What men looked for in women in the 1930s versus what they want now

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Saturday 27 May 2017 12:00
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Picture:( ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

What women and men are looking for in a partner is a bit more out in the open these days, thanks to dating apps and websites.

Researchers examined preference trends from as far back as 1939 to see what women and men look for in a partner. And they found some big changes.

In 2008, mutual attraction and love was the number one trait men looked for in a partner. Also in the top ten were good looks, education and intelligence and sociability. In 1939, these traits ranked further down.

In 1939, the most important thing in a man’s eyes was dependable character, followed by emotional stability and maturity. These fell in popularity by 2008. Chastity was ranked 10th in importance in 1939, and dropped to 18th place in 2008.

The extent of the shifts can be seen in this infographic created by the New York Times' Bill Marsh:

And here's a breakdown of shifts across the years:

Picture: Boxer, Noonan, and Whelan(Boxer, Noonan, and Whelan)

Having a “pleasing disposition” has become less of a preference across the decades, while intelligence and education has increased. Men have become less bothered about their partner coming from the same educational or religious background, and finances and good looks have become more of a clincher.

Unsurprisingly, being a good cook and housekeeper is also further down on the priority list in 2008 than it was in the 20th century. Thank God for feminism.

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