The purpose of our project was to better understand dating patterns in college age students. Dating is an activity that most college age students are engaged in or are at least interested in. We chose a questionnaire with these questions: Please list the top five characteristics that attract others to you; Please list the top five characteristics that you are attracted to in others; Why Do You Date? In our research for the project we examined many disciplines including history, sociology, psychology, biology, and chemistry. We also explored how cultural differences and non-traditional couples transgress main stream ideas about dating. This interdisciplinary research led us to a complex understanding about our topic. Dating is a practice that is influenced by the time period, social conditions and constructs, biology, cultural norms, and institutional structures that surround people.
Recent data suggest that the number of interracial marriages for African-Americans has increased from 2.
But African-American mate selection operates along lines of endogamy to a larger degree than do the mate selection processes of Asian-American, Native American, or other nonwhite groups. Similarly, rates of interfaith marriage have increased. For example, only 6 percent of Jews chose to marry non-Jewish partners in the s. Today nearly 40 percent of Jews marry non-Jewish partners Mindel et al.
The background characteristics of age and socioeconomic status also demonstrate norms of endogamy.
The Cinderella story is more of a fantasy than a reality, and self-help books with titles such as How to Marry a Rich Man Woman have little basis for success. The conditions of postmodern society are shaping mate selection patterns as they relate to endogamy and homogamy.
The likelihood of marrying across social class, ethnic, and religious boundaries is strongly affected by how homogeneous similar the population is Blau et al.
In large cities, where the opportunity structures are more heterogeneous diverserates of intermarriage are higher, while in small rural communities that demonstrate homogeneous populations, the norm of endogamy is even more pronounced. Again, the complex interplay between the marriage market and individual motives and preferences is highlighted.
The extent to which marriage outside one's social group is the result of changing preferences and attitudes or largely the result of shifting opportunity structures, known as marriage market conditions, is not clear at this time Surra The factors that operate in the selection process of a mate also function in conjunction with opportunity structures that affect the potential for social interaction.
The evidence suggests that propinquity is an important factor in determining who marries whom. Thus, those who live geographically proximate to each other are more likely to meet and marry.
Early work by James Bossard shows that at the time of the marriage license application, about 25 percent of all couples live within two city blocks of each other. Bossard's Law, derived from his empirical findings, states "the proportion of marriages decreases steadily and markedly as the distance between the consenting parties increases.
Ch.8 Dating and Mate Selection
Propinquitous mate selection does not mean nonmobility, however. It is simply the case that the influence of propinquity shifts as the individual geographically shifts. Thus, one is likely to marry someone who is currently near than someone previously propinquitous. The overriding effect of propinquity is that people of similar backgrounds will meet and marry, since residential homogamy remains a dominant feature of American society. However, changing marriage patterns, such as delaying age of first marriage, will impact the strength of propinquity in the mate selection process by expanding the opportunity structures and breaking down homogenous marriage markets.
One interesting area of research that often goes overlooked in discussions of the correlates of mate selection concerns homogamy of physical attractiveness. Based on the equity theory of physical attractiveness, one would expect that persons who are similar in physical attractiveness levels would marry. Many experimental designs have been conducted to test the effects of physical attractiveness on attraction to a potential dating partner. In general, the experimental conditions have yielded the findings that the more highly attractive individuals are the most desired as dating partners.
But studies of couples actually involved in selecting a mate or who are already married support the notion that individuals who are similar in attractiveness marry on their own level. Thus, while attractiveness is a socially valued characteristic in choice of a mate, the norms of social exchange dictate that we select a partner who is similar in attractiveness and is thus attainable.
It is only when other highly valued factors such as wealth, wit, or intelligence compensate for deficits in attractiveness that inequity of physical attractiveness in mate selection might occur. In review, theories of mate selection are more often applied to the study of personality characteristics or process orientations than to marriage market conditions. It is important to note, however, that the basic assumption is that the marriage market operates in a social exchange framework.
Men and women make selections under relative conditions of supply and demand with units of exchange. The market is further shaped by cultural norms such as endogamy and homogamy that can further restrict or expand the pool of eligibles.
While earlier work on the correlates of mate selection focused on homogamy of background characteristics, the work of Robert Winch set the stage for further investigation into the hypothesis that "opposites attract. While value theorists speculated that similarity of values and personality would lead to great affiliation and propensity to marry, Winch posited that persons select mates whose personality traits are complementary opposite to their own.
Inherent in Winch's theoretical work is the notion that certain specific trait combinations will be gratifying to the individuals involved. For example, a submissive person would find it gratifying or reciprocal to interact with a mate who had a dominant personality.
Winch developed twelve such paired complementary personality traits, such as dominant-submissive and nurturant-receptive, for empirical testing using a very small sample of recently married couples. In Winch's work, as well as the work of others, the notion that complementarity of traits was the basis for marriage was not supported by the data.
Although empirical support for need complementarity is lacking, the concept remains viable in the study of mate selection. The appeal of the concept rests in its psychological origins, as work prior to Winch's focused primarily on structural and normative influences in mate selection. The work of Winch set the stage for research commencing in the s that began to examine the processes of mate selection on the dyadic level.
The process of selecting a mate received considerable attention beginning in the s. The basic form these theories take follows the "filter theory" of Alan Kerckoff and Keith Davis Kerckoff and Davis found empirical support that individuals, having met through the channels of propinquity and endogamy, proceed through a series of stages or steps in the development of the relationship.
According to their theory, social status variables such as social class and race operate early on in the relationship to bring people together. The next stage involved the consensus of values, during which time the couple determines the degree of similarity in their value orientations. Couples who share similar values are likely to continue to the third stage, need complementarity. However, the data collected by Kerckoff and Davis offered only weak support for need complementarity as part of the process of mate selection.
Development of process theories of mate selection continued into the s and is exemplified in the work of Ira ReissBernard MursteinRobert Lewisand R. Centers While these theoretical perspectives differ in terms of the order and nature of the stages, they have much in common. Melding these theories of mate selection, the following assumptions can be made concerning the stages of dyad formation that lead to marriage:.
Dating and mate selection sociology
All the studies of the mate selection process have struggled with methodological difficulties. Most studies have relied on small, volunteer samples of couples.
Most have used college-age, never-married couples. Finally, most studies have made extensive use of retrospection in assessing the process of dyad formation rather than collecting longitudinal data.
These methodological difficulties may, in part, account for the recent decline in the number of studies examining the process of mate selection. Furthermore, these stages may or may not result in marriage, but the primary focus of the research is on relationships that endure or terminate in marriage. Therefore, relatively little is known about the mate selection process as it pertains to rejection of a potential mate or how such terminations of relationships affect subsequent mate selection processes.
More current research has begun to shift away from antecedents that lead to legal marriage and turn instead to disentangling the trajectory of relationship development over the life course.
A Sociological Look at Modern Dating personal fulfillment was not a high priority in mate selection, which used to be governed by many restraints and social pressures. is professor. Enjoy dating and mate selection. It is a wonderful time of your life that can be the best and simultaneously the worst of times. It may help for you to understand a bit more about yourself so that you can develop a strategy in being proactive and focused in your date and/or mate selection experiences. changed the dating patterns (the rise of public, co-educational schooling and the mass movement of working-class women into the 19th century workplace) and the mass production of the automobile in the early 20th century had the most profound impact on mate selection in North America.
More attention will turn to the formation and development of interpersonal relationships that may move through stages of romance, cohabitation, friendship, marriage, divorce, and so forth. Emphasis on relationship quality and durability, gender role negotiations, commitment processes, and romantic love have recently taken on increased importance in social science studies of mate selection Surra and Hughes ; Houts et al. Many of the theories have also overlooked the influence of peer groups and family members in the mate selection process.
The theoretical and empirical inquiry that has paid attention to peer and kin influences is restricted to studies of dating. Unfortunately, studies of dating and studies of mate selection have not been sufficiently integrated to provide the field with adequate data concerning the interrelationships between dating and mate selection processes. Yet another area of research that has the potential for contribution to further understanding of the mate selection process is studies of romantic love.
Mar 25, Kids may have comical, unusual, or even realistic view of dating! De-emphasizing mate selection."Hanging out" or "getting together". Intimate friendshipsand sharing. Common basis of friendshipsand relationships (respect,Common interests ect) Dating for social purposes, or because of social pressures Mate selection is the most important event in the life of a person. Various factors influence this process round the globe such as educational background, parental influence, religion and occupation, etc (Maliki, ). In most societies, the mate-selection process involves what social scientists call a marriage market (Anderson, ). According to this argument, the mate selection rules are dictated by the roles that women and men occupy in society. Thus, people's preferences in the search for a mate are expected to shift as.
It examines functions that dating fulfills both manifest ones with intended purposes and latent ones with unplanned purposes. Additionally, some latent functions of dating considered in this chapter include: socialization through dating; dating someone can often enhance ones standing in a social group and boost ones ego; it is commonly used for sexual experimentation and sexual desire grows as relationships grow; and it can provide economic resources.
The next section of the chapter explores different forms of dating and how dating has changed over the years. Contemporary dating is less formal than traditional dating. Furthermore, there are traditional-contemporary combinations that incorporate both traditional and contemporary dating forms.
It is becoming increasingly acceptable for women to invite men to traditional dating events, such as proms or homecoming parties, and dinner dates; in addition, men are not always obligated to pay for the entire date as couples are beginning to split the costs and share dating expenses.
The chapter goes on to examine the different ways people meet dating partners. Personal classified advertisements in magazines and newspapers are often used by people to promote themselves through limited self-descriptions, which often exaggerate their attributes to fulfill the expectations of the opposite sex.
Mail order brides include the advertisement of international women, commonly from disadvantaged regions, who American men seek to marry. Unfortunately many internet brides are more interested in entering the U.
Professional matchmakers arrange dates between singles who are hoping to find a mate. This is often very expensive and does not usually get the result most people hope for. Speed dating takes place when a large group of people are given a limited period of time to meet potential mates face-to-face and decide if they share any mutual interests and care to start a relationship.
Because of the time constraint, people often base their opinions on external appearance and overlook potential mates because they tend to disregard compatible traits like common values and lifestyles.
The last method discussed is cyber dating which is characterized by people communicating with each other and finding romance over the Internet. Internet romances are often deceptive because many people do not give honest information about themselves, which can result in detrimental consequences, both physically and mentally. There are many different theories about the ways people go about choosing their mates.
Filter theory claims that people narrow their pool of potential partners by selecting people they see on a regular basis who share similar traits. S todayas well as interracial and interethnic relationships interracial dating has increased, but marriages remain uncommon.
Between the years the amount of women in colleges greatly increased. The youth culture also began to develop a more liberal attitude towards pre-marital sex.
Possible dating and mate selection sociology apologise, but
Birth control was now very common for couples to have. The pill went on the market inand within three years more than 2 million American women were using it. The average first intercourse was now at age 16 for males and age 17 for females. The year the age of first marriages was now Dating and courting was still central features but in the 's there wasn't dating as often and the youth began to date at older ages.
The average aged female to date in the year was 13 and in was In the 's and 's dating changed and the following ways: there was a greater opportunity for informal opposite sex interaction, dating became less formal, and there was no longer a set progression of stages from first meeting to marriage.
In conclusion, the dating system has become more pluralistic over time. Moving Away from Two Person Intimacy Sociology is the study of society and dating is an integral activity that happens between people in society.
It is important to look at dating from a critical point of view using sociology because it is a discipline that is known for deconstructing every day behavior for its meaning in society.
Dating is a practice that is highlighted again and again in the popular media. The ways in which people date is effected by the cultural norms of the time and place. Sociologists look at a particular time and place to understand the ways in which a society works and therefore how the people in that society go about activities like dating.
In modern America, dating has emerged as an activity that is not often regulated by adults as it once had been. There are many explanations for this change including the change in lifestyle that industry and technological advances have brought about. Sociologists point out that the idea of romantic love did not even exist prior to the industrial revolution. Marriage was an institution that allowed a man and woman to enhance their chances of survival and quality of life with one another.
Romantic love as we now know it did not exist as a concept. After the industrial revolution when people did not depend on each other as much to survive, the idea of romantic love first appeared. After this time some feminists and sociologists point out that marriage and motherhood was used to subjugate women to men and to keep them out of the work force. The idealization of motherhood effects women even when they are dating.
Our surveys were of freshman and sophomores, and not many of them answered that they were dating to find a lifetime partner, but we must realize that if we had questioned a slightly older group our findings may have been different. Dating at a young age is characterized as fun and is done for companionship rather than as a serious activity for the purpose of finding a lifelong mate.
Sociology is the study of society and dating is an integral activity that happens between people in society. It is important to look at dating from a critical point of view using sociology because it is a discipline that is known for deconstructing every day behavior for its meaning in society. Oct 11, Blogging through sociology of marriage Tuesday, October 11, Chapter 8: Dating and Mate Selection 1. Summary: Chapter 8 discusses the positive and negative cts of dating as well as the various ways people select a mate. It begins by discussing how sociologists describe the dating process as a marriage market in which a person chooses. Natural Selection: Evolutionary psychologists-women prefer to mate with men who would be good fathers and who would stay around to be good providers-men preferred to mate with women who could bear healthy babies who could feed their children-could apply to any given relationship; especially for men and women who plan to have children in their.
Sociologists claim that in the current generation of college students this lack in interest in serious dating is a reflection of seeing their parents and friends' parents divorce. Students often told us of unhappy relationships between their own parents. The result is that current undergraduates worry a great deal about divorce " Levine and Cureton. 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.
Consider, that dating and mate selection sociology can
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.
Congratulate, dating and mate selection sociology pity
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: "Sex hormones are the chemicals released by the gonads and other glands which circulate through the blood back to the brain where, in some way that we don't yet fully understand, they influence our biological readiness for reproduction, attractiveness to potential partners, and receptiveness to them.
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.
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. 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.
Can dating and mate selection sociology simply
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.