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The Perfect Woman

August 6, 2013  |  Share
July 29, 2013 10:06 AM

60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll: The Perfect Woman

Welcome to the 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll for August 2013. Last month’s poll asked women what qualities and characteristics they found most and least attractive in their ideal man. This month’s poll turns the tables and now it’s the men’s turn to answer similar questions and others like, “Do you agree or disagree with the statement: ‘a good woman is hard to find?'” What do you think? Please weigh in with your opinions as you enjoy those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. And now the results….

  • “All women eventually become their mothers”

“All women eventually become their mothers”

  • Agree
  • Disagree

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Three out of four Americans disagree with the statement “all women eventually become just like their mother.” About one in four agree with it including Oscar Wilde who famously quipped, “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”

Check out the Vanity Fair slideshow.
Got a question for our next poll?

  • “A good woman is hard to find”

“A good woman is hard to find”

  • Agree
  • Disagree

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Fifty-seven percent of Americans agree with the statement “a good woman is hard to find” and 42 percent disagree with it. Not surprisingly, more women (48 percent) than men (35 percent) disagreed with it. It’s a very old question. How old? Try Proverbs 31:10-11. “A good woman is hard to find and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.”

  • Which type of woman is more desirable?

Which type of woman is more desirable?

  • Sweet and innocent
  • Bold and experienced
  • Don’t know/refused

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Fifty-five percent of Americans think a woman that is bold and experienced is more desirable overall and 33 percent went with sweet and innocent. Bold and experienced seems to fit the modern American ideal of a woman who knows where she is going. Yesteryear’s ideal of sweet innocence while still attractive to many, may convey a little less of the self-reliance and adventurousness exhibited by many attractive and successful women in today’s world.

Role you would be most/least comfortable having filled by a woman

 

 

Let’s start with the roles or professions that Americans would be most comfortable having a woman fill for them. Nearly half including 43 percent of men and 52 percent of women would be most comfortable with a woman as their doctor. Next up were financial planner 18 percent, all of the above 12 percent, and your boss 11 percent. The professions that would make Americans the least comfortable were car mechanic 33 percent and contractor 13 percent. Women have made great strides across the board but when it comes to fixing our cars and to a lesser degree our houses, it appears that it’s still a man’s world.

  • Which U.S. company has a female CEO?

Which U.S. company has a female CEO?

  • Amazon
  • Macy’s
  • Walgreens
  • Pepsi
  • Nike
  • Don’t know/refused

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Forty-four percent of Americans did not know or would not guess which of the companies was run by a female CEO. Nineteen percent booked Amazon, 18 percent bought Macy’s, seven percent took a shot at Walgreens, another seven percent took a shot of Pepsi and five percent ran with Nike. Despite being named the most powerful woman in business by Fortune in 2009 and 2010 and making many other top 10 lists of the most powerful and influential women in the world in recent years, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi is not nearly as well known as the products that she so effectively helps to sell.

  • Most important quality for a woman to have

Most important quality for a woman to have

  • Being a good mother
  • Brains
  • A sense of humor
  • The ability to cook
  • A healthy sex drive
  • Physical beauty

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What’s better than a woman that possesses brains (33 percent) and a good sense of humor (17 percent)? Four out of 10 Americans think that being a good mother tops them all. The ability to cook three percent, a healthy sex drive three percent and physical beauty one percent are worthwhile attributes but are seen as qualities of lesser importance. Being a good mother takes a combination of many fine qualities not the least of which are brains and a good sense of humor.

  • Which television character would you most like to marry?

Which television character would you most like to marry?

  • Penny (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (Modern Family)
  • Alicia Florrick (The Good Wife)
  • Liz Lemon (30 Rock)
  • Olivia Pope (Scandal)
  • Megan Draper (Mad Men)
  • None of them (vol.)
  • Don’t know/refused

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This month’s fantasy question asks men who they would most likely choose to marry from an array of TV characters. The top vote getter with 23 percent was the ditzy, but fun-loving Penny from the highly rated sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Eleven percent chose Gloria (Modern Family) followed by Liz Lemon eight percent (30 Rock), Alicia Florrick eight percent (The Good Wife), Olivia Pope four percent (Scandal) and Megan Draper three percent (Mad Men). Twenty-one percent would remain bachelors and 23 percent did not know which of the various characters they would pop the big question to.

  • Which favorite movie would make the perfect woman no longer perfect?

Which favorite movie would make the perfect woman no longer perfect?

  • Fatal Attraction
  • Twilight
  • The Notebook
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Spring Breakers
  • Don’t know/refused

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When American men were asked which of the following movies would most likely be a “deal breaker” if it was their otherwise perfect woman’s favorite film, one out of four chose Fatal Attraction. 21 percent chose Twilight followed by The Notebook (11 percent), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (10 percent), Steel Magnolias (eight percent), Spring Breakers (eight percent) and 17 percent did not answer. American guys can tolerate chick flicks, tearjerkers, low brow movies and even vampire romances, but apparently nothing creeps them out quite as much as a bunny boiler.

  • Your ideal woman is least likely to…

Your ideal woman is least likely to…

  • Smoke
  • Get plastic surgery
  • Overeat
  • Gossip
  • Drink
  • Own cats
  • Curse

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According to a third of American men, they would not “light up” if they found out that their ideal woman was a smoker. Seventeen percent said having plastic surgery wouldn’t cut it, 11 percent would be fed up with an overeater, 10 percent wouldn’t hear of dating a gossiper, eight percent weren’t high on drinkers, another eight percent weren’t “catty” and six percent said @#*$! to cursers.

  • Which would you be most willing to give up for the perfect woman?

Which would you be most willing to give up for the perfect woman?

  • Your religion
  • Your friends
  • Your career
  • 10 years from your life
  • Your home
  • Your mother
  • None of them

Vote NowView results

How do you find out how far American men will go in pursuit of the perfect woman? Ask them what they would be willing to give up to have her. Twenty percent said they would be most willing to give up their religion. 17 percent would give up their friends, 15 percent would chuck their career, 14 percent said none of them, 12 percent would cut 10 years from their life, and another 12 percent said their home but only six percent would give up on dear old mom. It is said that there is nothing comparable to a mother’s love and it appears that most American men wouldn’t give that up for anything.

This poll was conducted at the CBS News interviewing facility among a random sample of 990 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone June 22-25, 2012. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

 

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. Read more about this poll.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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