Teens dating 1920 s
In the early days of dating, many century America was all social capital, decorum, and familial oversight.Dating did not yet exist in the modern sense; society instead favored a courtship model which almost entirely consisted of one long, parentally-controlled audition for marriage.With the advent of new technologies (cell phones, social media, Tinder, etc.) and the changing definitions of traditional dating and families, modern dating is a more fluid and self-interpreted concept, very different from the relational context of the past.It is important to note that historically many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.Men in the relationship would make their arrangement visible to outsiders by gifting his date a letterman jacket or a class ring, and the girl expected to be called and taken out on dates a certain number of times each week.Consequently, a new concern arose for parents: as young people grew more secure in their committed dating relationships, they became more likely to engage in premarital sexual behaviors. This movement ushered in another paradigm shift; youth rejected the prescribed dating model in favor of a more liberal approach to love and sexuality, and “hookup culture” was born, a shift that emphasizes physical pleasure rather than emotional intimacy.This new romantic character of courtship plainly took form in the forsaking of traditional highly formalized love letters in favor of letters with a more endearing and poetic tone.But despite this move towards emotionally based relationships, the compatibility of matches was still strongly emphasized.
In the years preceding World War II, a popularity-based system that sociologists refer to as the “dating and rating complex” developed.
The committed, monogamous label of “going steady” emerged as the ideal relationship, and dating returned to its traditional role as a marital trial.
Despite increased emphasis on a single relationship, “going steady” was still a very social label.
No longer was quantity emphasized, but rather the stress fell on finding a loyal partner.
This change was partially catalyzed by the scarcity of young males in the United States, as nearly all able-bodied men between 18 and 26 were engaged in the war effort across seas.