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Their presence and existence became readily more apparent because they were granted more freedom than previous generations ever were. They were given a chance to redefine the ways things were done in America.

One of the conventions they put a new spin on, and consequently revolutionize, is the idea and practice of dating.

Bailey observes that by the 1930s and '40s, with the advent of the "date" (which we will look at more fully in the next installment) courtship increasingly took place in public spaces such as movie theaters and dance halls, removed by distance and by anonymity from the sheltering and controlling contexts of the home and local community.

Keeping company in the family parlor was replaced by dining and dancing, movies, and "parking." A second cultural force that influenced the older courtship system was the rise of "public advice" literature as well as the rise of an "expert" class of advisers — psychologists, sociologists, statisticians, etc.

One of the most obvious changes was that it multiplied the number of partners (from serious to casual) an individual was likely to have before marriage.

So one important point to understand right up front (and about which many inside and outside the church are confused) is that we have not moved a dating system into our courtship system.

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Teenagers in the 1950's are so iconic that, for some, they represent the last generation of innocence before it is "lost" in the sixties.

The new courtship system gave importance to This new language of courtship had great symbolic importance and continues to shape the way we think, speak and act concerning relationships to this day.They knew what was "normal." Prior to the 20th century, "normal" was determined within families and local communities, but now a "higher authority," with wide-spread circulation and readership, began to form a national consciousness. With the onset of the sexual revolution the question arose, "Why would a man court and woo a woman when he could gain a chief benefit of marriage, namely sexual gratification, for free with no commitment?" (Friendship "with benefits" is a contemporary example.) Closely related to this is the invention of birth control.The man and the woman usually were members of the same community, and the courting usually was done in the woman's home in the presence (and under the watchful eye) of her family, most often Mom and brothers.However, between the late 1800s and the first few decades of the 1900s the new system of "dating" added new stages to courtship.

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