Dating and marriage in the 1900s

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It was during the '20s that the term "dating" was coined by young singles who were interested in relationships that were defined differently.At the beginning of the 20th century, a shift took place and chaperoned, arranged courting was replaced by independent dating.In the early 1900s, Victorian social structures still emphasized marriage and family.By the '20s, more focus was placed on career and social independence.Still, these relationships often led to exclusive relationships that later resulted in engagement and marriage.As many abandoned the idea that marriage was life's ultimate goal, marriages took place later and divorce rates increased.Dunn concluded that "Not once across all ages and countries ...did females show a preference for males significantly younger than male preferences for females" and that there was a "consistent cross-cultural preference by women for at least same-age or significantly older men".

Differences in age preferences for mates can stem from evolutionary mating strategies and age preferences in sexual partners may vary cross culturally.In various cultures, older men and younger women often seek one another for sexual or marital relationships.A study released in 2003 by the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics concluded that the proportion of women in England and Wales marrying younger men rose from 15% to 26% between 19.As a result, they influenced an increased understanding and acceptance of birth control.In the mid-1920s, the first birth control clinic was opened in the United States, and scientists studying fertility devised the "Rhythm Method" of birth control.

Young adults increasingly chose activities to please their own interests and opted not to actively pursue husbands and wives.

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