. “They are useful, hot, often in good shape and have lots of energy. There’s something that’s almost magical about someone who’s young looking back at you so adoringly. It can make YOU feel young again.”

Sadly, most cougars can’t land long-term young prey like Demi, 47, who calls super stud Ashton Kutcher, 32, her husband. Usually, a cougar relationship is short-term, like 41-year-old Jennifer Aniston‘s four-month fling with John Mayer, 32, in 2008.

“Many times, these guys aren’t ready to settle down,” Dr. Jenn explains. “They are at different places their lives. Younger guys have a completely different reference point for nearly everything. They guys are from a different generation.”

Sure, these are the downfalls to being a cougar, but as long as America’s sweethearts like Drew Barrymore, Halle Berry and Kim Kardashian continue to land younger hotties, more and more middle-age women will come out of the woodwork ready to hunt, Dr. Jenn says.

“As more and more high profile women have come forward with younger men, it makes it more [accepted],” she explains, adding, “I think that we all have more energy when we are younger, so it’s exciting to be with someone who has the extra energy.”

Demi Moore agrees.

–Kirstin Benson