Mate Selection Patterns of Men and Women in Personal Advertisements: New Bottle, Old Wine

  • Aysan Sev'er University of Toronto


Between 1975 and 1988, 2,091 advertisements in a metropolitan newspaper were analyzed. There was a six-fold overall increase in the number of ads. Female and male advertisers substantially differed, both in terms of frequencies and the bargaining tools they utilized. The criteria utilized by men and women in selecting their mates, especially in terms of age and attractiveness, showed a continued reliance on traditional patterns. It was concluded that the rules of mate selection remain traditional and favour males and the young. There is also some reason to believe that male advertisers have learned to tailor their revelations according to what they think women want. Both qualitative and quantitative studies of such trends are suggested.
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