This work examines the influence of setting (TV dating games vs. questionnaires), culture (America vs. Israel), and gender on mate selection. Ordinary men and women, ranging in age from 16 to 24 years, took part in this study as participants in a TV dating game and as questionnaire respondents. A content analysis of 80 dating games from the United States and Israel yielded 258 topical categories (76 from American shows and 182 from Israeli shows) used to screen potential mates. Two hundred and four questionnaires yielded 408 topical categories (200 from American questionnaires and 208 from Israeli questionnaires). Both genders in both countries used physical categories more often in the TV dating games than in the questionnaires. There was an effect of culture: Americans—regardless of setting and gender—employed the physical categories less often than Israelis. There was also a small effect of gender, showing men more often employ physical categories, especially in questionnaires. The results attest to the strength of the mass media capability to reduce gender differences in mate selection, but they do not strongly support Baumeister's theory of female erotic plasticity.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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