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Courtship American Style: Newspaper Ads

Catherine Cameron, Stuart Oskamp and William Sparks
The Family Coordinator
Vol. 26, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. 27-30
DOI: 10.2307/581857
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/581857
Page Count: 4
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Courtship American Style: Newspaper Ads
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Abstract

This study investigated an increasing social phenomenon--newspaper advertising for dating or marital partners--in terms of the bargaining process involved. Content analysis of personal ads in a popular "respectable" singles newspaper revealed a pattern of offers and requests reminiscent of a heterosexual stock market. Exchange theory provided a theoretical context for analyzing the personal ads. Findings confirmed expectations that advertisers sought to maximize their profit by presenting a positive image of themselves. In addition, traditionally sex-appropriate characteristics were claimed and desired, suggesting that shifting sex role expectations are not evident in this type of mate-selection.

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