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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.Scott (1965) insightfully detected the role of college sororities in screening to assure matches that were endogamous (in this case within ethnic group) and hypergamous (with a man of a higher social class).Sorority women who attempted to date someone "beneath them" were quickly brought into line through the social sanctions of their sorority sisters.The result, according to Waller's analysis was for both men and women to feign true love while attempting to secretly remain indifferent.After the World War II disruption of domestic dating, the marriage boom helped precipitate the baby boom which lasted into the 1960s in the U. Bailey (1988) notes that by 1950, going steady had completely replaced the rating and dating complex.
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).
However, perhaps due to the crass associations of exchanging money and gifts for the attentions and sexual favors of prostitutes, mistresses, gigolos, and gold-diggers, research on Western dating has largely ignored the monetary and material aspects of these relationships. DATING AND COURTSHIP The role of material possessions in early middle class American courtship practices was not so much in impressive gift-giving as in displaying command of the resources for providing comfort and earning a living. 24) explains: Before a man could marry, he had to possess the means to support a wife and children....
A related explanation for this lack of attention is the inappropriate intrusion of the profane into the supposed realm of the sacred when cash and gifts become too prominent in our view of dating (Belk, Wallendorf, and Sherry 1989, Belk and Wallendorf 1990). His marriage "portion"--the land he would farm, the house in which he and his bride would live--came from a share of his father's property.
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.
Material generosity by males and sexual generosity by females continued to be taken as signs of love (Katz 1976).