Gender stereotypes and normative heterosexuality in matrimonial ads from globalizing India

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24 Scopus citations


Matrimonial ads serve as unobtrusive sites to observe the construction and perpetuation of normative heterosexuality through socio-cultural discourses. The current study focuses on gendered spousal expectations and sex role preferences in 1065 matrimonial ads from two popular newspapers in India. Gender differences in ad type, financial stability, physical attractiveness, fairness, slimness, personality traits, and occupational preferences were examined. Results found support for social exchange of men's financial stability for women's physical attractiveness, gender polarization in ideal spousal occupations, and the relative fluidity in gender identities of women as compared to men. A strong preference for fair and slim women was observed. Implications for sexual objectification of women and changing gender roles in globalizing India are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-269
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Ads
  • Content analysis
  • Gender
  • India
  • Marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Communication


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