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19-Oct-2016 03:23

Women eventually won the right to vote in many countries and own property and receive equal treatment by the law, and these changes had profound impacts on the relationships between men and women. In many societies, individuals could decide—on their own—whether they should marry, whom they should marry, and when they should marry.

A few centuries ago, dating was sometimes described as a "courtship ritual where young women entertained gentleman callers, usually in the home, under the watchful eye of a chaperone," but increasingly, in many Western countries, it became a self-initiated activity with two young people going out as a couple in public together.

However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction.

In modern times, emphasis on the institution of marriage, generally described as a male-female bond, has obscured pair bonds formed by same-sex and transsexual couples, and that many heterosexual couples also bond for life without offspring, or that often pairs that do have offspring separate.

Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, and pair bond arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life.

These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating.

In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship.

Information about human sexuality grew, and with it an acceptance of all types of sexual orientations is becoming more common.

These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations.

This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.

Behavior patterns are generally unwritten and constantly changing.

There are considerable differences between social and personal values.

Information about human sexuality grew, and with it an acceptance of all types of sexual orientations is becoming more common.

These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations.

This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.

Behavior patterns are generally unwritten and constantly changing.

There are considerable differences between social and personal values.

The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time.