Teenage Dating in the s
Teenage couple eating hotdogs outside at refreshment stand table, circa In the s and '50s, Alfred Kinsey defined petting as “deliberately. The Real Sex Lives of Grease-Era Teenagers parents and moral leaders were concerned that high-schoolers weren't dating around enough. Back in the salads days of post World War II American, Kotex took it upon themselves to present young ladies with truly perplexing multiple.
If a man asks, a woman cannot appear too keen. And yet, respond late and she risks appearing disinterested, particularly if the dater is communicating with other online matches. Always be on time Today it is still considered rude to keep your date waiting for any longer than 5 minutes. Particularly if you are meeting in a public place see below. Collecting your date When date night arrived, the man would always organise the transportation.
He would come to the door to greet his date before taking her to their venue and he always brought her safely home to her family. Meeting in public is a good idea Unlike the traditional custom of collecting and being collected, today it is more common to make your own way to the first date and is sensible to meet in a public place.
This takes away any fear and ensures safety until you get to know your date a little more. Introducing your date to your parents on a first date When a man collected his young lady, it was customary for her to introduce him to her parents who would want to approve that he was suitable for their daughter. Men always ordered When dining out, the young lady should always tell her male friend what she would like before he orders for her.
I know what I want Today, it is unheard of to expect your date to order for you. Women know what they want and will ask for it.
Men always paid When the bill arrived, the man would always pay. It was unthinkable for a woman to offer any money. The payment dilemma Many men still feel that they should pick up the bill, but paying is a tricky issue. For some men, traditional notions are outdated.
Courtship ‘Rules’ Women And Men Were Forced To Follow In The 1950s
Jenni Trent Hughes, Relationship Expert for eHarmony believes the dating process holds a mirror to the society of the time. Communities were close and approval was of paramount importance. Politeness and reference was a critical part of the dating process. These films were simply representations of adult views and adult preferences but created with teenage actors.
They served as reminders to teenagers that there were customs and certain boundaries in dating, and if they violated them, there could be serious consequences.
Many films choose to depict the results of sexual intercourse by showing severe cases of syphilis and unwanted pregnancies. More innocently though, these types of films showed how one gets a date and what to do on a date, according to the mores of adults. Most dates ended with a friendly handshake which shows that these movies were created by adults for their children to watch and hopefully follow Smith The most popular places to go were those that were cheap yet fun, much like dates of today.
The September issue of Seventeen pointed out that the most popular places were ice cream parlors, pizza parlors, drive-ins, bowling alleys, coffee houses and record shops The most popular and economical activity available for teenagers was watching movies. There they could be immersed in the dark with their date, enjoy a snack, and be entertained for a while.
Perhaps, if the movie was played in a drive-in, you would not even have to watch the movie to be entertained! Many movies were released during this time period that would appeal to teenagers too, like Pillow Talk starring the talented Doris Day and handsome Rock Hudson.
Other places teenagers went for fun were dances, school sporting events, sock hops, malt shops, and amusement parks. Dances, in particular, made up a large part of dating. There were not only school supported dances, such as the sock hop appropriately named because patrons were to take off their shoes so as not to scuff the basketball floorbut there were proms and sorority dances to attend as well.
In more modern times, girls who attend these kinds of functions usually stay with the date that brought them or whoever they invited to come. But it was perfectly normal, even preferred by older generations at least if a young lady was "passed around" the dance floor. If you were not cut in on, you were a social disgrace.
This practice was actually apparent in the times before the 's, but by the early first few years of the decade, it had pretty much disappeared. Inone teenager attending Texas Christian University disclosed that "to cut in is almost an insult" Bailey This is where the modern idea of going to dances emerged from.
They take their girls out and show them a good time, but all of this costs money. Girls were, and some would insist still are, expensive to please especially if one takes them out frequently. The concept of Dutch dating was not acceptable back in the fifties.
Courtship 'Rules' Women And Men Were Forced To Follow In The s
Both boys and girls were embarrassed by the idea. It was suggested that if a young man needed help paying for the date then the girl should give him some money before the date so the boy can still look like he paid for the meal and entertainment.
This method was suggested but rarely ever practiced Bailey Of course, today Dutch dating is quite normal. However, this number may increase depending on the events of the month.
Seven dollars a month pays for roughly two high school basketball games, six cokes, three movies, two bags of popcorn, gasoline for the car, and an unlimited amount of television dates they are free! Most boys of the era agreed that dating itself is not so expensive, but as sixteen-year-old Ed Miller put it, from the same article, the "wallet-emptying experiences are birthdays and all the other special occasions when gift buying is necessary" Special occasions could be any number of things, like dances.
Items like corsages, which boys were always responsible for providing, were costly. Orchids seemed to be all the rage in the fifties; however, these flowers were quite costly. Dinner dates were also costly for young boys. Many boys found that most of their money was spent on food for his girl and himself. Strangely though, it was customary for girls to be fed at home before going out on their dates.
Many boys knew this fact and even benefitted from it. Some report receiving anything from a glass of milk after a date to Sunday chicken at home with her parents Girls also had expenses for their dates.
- Teenage Dating in the 1950s
- How Dating has Changed Since The 1950s
Although their expenses seem minimal now, in reality, according to a poll, girls spend a great deal more on proms and formals than boys did perhaps because of the number of these functions they attended Bailey By this time, kissing, hugging and other mild physical forms of affection were done quite frequently in public -- in the hallways at school, in automobiles, and other local hangouts Merrill These outward expressions were almost accompaniments to most dates because of the increase in privacy the automobile and darken movie theaters lend.
In fact, the ideas of "necking" and "petting" were prolific and understood by everyone who participated in dating. Definitions for these terms differed with every source though. But in general, necking was defined as "caresses above the neck," and petting are "caresses below" that Bailey In some cases, there was a difference between "petting" and "heavy petting" which would be even closer to intercourse McGinnis Kinsey, the researcher behind the infamous sex studies of the 's, defines petting as "any sort of physical contact which does not involve a union of genitalia but in which there is a deliberate attempt to effect arousal" Merrill One boy wrote to some publication in response to a similar subject.
Automobiles provided an excellent forum for sexual experimentation in the fifties. They provided the right amount of privacy for just that kind of "exploration," better known as "parking.
For example, a police chief in New Jersey set up system where cars could park at night in county parks while patrol cars watched over them; however, the system required that the cars keep their lights on and must be parked legally.
The goal of this system, which is similar to many others implemented throughout the nation, is not to control sex itself but to make it difficult for sex to occur. It manipulated times and locations so that sex was nearly impossible to happen Bailey But despite all the pressures to fool around, virginity was still a virtue in the fifties Merrill There was still an emphasis on preserving it as stressed by magazine articles and handbooks for young ladies. And when some girls lose it, it is a major tragedy, as one girl expressed a letter published in the May issue of Seventeen magazine expressed.
She writes in, "After several months of dating, matters got out of hand. Deep down I knew it was wrong, but I didn't have the courage to stop seeing him I believe God will forgive if one truly repents, but I know there will always be the scar" This girl here regrets her actions with a young man, and wishes she had not done what she did. Teenagers in the fifties changed the rules of dating and, consequently, formed the basis of what today's teenagers consider normal dating.
Aspects like the process of dating which included the redefined stage of "going steady" were so well-understood by all teenagers of the 's that information about these topics was quite prolific. Every aspect of each aspect was examined by different perspectives. Adults produced handbooks and films which served to guide their teenagers in acting the way they wanted them to during dates.Teens In The 1940s Vs. Teens Today
Teen magazines seemed to reflect a more contemporary voice -- a voice closer to what actual teenagers felt during the fifties. All these sources show how this teenage generation in the fifties was important not only in altering dating but in all aspects of their lives.
After the second world war, teenagers grew a voice and became more publically visible. They drove cars and had money to spend. They were a new source of power, independent from their parents and ready for a change.
Works Cited Bailey, Beth. From Front Porch to Back Seat. Johns Hopkins University,