This is a response to an opinion article by Marianne Brennan on the Clare Booth Luce website regarding reviving the dating process. Marianne wrote: "Reviving the dating process doesn't mean regressing to the 1950's"...
Marianne, there was nothing wrong with the dating process in the 1950's. I know because I was there. My first point to make is that abstinence was much more prevalent in those days. When we hear that abstinence doesn't work, history shows us otherwise. The pill has changed the dynamic between the sexes in the 1970's. Most of the males in my generation wanted to prepare themselves for caring for a family. It was risky to be sexually involved because shotgun marriages put future plans in jeopardy. In those days, a man had to marry a woman in order to have sexual access. And most women danced to that tune too. Hormones often won the day so there were a number of out-of-wedlock births then but not nearly as many as there are today. We also have to consider the more than 45 million murders of the unborn since 1973 because of increased sexual activity. The number of STD's has grown considerably too as has depression amongst young women in the hook up culture. Sure, there were some abortions then of the back alley type, but nothing close to what The Supreme Court wrought with their wisdomless decision.
The main reason for dating in the 1950's was to choose the right woman to marry, not to sleep with or shack up with. Our attitude was to avoid sexual intercourse and to marry a virgin. There are still some rare males and females today who want to remain virgins until they are married. It was the rule in the 1950's. We had to buy the cow before we got the milk. My generation wanted to marry a woman who would be a good mother to our children, one who stayed home to raise them. Men had to be breadwinners to do that - that's what a real man did. My wife of 43 years stayed home until our kids were raised and went back to teaching when we had two in college.
I courted her when we were both in college. I had a few dates before meeting her and sex was never a part of the dating scene - it wasn't because the urge didn't exist. I always paid for dates and to do otherwise would be an affront to manliness. The metrosexual man today will sometimes expect his wife or live-in girlfriend to work and put their kids in day care - hurting the development of their kids. Many women will lose respect for a man who stays at home and cares for the kids while she works. So what you call regressive actually has a lot more wisdom attached to it than what the Pill has wrought. It is estimated that 39% of college women are on birth control pills today. That's a lot of sexual activity wherein a man doesn't have to court. Do you think this is progressive?
Men and women in this country would do well to emulate the dating scene of the 1950's.