1950s dating rituals
But, according to historian Elaine Tyler May, this idea is largely a myth.
In the 1950's suitable dates entailed a couple sharing a straw at the local soda shop. Helen Sheumaker, professor at Miami University of Ohio, the roles played by men and women in relationships paralleled their economic roles; men were the providers, fronting the bills because they earned a steady income and women were the consumers, consuming beauty enhancing products and men's chivalrous attempts to win over their hearts. Dates consisted of dinner followed by a movie or ice cream.Professor Cronin has three main concerns: college students no longer have the confidence to ask one another out on dates; so they instead resort to group hangouts, which erodes the dating culture; and hookups have supplanted relationships. I'll concede that the number of college kids asking each other out on dates has probably dropped significantly.According to a 2012 Pew Research poll, 63 percent of teens exchange texts with their friends every day while only 35 percent engage in face-to-face socializations with those same people outside of school. Teens’ dancing during the 1950s was widely varied in steps and styling.Most of it was still swing-based, but swing had been diverging into local styles and regional variations each decade for thirty years.According to researchers Robyn Fielder and Michael Carey (2010), "a hook-up is a catch-all term used by adolescents and young adults to describe a sexual interaction between two partners who expect no romantic commitment." Researchers Leanna Fortunato, Amy Young, Carol Boyd, and Courtney Fons (2010) likened hooking-up to casual sex in that both acts consist of partners who are acquaintances or strangers with no initial intention of considering the future.
While casual sex implies sexual intercourse, hooking-up does not necessarily imply sexual intercourse, but rather sexual behaviors.
One incentive for new variations was the rebelliousness of the time — teens didn’t want to dance like their parents who were actively disapproving of their lifestyle, so they invented a wide range of step and style replacements. Rock’n’roll simply called for different styles of dancing, some of which mirrored the strong backbeat of rock. This was called jitterbug, or swing, Lindy, the rock’n’roll, boogie-woogie or Bop.
The word Bop was new then so almost everything was called “the Bop,” but that word usually referred to a family of low swiveling Charleston-like steps danced in place, sometimes without a partner.
Asking a boy or girl out via text is safer: the rejection feels less harsh on the screen than in person.
And yet despite the fact that we like to hide behind our screens, we don't need Cronin's lesson in "doing something courageous," as one of Cronin's student describes it.
The birth control pill arrived on the market in 1960.