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The idea that women and men might meet casually, for sex, instead of within a social context that positioned marriage as the objective, hindered computer dating.
In order to limit the “sleaze factor” associated with match-ups made by machines, early computer dating services focused on transferring the social mores that structured non-computerized dating and mating onto these new machine-aided systems.
Source: ICL News, 1970 Paradoxically, the same sexual strictures that hurt women’s employment chances also meant that women were ideal fodder for a new type of computing project.
A growing interest in inserting new electronic computer technology into men and women’s lives as romantic middlemen was beginning to gain momentum.
Abstract: Although online dating has only recently become culturally acceptable and widespread, using computers to make romantic matches has a long history.
Heterosexual men’s career requirements, as well as their fantasies and fears about women’s sexuality, often shaped how women were viewed in machine rooms and whether or not they were allowed to work in certain jobs at all.It showed a massive, wall-sized computer, with hundreds of blinking lights, ejecting a tiny paper card with a red heart on it for its operator, who was dwarfed by the computer’s hulking form.The drawing of the computer was supposedly based on the huge SSEC (Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator) mainframe that IBM had shown off in its Madison Avenue showroom in New York City from 1948-1952.Much of the historiography of gender in computing relies on an implicit understanding of the power of heteronormativity in structuring women’s lives and careers.Up to this point, however, historians of computing have paid relatively little attention to the ways in which sexuality molded outcomes and determined patterns of change in the history of computing.