Dating systems history

By the early 1950s, going steady had acquired a totally different meaning.

It was no longer the way a marriageable couple signaled their deepening intentions.

However, by the turn of the 20th century we find the word being used to describe lower-class men and women going out socially to public dances, parties and other meeting places, primarily in urban centers where women had to share small apartments and did not have spacious front parlors in their homes to which to invite men to call.It was not earned directly through talent, looks, personality or importance and involvement in organizations, but by the way these attributes translated into the number and frequency of dates.These dates had to be highly visible, and with many different people, or they didn't count." Ken Myers summarizes this system, " catchwords hammered home, reinforced from all sides until they became the natural vocabulary.In 1937, sociologist Willard Waller published a study in the .His study of Penn State undergraduates detailed a "dating and rating" system based on very clear standards of popularity.If the average age of first marriages was dropping (around age 18 for women and 20 for men) then the preparation for marriage — the shopping around, if you will — had to begin much earlier than that.

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