Dating mating and marriage whyte

For their part, women also needed to dress, dance, and talk well, plus be physically attractive.

Dress became such a restrictive social barrier that women even quit going to school because of insufficiently fashionable wardrobes (Modell 1983).

Middle class calling rituals, calling cards, flowers, and other small courtship gifts became increasingly elaborated, common, and expensive during the Victorian era (Ames 1978).

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Factors affecting the development of dating include growing affluence, more recreational venues, longer periods of primarily coeducational schooling, employment of parents at increasing distances from the home (making it difficult for them to supervise activities of adolescent children), widespread adoption of the automobile, and increasing emphasis on consumption (Whyte 1990).

Others cite the declining influence of religion, increased emancipation of women, the transition from a rural to an urban population, broadened mass media, declining emphasis on home, family, and marriage, and increased individualism and anonymity as causes of the development of recreational dating (Burgess and Wallin 1953).

American dating, mating, and courtship activities employ money and tangible gifts as key ritual elements and as focal symbolic vehicles.

Gifts and dating expenditures "say" what cannot be said in words.

While Waller's analysis has been criticized (Lasch 1977, Gordon 1981), it is generally accepted as describing a dating system that persisted in colleges from the 1921 Is into the 1940s.

Within this system Waller (1938/1970) saw a danger of exploitation by both parties.Sexual' practices on dates during the 1940s continued to be conservative in comparison to the sexual revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s (Whyte 1990).Dating advice manuals continued to warn against excessive generosity in women's sexual giving: Offering your body to him in a bout of excessive necking will also cause his love for you to cool eventually, if not immediately.Bailey (1988) summarizes the effect of these changes succinctly: "Money -- Men's money -- became the basis of the dating system" (p. With increased expenditures on dating by men, they began to regard dating as an investment in sexual pleasure: "..planned and paid for 'a good time' and asked of their girls a bit of physical intimacy" (Modell 1983).Another trend that started in the 1920s was detected by Waller (1937) a decade later and dubbed "the rating and dating complex." This involved a woman dating many desirable men for the prestige value of appearing popular: In order to have Class A rating they must belong to one of the better fraternities, be prominent in activities, have a copious supply of spending money, be well-dressed, 'smooth' in manners and appearance, have a 'good line,' dance well, and have access to an automobile (Waller 1937, P. Coeds were seen to lose prestige if they dated less desirable men, dated too few men, or accepted last minute dates.Nevertheless, Bailey (1968) finds that spending money on dates continued to escalate and advice books advocated judging a man's seriousness by the amount of money he was willing to spend on a date.

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