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The Utility of Education and Attractiveness for Females' Status Attainment Through Marriage
Patricia Ann Taylor and Norval D. Glenn
American Sociological Review
Vol. 41, No. 3 (Jun., 1976), pp. 484-498
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094255
Page Count: 15
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A study of a U.S. national sample of females ages 25 through 40 reveals a moderate association of education, and a weaker association of physical attractiveness, with husbands' occupational prestige. Consistent with earlier findings reported by Elder, the contribution of education to females' status attainment through marriage seems to vary positively with level of origins and the contribution of attractiveness seems to vary inversely, except that the apparent effects for farmers' daughters resemble those for high-origin rather than low-origin females. The contribution of attractiveness seems almost nil for both farmers' daughters and high-origin females and does not seem to vary systematically by age. Among daughters of low-manual workers, education and attractiveness seem to interact, so that each enhances the utility of the other. It is concluded that the exchange involved in mate selection must be very complex and that the major exchange theories of mate selection probably underestimate the influence of highly variable needs, preferences and tastes.
American Sociological Review © 1976 American Sociological Association