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A description of the study of gender differences in selecting romantic partners

Visit for more related articles at Global Media Journal Abstract This cross-cultural study explored the role of culture and gender in mate selection. Through content analyzing two hundred Chinese personal advertisements and two hundred American personal advertisements posted on Chinese and American dating websites, the study found that culture had significant impact on patterns of self-presentation and mate preference.

More Chinese advertisers provided information on their physical appearances, health conditions, financial status, education, and morality, whereas more American advertisers wrote about their personality and hobbies. A similar pattern was found in their statements about mate preferences: Results also revealed some gender differences.

Particularly, Chinese women were more likely to write about their own personalities, moralities, and physical characteristics than Chinese men. Therefore, advertisers need to carefully deliberate what they want to include in their ads.

Many studies have used personal ads as sources of data to explore the pattern of mate selection and other issues of romantic relationships e.

Previous research of personal ads has linked declarations on ads with gender e. Few studies have examined the impact of culture on mate selection patterns as reflected by personal ads. As an exploratory cross-cultural investigation, the present study content analyzed 200 Chinese personal ads and 200 American personal ads posted on four dating websites Two websites developed in A description of the study of gender differences in selecting romantic partners China and two in the United States.

According to Strassberg and Holty 2003more personal ads have migrated to the Internet in the last decade. Through examining the information that people disclosed in these ads, the study explored the role of culture and gender in the mate selection procedure.

One important part of personal ads is self-presentation through which the advertiser intends to establish a positive self-image. The self-presentation in personal ads may affect how readers perceive the advertiser and their willingness to contact him or her Campos et al. According to Goffman 1959one means of controlling how other people respond to us is to optimize the impression we give others about ourselves.

Individuals may purposely manage their impressions based on the expected preference of the message receiver. For example, Zanna and Pack 1975 found that, when led to believe that a desirable man preferred traditional women, female participants manipulated their self-presentation to appear more stereotypically feminine than they had previously described themselves.

In a study conducted by Keisling and Gynther 1993men perceived physically unattractive and average women described as affectionate and compassionate as more attractive than those described as independent and assertive. When people are composing their personal ads, since they usually do not know the reader, they tend to describe themselves based on the stereotypical beliefs of the society. Therefore, how advertisers describe themselves in ads actually reflects their beliefs on mate selections.

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Another important component of personal ads is qualities that the advertiser is looking for in others. Previous studies have suggested that mate selection strategies are subject to many factors. Campos and his colleagues 2002 also found that age was an important factor in using mate selection strategies. Women became less demanding as they aged, whereas men became more demanding.

As discussed before, little research has considered cultural differences in the choice of contents of personal ads.

However, studies on culture and interpersonal communication have consistently found that people in individualist and collectivist cultures differ greatly in romantic beliefs and mate selection e. For instance, in mate selection, people in individualist cultures tend to make decisions based onwhat their hearts feel, but people in collectivist cultures often consider what other people will say Triandis, 1994. For comparative purposes, this study chose China and the United States to represent collectivist and individualist cultures respectively.

According to Dion and Dion 1996interpretations of romantic love and intimacy vary across culture. In particular, cultural differences can be observed in mate selection. Among the substantial body of cross-cultural studies on romantic beliefs and mate selection, much evidence has revealed noticeable differences between Chinese and Americans e. In Chinese culture, love is not the only consideration when searching for a mate. For a long time, parents arrange marriage for their children based on the compatibility of the two families e.

To the Chinese, romantic relationship often implies necessary seriousness and long-term commitment. An individual needs to consider the obligations to the parents and family Gao, 2001. Emotional feelings are not as important as action and commitment for the Chinese Potter,1988. These attitudes toward love and marriage are reflected in the values based on which the Chinese select their mates.

Cho and Cross 1995 studied Taiwanese love styles and found that most participants selected partners based on pragmatic reasons. Pimentel 2000 examined marital relations in Urban China.

Darwin’s sexual selection theory best explanation for gender differences

Chinese couples tended to put emphasis on what Westerners might characterize as a relatively unromantic vision of love, more like companionship.

Findings from cross-cultural research suggested salient differences in mate preferences between China and Western countries. A cross-cultural study conducted by Buss 1990 revealed that people from China and India were more likely to include chastity as a central element in mate selection. In a survey on the traits they valued in mate selection among Chinese and British college students, Higgins et al. A romantic relationship seems to assume a somewhat different meaning in American culture, where passionate love is highly emphasized.

Closeness and intimacy tend to carry greater weight in American society than in many collectivist countries. In a study comparing Americans and Chinese in their romantic attitudes, Hsu 1985 found that Americans valued free individual emotional expression, whereas Chinese emphasized traditional social norms.

Emotional chemistry thus is a key element in mate selection for Americans. Cushman and Cahn 1993 found that for American respondents, when selecting a mate, one was attracted most to others of the opposite sex who were intelligent, physically attractive, and sexually appealing.

These qualities remained to be the key defining characteristics during the development of a mate relationship.

Gender Differences in Mate Selections As another important factor that influences mate selection, gender has been widely investigated e.

Evidence has suggested that men and women show differences in self-presentation in personal ads.

A 1970 study by Harrison and Saeed 1977 found that women were more likely to describe themselves as attractive and men were more likely to offer financial security. Lynn and Shurgot 1984 found that the self-description in personal ads actually affected response numbers. Responses to ads placed by women depended more on offerings of attractiveness than responses to ads placed by men. Women and men tend to value different qualities in their prospective mates.

As Sedikides, Oliver, and Campbell 1994 summed, overall, women place a greater emphasis on intimacy than do men and are more pragmatic in their orientation e.

Through surveying men and women from 37 countries, Buss 1990 reported consistent gender differences across cultures: A few studies also suggested gender differences may vary across cultures in some aspects of mate selection. For instance, Higgins et al. However, these traits were ranked differently by men and women. British men placed greater value on appearance and health than did British women, while British women were more concerned about income and morality than British men.

The traits that Chinese men valued most were personality, morality, health, and appearance, whereas what concerned Chinese women most were morality, intelligence, personality, and health.

In addition, Chinese women were more concerned about income, education, occupation, and family background. The Current Study The aim of this study was to investigate cultural and gender differences in mate selection. Most previous cross-cultural investigations on romantic attitudes and beliefs relied on self-report e.

The current study used content analysis to examine Chinese and American personal ads posted on dating websites. This study used dating websites rather than print media for data collection for several reasons. First, the Internet dating service represents the newest trend of close relationship formation and development. According to the statistics in Match.

  • Perception of romanticism and the ideal spouse among Chinese youth;
  • As Sedikides, Oliver, and Campbell 1994 summed, overall, women place a greater emphasis on intimacy than do men and are more pragmatic in their orientation e;
  • Second, advertisers can take their time to write and edit their online personal ads, which do not need to go through professional editors or publishers;
  • For example, Zanna and Pack 1975 found that, when led to believe that a desirable man preferred traditional women, female participants manipulated their self-presentation to appear more stereotypically feminine than they had previously described themselves;
  • Results also revealed some gender differences.

Many people have started to choose online dating in lieu of bars and other options. Second, advertisers can take their time to write and edit their online personal ads, which do not need to go through professional editors or publishers.

Therefore, advertisers can have more freedom and flexibility to express their thoughts. Third, utilizing the Internet vs. Method Sample A total of four hundred personal ads were downloaded from dating websites. Two hundred personal ads were from two dating websites developed in the United States www. These websites have similar formats.

After advertisers fill in a form with basic demographic information, such as age and location, they can write their personal ads in a text space. They can also upload their pictures. Chinese personal ads were written in Chinese and American personal ads in English. One hundred most recently posted ads were downloaded from each website, fifty being placed by men and fifty by women.

The current study only included advertisers between the ages of 20 and 45, which is an active age group for online dating sites CITE? Since this study was only concerned with differences between Chinese and Americans, advertisers who were from other countries were excluded. To make the comparison more equivalent, this study only included those ads from advertisers whose pictures were available for visitors to view.

Coding scheme Each personal ad was analyzed for content in terms of what advertisers mentioned about themselves, what they were seeking in others, and what kind of relationship they were looking for. More specifically, for both self-description and features that advertisers were looking for in others, variables of interest were analyzed in terms of the following categories: The relationship level that the advertiser was looking for was classified into three categories: Two coders fluent in both English and Chinese were trained to code American personal ads and two coders fluent in Chinese were trained to code the Chinese ads.

After reviewing the coding scheme, each coder independently applied the scheme to personal ads posted on the four a description of the study of gender differences in selecting romantic partners websites.

One tenth of randomly chosen ads in each language were coded by two coders, and discrepancies were resolved by a third coder. All reliability scores for the variables reported in this paper ranged from. Seventy-four percent of Chinese advertisers mentioned a least one aspect of their own physical appearances, as compared to 9. Education was another important aspect of self-description in Chinese personal ads.

American personal ads showed higher levels of occurrence of descriptions on personality, Chinese: Additional analyses compared the gender differences in self-presentation in personal ads. The results are presented in table 1. These analyses revealed no significant gender differences in the likelihood of disclosing each type of personal characteristics among American sample.

Preferred Qualities in Others Similar to the pattern shown in the self-description, Chinese personal ads and American personal ads showed substantial differences in preferred qualities in others. The personal ads of the two cultures did not differ significantly in the frequency of occurrence of health condition as a mate selection criterion.