Unmarried women were depicted as “depressed” or “frantic,” while single men were typed as “fixated on a mother figure,” inclined to “antiresponsibility,” or “latent homosexuals.” Men often failed to find the “perfect” woman; women frequently could not find even an “eligible” man.
Ultimately, the articles portrayed the unwed female’s predicament far more portentously than the male’s: women were “likely to get stranded” if they waited too long to get married, but it was “never too late” for men.
Then they visit a local foundation counselor (usually a minister), who records his own impression of the would-be bride or groom.
All of this material is forwarded to the foundation headquarters in Indiana, where the initial “mating” of couples is done by means of an IBM sorting machine.
Yet hundreds of thousands of unwed girls quit their jobs each year with the frank statement to personnel directors: “All the men here are already married.” An unmarried man makes a trip to a ski resort to ski, and if he meets an attractive woman on a ski slope, he regards that as an unexpected bonus.
He attends a party—or turns down the invitation—after deciding whether or not he will have a good time, and considers the possibility of meeting a girl he wants to marry as incidental.
In this sequel to an earlier article on unmarried women, Look magazine writer Eleanor Harris, in response to suggestions of readers, addressed the topic of bachelorhood by presenting testimonies of selected men on the reasons they remained unmarried and conclusions of authorities regarding these explanations.
The divergent ways that the two articles presented their subjects revealed some gender biases of the period.
Most of them—whether single, widowed or divorced—spend a good portion of their leisure time in a search for a mate.Of the total, 14,768,000 are bachelors, 2,161,000 are widowers, and 1,093,000 are divorced.Why do these men—more than one fourth of the males in the United States—choose to live alone?Thus men and women are paired off as to age, race, religion, education and so on. Crane’s customers have been between the ages of 30 and 60. The increasing number of businesses with widely scattered offices and factories is another factor.The increasing mobility of millions of men and women has made such an agency especially desirable. A young man who does not marry during the years when the opportunity for a “spontaneous” meeting with a girl at school or at work is greatest often moves on to other cities—away from the familiar surroundings in which he grew up. Over 3,500,000 men moved in a single recent year to other places of work.