What matters when getting wed: What it was like in 1939

DO you want someone to love, or someone to depend on?

A group of researchers have crunched the data from surveys asking what women and men want when sizing up a husband or wife.

They compared the data from 1939 and 2008. The results were published in 2013 and then helpfully summarised by Our World in Data.

What do we learn?

Mutual attraction and love is now the most important trait for both men and women looking for a partner.

In 1939, women were more interested in dependable character and emotional stability or maturity. 

Men meanwhile wanted a woman of "emotional stability and maturity" as their number one, dependable character as number two and "pleasing disposition" as number three.

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What women and men wanted in 1939, and what they want now.
What women and men wanted in 1939, and what they want now. Our World in Data

It is worth noting that 1939 marked the beginning of World War Two, with the population having just lived through the Great Depression.

Both men and women named chastity as 10th most important trait in 1939.

In 2008, that has tumbled to 18 -- the lowest result included for desirable traits.

Apparently we want love, not purity.


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