Dating Mores Evolve

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Sex as a Part of the American Culture.

This week my friend Brett and I are talking about the evolution of dating practices in the United States. We look at theories of evolution such as the Darwinian theory, and the theory of Socio-biology to see what they have to say about breeding strategies. One of the challenges presented here is that these theories maintain that men and women are different because of genetic imperatives for each sex that are different. According to these theories men are genetically programmed to be more promiscuous and women are programmed to nest and spend their energies raising their children. As a result there is a conflict of interest and societies have to find a way to maintain stability for multi-generational success. These are real challenges to the social foundation and the development of the culture around getting married, having sex, and having children.

In our conversation we look at the development of the love marriage concept in our culture which came about as a consequence of the changes of the industrial revolution so that most people obtained and maintained their wealth through salaries rather than through agricultural production. These changes allowed us to develop mores around dating which evolved from ideas like bundling on the American frontier of the seventeen hundreds, to Match.com today.

We further look at the dating and sexual behavior changes that have developed because of changes in birth control and from simply living longer. These changes lead us to a discussion of raising teen’s who are sexually capable of having children, but not socially mature enough to care for themselves, let alone having and raising their own babies. That requires a discussion of transmitting values and monitoring media exposure and being aware that there are both opportunities and risks out there for our children that no other generation ever had to deal with.

You will find this conversation interesting and challenging no matter where you are in terms of dating yourself or of being the parent of a teen who has to decide how to behave as they mature into adults.