How does your relationship hold up on this 1930s 'Marital Rating Scale'?

How does your relationship hold up on this 1930s 'Marital Rating Scale'?

The mystery of a good marriage has fascinated lovers and social scientists for millennia. In 1939, Northwestern University's George W. Crane, Ph.D and M.D. (fancy!) made the OG BuzzFeed quiz called the Marital Rating Scale to see how a marriage scores.

With a checklist for the husband and one for the wife, Dr. Dr. Crane defines what makes a good spouse. For women, a good husband is one who does such things as "reads newspaper, books, or magazines, aloud to wife," as if she was illiterate at the time. Plus, men get points deducted for such things as inane as snoring and harsh as "publicly praises bachelor days and regrets having married."

How does your relationship hold up on this 1930s 'Marital Rating Scale'?


1. Stares at or flirts with other women while out with his wife. (5)

2. Reads newspaper at the table.

3. Fails to come to table promptly when meal is ready.

4. Brings guests home for meals without warning wife.

5. Doesn't phone when late for dinner.

6. Compares wife unfavorably with his mother or other wives. (5)

7. Publicly praises bachelor days and regrets having married.

8. Criticizes wife in public. (5)

9. Belches without apology, or blows nose at table.

10. Leaves dresser drawers open.

11. Leaves shoes in living room.

12. Snores.



1. Gives wife ample allowance or turns pay check over to her. (5)

2. Courteous to wife's friends.

3. Frequently compliments wife re looks, cooking, housekeeping, etc. (5)

4. Remembers birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (5)

5. Helps wife with dishes, caring for children, scrubbing.

6. Polite and mannerly even when alone with his wife.

7. Consults wife's opinions re business and social affairs.

8. Has date with wife at least once per week. (5 per date)

9. Reads newspaper, books, or magazines aloud to wife.

10. A good conversationalist.

11. Steady worker and good provider. (5)

12. Leaves car for wife on days she may need it.


And ladies, if you want to make a good Stepford Wife in the 30s, you better make sure you "dress for breakfast" have a "good sense of humor—jolly and gay." And you sure as hell better not wear red nail polish (this is real!).


1. Slow in coming to bed—delays till husband is almost asleep.

2. Doesn't like children. (5)

3. Fails to sew on buttons or darn socks regularly.

4. Wears soiled or ragged dresses.

5. Wears red nail polish.

6. Often late for appointments. (5)

7. Seams in hose often crooked.

8. Goes to bed with curlers on her hair or much face cream.

9. Puts her cold feet on husband at night to warm them.

10. Is a back seat driver.

11. Flirts with other men at parties or in restaurants. (5).

12. Is suspicious and jealous. (5)



1. A good hostess—even to unexpected guests.

2. Has meals on time.

3. Can carry on an interesting conversation.

4. Can play a musical instrument, as piano, violin, etc.

5. Dresses for breakfast.

6. Neat housekeeper—tidy and clean.

7. Personally puts children to bed.

8. Never goes to bed angry, always makes up first. (5)

9. Asks husband's opinions regarding important decisions and purchases.

10. Good sense of humor—jolly and gay.

11. Religious—sends children to church or Sunday school and goes herself. (10)

12. Lets husband sleep late on Sunday and holidays.


(Wife gets extra points for going to church, while the hubby gets to sleep in? Double standard, much?)

So, how did you and your loved one score?

And, um, how much have we advanced as a society?