The fascinating history of how courtship became ‘dating’
Independent Dating take a stroll back through dating heritage, to go all the way back to the 16century when courting was rooted in the era of. The rituals of courtship have evolved over time, and what is considered romantic today would have been scandalous, if not criminal, less than. Where would we be without romance? What was courtship and marriage like for our distant ancestors? Beginning with the ancient Greeks'.
Significance Typically courtship took place in the highly-decorated home of the woman, in the company of her family. However lower and middle class families couldn't afford the fancy decor and opted instead for more public courtings, which look much like what today is called "dating. Although many brides adorn themselves in beautiful white gowns and spectacular veils, the color of the gown is no longer indicative of purity in the sense of chastity.
Misconceptions Looking back on the history of dating and courtship, much of what we consider common knowledge wasn't so common back then. In fact, the man was considered the more attached, more emotional in the relationship, which directly contradicts what we believe about relationships today. Furthermore there is a common misconception that there was no sexual relationship among couple prior to marriage.
Although many couples did refrain from premarital sex, during the s premarital pregnancies in the United States reached a high of 30 percent. After this spike in premarital pregnancy, it was deemed impure and the white wedding gown and veil was then viewed as the standard of purity for young brides.
Function Throughout history, with the exception of modern times, dating and courtship was seen as a bridge to marriage and children. Dating and courting wasn't an arbitrary activity in which young people engaged for fun. As far back as colonial times, there was an explicit purpose to two young people taking time to get to know one another.
Today however, a date isn't necessarily an indication of a desire to marry, but more as a social activity or rite of passage. Because women relied heavily on their families or spouses to provide financially for them, dating and courtship was seen as a way to ensure a woman's future. Effects Although throughout most of history there was a very utilitarian attitude towards how one chooses a mate, as time went on, romantic feelings and love played a more dominant role in choosing a partner.
This has led today's undergraduates to have fears about intimacy. Levine and Cureton also comment that " One of the things undergraduates have been most eager to escape from is intimate relationships " pg.
Group dating is a way in which students have been able to move away from traditional, two-person dating which implies intimacy to them. Doing things in groups saves students from the deep emotional intimacy that may take place during two-person dating.
The media has a direct influence on the dating habits and views about the opposite sex that students have today. Movies, commercials, and TV serve to create and maintain societal beliefs about the sexes. The dominance of women in these mediums being ascribed roles that perpetuate sexist stereotypes about them serve to send a message about real women to students.
This can be seen especially in how men and women discuss or do not discuss gender roles. Levine and Cureton noted how female students talked about how they have to balance their professional aspirations with their wants to create heterosexual relationships. They go on to say " Males were neither as eloquent nor as thoughtful in describing gender differences. In fact, there was a marked contrast between male discussion of gender and sexuality. Conversation abounded on sexuality; gender brought scant discussion " pg.
Perhaps the reason males have so little to say about gender and so much to say about sex is partially due to the media's portrayal of women as sex objects. Men and women today in college are moving away from intimacy into group dating as a result of seeing their parents' generation marriages end in divorce. Men and women have a difficult time talking about gender, with men being more frightened of the topic than women.
The idea of dating as an activity for finding a life time partner has practically disappeared at least from underclass students' minds. Chemistry and Biology of Dating: There are many biological and chemical factors that help determine our dating habits. Biological makeup as well as chemical action plays a major role in whom one is attracted to and whom one attracts. Chemical factors effect the way the brain interacts with the body and the way others will interact with you.
For example, a persons sex drive is important in determining who they will be attracted to. If one has a strong sex drive, they will be more receptive to another person with a high sex drive, or a person who makes sexual advances to them than someone with a weaker sex drive. Sexual interests help to determine when one will be receptive to possible partners and which partners will be attractive. Hormones, pheromones, and aphrodisiacs are chemical substances that effect sexual interests and characteristics.
Biological factors that should be explored include genetic makeup determining physical characteristics and the natural selection of certain traits. There isn't much information on how they work or why, but hormones are known to be a leading factor in establishing sex drive.
A study of love, attractiveness, and sex drive, done in by Glenn Wilson and David Nias points out that: It is widely thought that the hormone called testosterone determines male sexuality while female sexuality is controlled by estrogen, but this is very much an over-simplification.
In primates at least, the male's hormone testosterone is largely responsible for the libido or sex drive of females as well as males They then go on to imply that without testosterone, women would be sexually unassertive. They say that despite the current women's movement, that men have higher sex drives on average than women.
The evidence they present for this statement is that it is easier to engage men in orgies, pornography and other promiscuous sexual behavior. Further, Wilson and Nias point out that male sexuality is linked with aggression, while the male links female sexuality to passivity and domination. They state that it is thought that men make better sadists and women have a natural inclination towards masochism They also blame homosexuality on the fact that the male child's brain did not receive the hormonal instruction to masculinize it.THE HISTORY OF DATING
Although the Wilson and Nias study makes it obvious that there are social constructs working within scientific studies, they do point out the seemingly valid idea that not only does hormone level influence behavior, but behavior also influence hormone level Sex hormones are increased when the brain is confronted by sexually arousing stimuli, and decreased when confronted with fear, stress, and anxiety This is probably because hormone secretion is controlled by the pituitary gland, which has connections to the hypothalamus in the brain.
Another of the chemicals that plays in dating is pheromones. Pheromones are smells that are emitted by a person or animal that potentially attract or repel a mate.
How dating has changed over the last 100 years
Most of the time, our attraction to the pheromones is not conscious Wilson, Pheromones effect many other parts of our sexual behavior too. They help to regulate and control female menstrual cycles, which in turn effect ovulation, emotion, performances, and hormone levels in the body.
The final chemical that effects dating behavior is aphrodisiacs. There are many substances that are rumored to be aphrodisiacs, to enhance sexual desire. Some of these substances are caviar, oysters, vitamin E, and chocolate.
All of these are unfounded claims. The only connection could be that vitamin E has general health value that may be rejuvenating to the person, but it is still lacking evidence as an aphrodisiac. Substances such as alcohol and marijuana seem to be aphrodisiacs, however, they don't so much increase sexual desires as they remove inhibitions.
It increases the chance of sexual behavior taking place, however they actually decrease ability to perform. A prominent modern problem in dating lies in the use of the substance Rohypnol, also called "roofies" or the "date rape drug.
It dissolves rapidly and is tasteless. The drug then causes muscle relaxation and lowers inhibitions. It often leads to blackouts for eight to twelve hours and then amnesia. The perpetrator will use this drug to easily rape the victim, and the victim usually has no memory of the actual event Do you Know?
Biology plays into the dating scene in that physical, emotional, and personality characteristics are very important both in attracting a mate and being attractive to that person. Genetic makeup and environment determines who a person will be. Darwin's evolutionary concepts can help reveal why certain characteristics are important for humans to find in mates, however social constructs are just as, if not more relevant.
Darwin's theories could help explain why, when a female frequently goes out with a partner, their menstrual cycles become shorter and more reliable. Sexual stimulation could lead to an increase in hormone levels, thus a shorter cycle, and ultimately, more opportunities to become pregnant.
Humans also tend to be attracted to young, healthy partners, increasing the chance of survival of the couple and consequently, healthy and abundant reproduction. In The Descent of Man, Darwin suggests that certain characteristics of human beings are present today because the possessors of them were successful in attracting a mate and reproduction Wilson, One theory presented by Wilson and Nias can be traced back to primates.
It says that the reason many men are attracted to women with large breasts is because they mimic the enlarged buttocks that a female primate displays during heat The surveys we conducted supported the idea that humans are attracted to healthy mates. We also concluded that personality was the most important factor in attractiveness, followed in order by physical characteristics, emotional attributes, other, intelligence, and strong values.
If we accept Darwin's ideas as presented by Wilson and Nias, it can be concluded from these results that personality plays an important role in evolution and survival for humans. Being the most important thing others look for in a mate, personality becomes important in finding a partner, establishing a strong relationship, and hence reproducing and passing on ones genetic makeup.
Psychology of Dating Freud believed that falling in love was, at its nature, a substitute for personal accomplishment. The psychologist Theodore Reik purposed that there are two stages to a person falling in love. The first stage is where from a need to escape from internal discontent grows the longing and tendency to fall in love with another person. The second stage requires personal courage and security about the self, in order to actually love another person in a committed behavior.
Erik Fromm makes a distinguished difference between immature and mature love. In the immature love, the lover exploits the beloved in order to satisfy the lover's needs. In contrast, mature love the lover expresses a genuine concern for the beloved's welfare.
He also states that sexual attraction is based on the need for psychological union with the opposite sexual pole, and romantic love depends on the need for psychological union with the opposite sex character type. The different character types are defined by the quality of activities, discipline, and adventure male ; and receptiveness, protection, and motherliness female.
Reik also states that "falling in love" is an attempt through the possession of an admired love object, to obtain personal qualities that one needs. Genuine love had been described as a rare statement of optimal operative that involves active caring for a partner's needs and a desire to experience the other at an intimate level.
What Made Dating Rituals Change? As the world changes around us, so do our lives. This is true for dating habits also. One can observe drastic changes in dating rituals, at times of technological and social change. There has been a shift in how we measure a person's "success's" to include physical vitality and life enjoyment along with material achievements. Divorce and "serial monogamy" have become increasingly acceptable making people anxious about maintaining relationships. Changes in social attitudes and improvements in contraception have allowed women to view sexuality as separate from reproduction and as an avenue from self-expression and pleasure.
People are relying on personal relationships to provide a sense of worth they lack in the public sphere due to increased technology, mobility, and bureaucracy" Tiefer, pg.
As mentioned in the history of dating, the automobile had a large effect on the way girls and boys interacted romantically. They were no longer subjected to the supervision of parents, and they became more comfortable with sexuality as they were allowed more mobility after World War I. Not all women were staying home, they were able to get out and work along side the men. The invention of television presented models of how to go on dates for adolescent teens.
Dresses got shorter, there was more freedom, and the generation of kids beginning to date took advantage as petting got heavier, and relationships were more serious before marriage than they ever have been. In the 's the controversial birth control pill became available to women. This allowed couples to have sexual intercourse without fearing a teenage pregnancy. With the introduction of birth control, and the more common use of illegal drugs, casual sex was becoming more common.
The summer of love was famous for people having multiple partners and experiencing "free love.
10 Fascinating Facts About the Evolution of Dating and Courtship
Homosexuals around the country were uniting and demanding respect and tolerance for their lifestyles. Women too were experiencing a revolution; they were becoming more independent. Women were no longer conforming to the housewife model, and were looking for other careers. They did not have to depend on husbands and fathers anymore, now they could depend on themselves.
As sex came out of the bedroom, it became a capitalist venture. Pornography and sex shops grew and appeared more frequently in cities.
10 Fascinating Facts About the Evolution of Dating and Courtship
Suddenly images of sex became more visible to all people including children. This resulted in an increase of the number of people having premarital sex, and forming serious relationships earlier in life. Just as the country thought the next generation was going to become a bunch of free loving hippies, AIDS struck. AIDS; although it is a terrible epidemic, has forced people to educate others about sex and act responsibly.
Now a new technology is affecting the way people go about forming sexual relations with others, and that is the Internet. The Internet has created a new place and new way for people to meet others and interact.
It has become a place for casual sex i. From the Internet you can place classifieds, or order mail order brides. It is also a place of gender, and personality bending fantasy, where people can pretend to be whoever they please. So people should be weary of whom they talk to on the Internet.