Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 223–233 | Cite as

Looking for Love?

Take a Cross-Cultural Walk Through the Personals
Media Column


Personal advertisements are powerful windows into understanding individuals, societal trends, and cultural values. “Personals” in the United States and elsewhere offer a unique opportunity to understand societal changes and cross-cultural issues. As one study demonstrates, personals reflect the societal importance placed on thinness in American women. A cross-cultural study shows how personals are used in understanding the American value of individualism and the Chinese values of family and society. Personals in an Indian newspaper and an Indian-American newspaper both demonstrate Indian values, yet the latter shows hints of American acculturation. For psychiatrists, the personals may be an important way to understand patients and their social and cultural contexts. Patients’ ads may help the psychiatrist and patient understand the patients’ values and fantasies, aid in treatment, and help form relationships.


Academic Psychiatry Physical Attractiveness Mate Selection Ideal Mate York Review 
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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, WAC 725CMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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