Men as success objects and women as sex objects: A study of personal advertisements

Abstract

A study was made of 328 personal advertisements sampled from a major daily Canadian newspaper. It was found that gender differences for desired companion attributes were consistent with traditional sex role stereotypes. Relative to the opposite sex, women emphasized employment, financial, and intellectual status, as well as commitment, while men emphasized physical characteristics. Physical characteristics were the most desired, regardless of sex. Secondary findings were that, for this sample, considerably more men than women placed ads, and that the mean age for both sexes was relatively high. The main findings were similar to those from earlier studies.

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The author was formerly a psychiatric social worker employed by the Greater Vancouver Mental Health Service in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He is presently a doctoral candidate at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. The author would like to thank Dr. Ted Palys for his comments.

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Davis, S. Men as success objects and women as sex objects: A study of personal advertisements. Sex Roles 23, 43–50 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00289878

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Keywords

  • Gender Difference
  • Social Psychology
  • Physical Characteristic
  • Companion Attribute
  • Secondary Finding