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Dated Dating Advice: Relationships Through The Decades (VIDEO)

Mr T

First Posted: 10/19/2011 9:11 am Updated: 12/17/2011 4:12 am

“Women crave caveman tactics,” writes George W. Crane, PhD, MD, in his 1950s pamphlet "Sex Differences Between Men and Women & Nagging Wives." The pamphlet, recently splashed ascross SF Weekly and Jezebel, shows Crane citing Shakespeare as an unlikely ally in discovering the answer to the age-old question of “what women want:”

The Taming of the Shrew is an excellent case in point. These shrews can be made into loving, devoted mates if they are fed caresses and satisfactory sexual indulgences.

While Crane’s counsel may seem dated, has dating advice gotten any better? Or are women and men still being told to play by similar rules?

We were surprised to find that 1950s parents got it right when it came to dispensing their relationship wisdom, while a lot of latter-day tips seemed like something out of another century.

Journey with us as we explore the sage dating advice dispensed through the decades:

Dress For Breakfast (1939)
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Back in '39, George W. Crane, PhD, MD, decided men should give their wives "marks" based on their performance.

To whit:

Demerit: "Fails to sew on buttons or darn socks regularly."
Merit: "Dresses for breakfast"

and

Demerit: "Seams in hose often crooked."
Merit: "Good sense of humor -- jolly and gay."

Do women get to give men demerits for having nasty socks? One thing is clear: a wife would need a sense of humor to put up with a man keeping track of her pluses and minuses.

But before you judge to quickly, think about the lists that women are still being encouraged to make to identify our ideal partners. It now goes both ways.

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Filed by Jessica Pearce Rotondi  |