Courtship And Dating Rituals Of Senior Citizens
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  • 1. Courtship and Dating Rituals of Senior Citizens Naomi Garneau, Meredith Salewicz, Amanda Stanley and Stephen Sullivan (Group 10)
  • 2. * We can’t show pictures of actual participants so we’ve included pictures of famous seniors to aid your imagination! Abe Vigoda, 88
  • 3. Research Question • What are the courtship dating rituals of senior citizens in Ottawa’s Good Companions community centre and what are their views on the subject? • We formulated our research question out of personal curiosity and intriguing secondary sources • We were seeking prevalence and specific behaviours
  • 4. Betty White, 87
  • 5. Literature Review • The Importance of Dating Relationships on Quality of Life for Older Persons – This article concluded that older persons place greater emphasis on the compassionate as opposed to passionate aspect of dating relationships. This was relevant to our study in that it directly addressed the behaviour portion of our research question, provided a comparison for our results, and gave us a clearer idea of what sort of questions we should ask. • Widowhood and Mortality Among the Elderly – This article discusses the fact that widowhood is very prominent among the elderly. We found this to be quite true during our interview stage; having approximately half of the interviewees being a widow or widower. • Few Prizes for Women in Senior Dating Game – This article states that odler men are twice as likely to be marred as older woman and that women have much higher expectations when it comes to datiing. This article confirmed that seniors do look for • You Should Get Yourself a Boyfriend ‘But’ Let’s Not Get Serious – This article was an ethnographic study of communication practices in a retirement community. It is relevant to our study beacuse we observed both verbal and non- verbal communication between adults who chose to particpate in activities geared toward seniors, much like Wood did. This offered the potentional for a comparison of results.
  • 6. Bob Barker, 86
  • 7. Research Design: Observations • A combination of observation and personal qualitative semi-structured interviews. • Situations: Seniors dance in the evening on a weekday and lunch time in the community centre for seniors Dance: We chose this event because dancing is something that is often associated with courtship. It was a display of their sense of community and it wasn’t particularly romantic. Confirms the fact that courtship is more a social than romantic activity. Lunch: We chose this area because it had a lot of seniors interacting in a casual space. We observed the social clumping pattern of senior citizens. The act of observation itself granted us access to the site and the people for future interviews.
  • 8. Cloris Leachman, 83
  • 9. Research Design: Interviews • 3 interviews per person • 7 women : 5 men • We used the same base set of questions as they applied for each person (i.e. Married, Widowed, Single). •Steve: WWII Survivor •Meredith: Man Hater •Naomi: Disillusioned Lesbian •Amanda: Senior Playboy
  • 10. Sean Connery, 79
  • 11. Results Participant Age Sex Marital Status 1 B F W, S 2 B M W, S 3 C F W, S 4 A F DV, S 5 C M DV, DA 6 A M W, DV, DA 7 B M M 8 A F M 9 A F DV, S 10 A M DV, S 11 C F W, S 12 D F W, S Age: Marital Status: 60-70 years of age (A) Sex: Single (S) 71-80 years of age (B) Female (F) Widowed (W) 81-90 years of age (C) Male (M) Divorced (DV) 91-100 years of age (D) Dating (DA) Married (M)
  • 12. Julie Andrews, 74
  • 13. Results • Primary result: courtship among seniors is not generally for romantic satisfaction. • Results from our primary research are the same as our secondary research • Every single senior we interviewed strongly approved of dating in their age group even if they themselves chose not to date • A large number were widowed • There weren’t as many seniors
  • 14. Clint Eastwood, 78
  • 15. Limitations • Low external validity because we interviewed Good Companions members only • Self-identification of senior citizenship • Didn’t look at seniors who don’t socialize • Widowhood was sensitive issues that we didn't get in-depth information on • Observations were difficult because it was obvious we didn’t belong • Project on dating but no specific dates actually observed.
  • 16. Adam West, 81
  • 17. Conclusion • In conclusion seniors date for companionship over romantic fulfilment • They date for the platonic socializing aspect rather than the sexual or romantic aspect • Our group made the comparison that seniors dating were like teens dating: little commitment, heavy social aspect
  • 18. William Shatner, 78
  • 19. Bibliography Bulcroft, K., & O'Connor, M. (1986). The Importance of Dating Relationships on Quality of Life for Older Persons. Family Relations, 35(3), 397-401. Kaiser, Frank. “Few Prizes for Woman in Senior Dating Game”. St. Petersburg Times 30 May 2006, (accessed February 3, 2009). S.V. Subramanian, Felix, Elwert, Nicholas, Christakis “'Widowhood and Mortality Among the Elderly'. The Modify Role of Neighborhood Concentration of Widowed Individuals”. (accessed January 20, 2009). Wood, M. (2003). You Should Get Yourself a Boyfriend 'But' Let's Not Get Serious. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 4, 31-37.