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The most global or macro approaches have made use of vital statistics such as census data or marriage license applications to study the factors that predict mate selection.
Attention has been placed on social and cultural background characteristics such as age, social class, race, religion, and educational level.
Bargaining and exchange take place in contemporary selection processes, and these exchanges are based on common cultural understandings about the value of the units of exchange.
The basis for partner selection plays out in a market situation that is influenced by common cultural values regarding individual resources, such as socioeconomic status, physical attractiveness, and earning potential.
Emphasis is placed on the customs that regulate choice of mates.