A comparison study among men seeking women and vice versa

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The main issue of this study was to compare men seeking women and women seeking men via personal ads. There were 40 ads that were been analyzed, 20 of them were men seeking women and 20 of them women seeking men. The data were collected from the UK magazine “Evening Standard Metro-Life” and was analyzed in SPSS 16.0. We then made 8 sub-categories were we tried to find out the frequency of those categories in link with genders. Two of the principal results were that both genders that are seeking someone via personal ads are self-centered and the other one was that males are firstly seeking for friendship rather than females seeking for relationships.

Nowadays, even more and more people try to find a “soul mate” via personal ads in newspapers or internet. There is a lot of research that has been conducted about personal ads and what is beneath. First of all, anyone can find personal ads in both local and national newspapers and on other media such as Internet. Every personal ad has the same structure and tries to attract the attention of the reader with the use of humor or by enhance some of their personality characteristics.

Personal ads, as a source material, were been first used in the late 70s when Cameron, Oskamp and Sparks made a research for their article “Courtship American style: Newspaper ads. (Cameron et al., 1977). In 1998, Hatala, Baak and Parmenter provided a rationale for why personal ads can be used as research data. They suggested that researching personal ads has the following advantages. Firstly, they are high in external validity, meaning that participants are na�ve and they haven’t placed themselves in the psychological state of taking part in a psychological study. They also claimed that ads are concise. People are using “telegraphic” language and convey in a small number of words what is important to them. Finally, they proposed that personal ads act as a “valuable barometer of dating and sexual mores for a particular period” (Hatala et al., 1998, p.269) because ads today may differ from those in the past for a number of reasons such as changing gender roles, interpersonal safety, etc (Hatala et al., 1998).

We made this research to reflect the comparison of themes identified in the ads between men seeking women and women seeking men. We have been made a two-stage content analysis of personal ads detailing men seeking women and vice versa.


Materials: The data was taken from approximately one hundred (100) personal ads appearing in “Evening Standard Metro-Life” from 4th to 10th of February 2005. From those ads, fifty (50) of them were men seeking women and fifty (50) of them were women seeking men.

Procedure: Our sampling strategy was selecting every second ad from the fifty (50) of men seeking women and from the fifty (50) of women seeking men. We then came up with a total of forty (40) ads, twenty (20) of them were men seeking women and the least twenty (20) was women seeking men. We also developed a coding frame of the following sub-categories in order to analyze data. Those sub-categories were ‘Use of humor’, ‘Mention of own interests’, ‘Mentions their own emotional/ personality characteristics’, ‘Requests particular emotional/ personality characteristics of others’, ‘Types of relationship being sought’, ‘Mentions job/ status’, ‘Requests a particular job/ status’ and ‘Mentions own race/ ethnicity’. Data were analyzed in SPSS 16.0.


In general, results of our frequency analysis vary among men seeking women and women seeking men. In many categories we expected different results. All of the following eight (8) categories had a numeric type of analysis with values ‘0’ meaning ‘No’ and ‘1’ meaning ‘Yes’, apart from the ‘Types of relationship being sought’ category where the values were ‘Fr’ for ‘Friendship’, ‘Fu’ for ‘Fun’, ‘Re’ for ‘Relationship’, ‘Ro’ for ‘Romance’ and ‘S’ for ‘Sex’.

Use of humor: As we can see in this frequency analysis (‘Use of humor’ descriptive statistic), only 15% of women used humor in their ads instead of 45% of men. This shows us that men are emphasizing in the sense of humor more that women do.

Mention of own interests: With the percentage of 55% of men referring their interests, only 40% of women did the same. That doesn’t mean that women are not having any interests or less interests than men, but men are trying to present themselves as energetic.

Mentions their own emotional/ personality characteristics: In this category both genders have scored high, females 65% and males 75%, and this may mean two things. The first one is that people that are seeking someone via personal ads are more self-centered. The second one is that they are trying to present themselves as being full of confidence and knowledge.

Requests particular emotional/ personality characteristics of others: In this category females scored higher than males in seeking someone with the same or almost the same emotional and personality characteristics. Males had the same percentage at ‘Yes’ as at ‘No’ (50% both) rather than 60% of females.

Types of relationship being sought: In this category females are mostly seeking relationship with a percentage of 45%, then with a 25% they seem to seek for sex. Later on comes friendship with 15%, romance with 10% and fun with 5%. On the other hand males are seeking for friendship. That shows as the 35% that they score in this category. After that, sex is coming with a 25%, the same as females scored, to end up with a 20% score in relationship and a 10% score in both fun and romance. It is obvious that females are trying to enter a relationship at once rather than males, that they were interested in friendship for the beginning as the relationship can follow.

Mentions job/ status: In both genders there was a high score in haven’t mentioned their job or status. Females scored 80% and males scores 75%.

Requests a particular job/ status: In this group there was an even greater percentage of haven’t requested a particular job or status, compared to the previous one. Females scored 75% and males scored 90%. That means that neither females nor males are paying attention to a particular job or status. That is why they did not find it important to refer to their job or status as well.

Mentions own race/ ethnicity: In this group males scored in the average whereas females had a 65% of referring their race or ethnicity.


We found out from that research that males are using humor as well as their interests to attract a female. Another think that it is worth mentioned is that both genders scored highly in mentioning things about their emotional or personality status, meaning that they are probably self-centered and trying to look confident, on the other hand females are willing to find someone with the same emotional or personality status. Another interesting aspect of this research was that females are mostly seeking someone to get in a relationship with them at once, whereas males are mostly paying attention to a good friendship that can be developed to a romantic relationship. Finally, two other things that we found out was that both males and females don’t really care about job status and that females are more open-minded and ‘capable’ on mentioning their race or ethnicity.

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