Critique: Physical Attractiveness and Sociological Methods Essay

Submitted By IrishSoccerfan1
Words: 636
Pages: 3

Assignment #1 Using Sociological Methods
DUE Friday September 14, 2012

Overview: For this assignment you will recreate a study done investigating gender stereotypes and mate selection. In a study by Simon Davis (1990), entitled “Men as Success Objects and Women as Sex Objects: A Study of Personal Advertisements”, the researcher coded attributes in personal ads to answer the question—Are traditional stereotypes still in operation in mate selection? Previous research found that women were viewed as sex objects (sought for their sexual appeal) and men were viewed as success objects (sought for their financial stability). The methods for the study were quantitative and only attributes being sought were coded. Not included in the study were gay personal advertisements or hobby and recreational attributes. The research did a random sample of ads over a certain period of time.
Attributes were coded:

1. Attractive: specified that a partner should be, for example, “pretty” or “handsome”. 2. Physique: focused not on the face, but rather the body—“fit”, “muscular”, or “had a hot body”. 3. Sex: specified that a person should have, for instance, “high sex drive”, or should be “sensuous”, or “erotic”. 4. Picture: specified that a partner should include a photo in his/her reply. 5. Profession: specified that a partner should be a professional. 6. Employed: specified that a partner should be employed, e.g. “must hold a steady job” or “must have a steady income”. 7. Financial: specified that a partner should, for instance, “be financially secure” or “financially independent”. 8. Education: specified that a partner should, for instance, “well educated” or “well read”, or “be a college graduate. 9. Intelligence: specified that a partner should be “intelligent”, “intellectual”, or “bright”. 10. Honest: specified that a partner should be “honest” or “have good integrity”. 11. Humor: specified “sense of humor” or “cheerfulness”. 12. Commitment: specified that the relationship was to be “long term” or “lead to marriage” or some other indication of stability and longevity. 13. Emotion: specified that a partner should be, “warm”, “romantic”, “emotionally supportive” or similar terms indicating an opposition to be cold and aloof.

Variables were measured in the following way: • Any ad requesting one of the 13 attributes was scored ONCE for that attribute. If the attribute was not explicitly mentioned, it was not scored. • The attribute was only scored once, no matter how many times it was stressed in the ad.
You will view the advertisements on television for at least 1 hour and score them accordingly on the chart on the next page. You are coding attributes sought and not attributes described. To get percent columns—divide attributes requested/no of ads for men or women X 100=percent. For example -7 (men requested attractive women)/30 total ads from men (.233) X 100= 23%. When you have completed the chart, please answer the questions on the following page. You may work in groups up to 4 people.
List the members in your group:

|Attributes |Male Ads (#___) |% |Female Ads (#____) |% |
|Attractive | | | | |
|Physique | | | | |
|Sex | | | | |
|Picture | | | | |
|Profession | | | |