Ekaterina Hertog

Career Development Fellow in the Sociology of Japanese Society

College: St Antony's

Member of Research Streams

  • Gender, family and households

Email: Ekaterina Hertog

Tel.: 01865 284510

Sociology of the Family, Human Mate Selection, Theories of marriage, Contemporary Japanese Society, Reproductive Choices, Never Married Mothers, Social Norms

Current Research - Human long-term mate selection

This project uses a large dataset of Japanese marriage agency clients (n=60,000) with detailed information on their personal characteristics (verified by the agencies), their expressed desired characteristics of a prospective marriage partner as well as information on their attitudes towards family life and their successes and failures in partner search. In total the dataset contains 280 variables summarizing each client's characteristics and expressed desires of a potential marriage partner, documents all their dating successes and failures for the past year and identifies couples who actually succeeded in getting married.

The level of detail of the data offers a rare opportunity to many of the hypotheses theoretically posited for human mate selection. The project will start with an investigation of the way singles try to strike the delicate balance between their ideal preferred traits and whom they realistically can hope to attract, as well as the steps they take to attract the best possible mate. It will then proceed to the applicability of two specific explanatory approaches to communication on the mating market, namely the full disclosure principle and signalling theory.

Marriage, abortion or unwed motherhood? How women evaluate alternative solutions to premarital pregnancies in Japan and the United States
Hertog, E. and Iwasawa, M. (2011)
Journal of Family Issues, Volume 32, Issue 12, pp.1674-1699 (pdf).

I did not know how to tell my parents so I thought I would have to have an abortion
Hertog, E. (2010)
In Alexy, A. & Ronald, R. (eds.) Home and Family in Japan (Japan Anthropology Workshop Series), Routledge.

Tough Choices: Bearing an Illegitimate Child in Japan
Hertog, E. (2009)
Stanford University Press

Reviewed in:
American Journal of Sociology
Journal of Japanese Studies
Contemporary Sociology
Asian Anthropology

The Worst Abuse against a Child is Absence of a Parent: How Unwed Mothers Evaluate their Decision to Have a Child outside Wedlock
Hertog, E. (2008)
Japan Forum, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp. 193 - 217 (pdf).