Sociology: Theories of Attraction and Mate Selection
Theories, Issues and Trends in the 21st Century
Monday – Dating History and Socialization Tuesday – Diversity and Theories of Attraction Wednesday – Theories Cont’d and Marriage Thursday – Technology and 21st Century Dating Friday – In-Class Assignment:“21st Century Guide to Dating”
How has dating evolved? Social and Historical Changes The Role of Dating in Socialization Dating Process and Definitions
What social rules exist in the dating world of the 1950s? Unwritten rules or social pressures? How are these rules similar from 60 years ago? How are they different? Do you think these rulesand pressures exist today?
Datingseems natural and normal to us, but many social and historical factors had to occur before dating could go “mainstream”. 1920s– College students and young adults began dating 1940s-50s – Became acceptable for teenagers to date.
o 1800so Rural to Urban transitiono Proximity in urban areaso Technologicaladvancemento Increased Transportationo Increase in social life
o The invention of thetelephoneo Easy, frequentcommunicationo Distance isn’t as great afactoro 1930s-40s most householdswould have a phone!(Possibly a shared line)
WWI and II, Women’s Rights Withmen away at war, women’s roles, jobs and image of themselves completely changed! Women’s education, theright to vote, and new foundindependence.
1960s and 70s Protest and discussionchanged our understandingof intimate relationships. Power and genderroles – dynamics ofdating and the family.
Socialization – process of gaining knowledge, skills and attitudes required to participate actively in a society. School– 1st social contacts outside the family. Includes, friends, acquaintances, and later on intimate relationships. Schooland these social contacts act as an introduction to formal procedures of mate selection.
Free-Choice Mate Selection – two people are attracted to each other, fall in love, and get married! Other influences: Economic reasons, stability/support, companionship, status ... Canadian Beliefs: Long-lasting relationships based on mutual attraction and love, rather than hard-wired biology.
Knowledge about dating and intimacy begins in school but takes time to develop. Kids may have comical, unusual, or even realistic view of dating!
De-emphasizing mate selection.“Hanging out” or “getting together”. Intimate friendshipsand sharing. Common basis of friendshipsand relationships (respect,Common interests ect) Dating for social purposes, or because of social pressures
Entertainment, Recreation and Socializing “Hanging out”, hooking up, getting together Casual Dating or “Dating Around” “Going steady”, more commitment, boyfriend or girlfriend status. Long-term, engagement, or even marriage.
Monogamy – two committed partners get married – a life-long relationship. Serial Monogamy – marriage to several spouses one after another. Comes as a result of divorce and separation. Polygamy – one man or woman married to two or more partners. (a punishable offense in Canada, but common in other countries)
Who – you and two other group members What – creating a “How-To Guide” for dating in the 21st Century Where/When – Friday In-Class (Due Monday 26th) Why – to demonstrate your knowledge of Theories of Attraction and dating issues How – Using “scrapbook”/written, video, or power point form.
Marc Johns’ “United Dates of America” – National Geographic.
“They combed profilesfrom dating websites allacross the US, andpulled the mostcommonly used termsfrom each zip code andmapped them. Whatends up surfacing aresome regionalstereotypes (oil inTexas, retired inFlorida), as well assome amusing terms(Cleopatra? Yodeling?Marshmellow,anyone?).” - Marc Johns
• What informationcan we gather froma study like this?• How is this dataimportant to thestudy of attractionand dating?•What can we learnfrom it?
Free-Choice Mate Selection – two people are attracted to each other, fall in love, and get married! Monogamy – two committed partners get married – a life-long relationship. SerialMonogamy – marriage to several spouses one after another. Comes as a result of divorce and separation.
Evolutionary psychology (Darwinian) What we find attractive is prehistorically determined. The “best” or most advantageous physical traits (fit, strong, fastest, child-bearing) are found to be attractive. Most attractive = most likely to survive, and therefore reproduce for generations.
Exchange of valuable reproductive resources. Individualpreferences regarding an attractive mate (what is needed to survive?) Competition to attain the most attractive (most likely to survive) mate.
Passion – physical attraction, sexual desire Intimacy – intense friendship which develops slowly through sharing, and a willingness to meet other’s needs. Commitment – As the rewards of relationship grow, partner is more likely to maintain the relationship.
Individualsare attracted to those with a similar social background. Attractiveness rating is influenced by similar social positions (age, race, status, religion and political views). Physicalsameness is also a variable in attraction.
Explainshow attraction between different races/ethnicities occurs because of similar social environment.
We marry/select people that we know. Highschool sweethearts, work acquaintances, church community, college, university group. The more often you see someone, the more likely you are to form a relationship – friendship or intimate.
We meet many potential partners over the course of our life – people that we find attractive. Wemarry the person we are dating when “the time is right”. When should we get married according to society? What needs to be in place?
Finished high school, college, university? Financially stable? Established career? Finished travelling or moving around? Place: Are you living in the same geographic area?
Youare attracted to qualities, skills or resources in others that you do not possess. Basis:complementary characteristics. (Introverted-Extroverted, Dominant- Submissive) Notnecessarily motivated by the idea that “opposites attract”, but working well together.
Theorists: Kerkhoff and Davis As time passes, and exclusiveness increases we go through a screening process. Potential partners narrowed. Age, appearance, status, personality, beliefs.
People Who Meet (potential couple) Are they attractive? Couples Attracted to One Another Common Social Background? Similar Backgrounds! Agreeable Values? Similar Attitudes and Values! Compatible?We are Highly Compatible! (In Love) Readiness for Marriage? “The One” :D
Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon. Extreme example of Filter Theory!!
Theorist:Murstein Influenced by Filter Theory and Homogamy Stage 1 – Stimulus Partnership because of physical attraction, social compatibility and personality. If the rewards are greater than costs... Stage 2 –Values Consider sex, religion, marriage, children, lifestyles, and attitudes Greater compatibility or sameness = Rewarding
Stage 3 – Role What role will these agreed values play in your life together? How do we both expect to express them? Is there stability and optimism in this expression? YES! ... Couple may decide to get married.