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INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS (Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection). Unit 3 – Chapter 7 ( Continued). Courtship. In societies that permit free-choice mate selection, courtship allows individuals to win the affection of those to whom they are attracted

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intimate relationships theories of attraction mate selection

INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS(Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection)

Unit 3 – Chapter 7


  • In societies that permit free-choice mate selection, courtship allows individuals to win the affection of those to whom they are attracted
  • In courtship rituals in all societies, men display their resources to show they have the potential to be good providers and women display the qualities that make them sexually desirable and nurturing
  • In Canada, courtship is a term from the past that no longer applies to relationships in the 21st century
  • Courtship rituals in North America have evolved over the last two centuries and have varied according to social class
  • In early Canada, young, middle-class women might invite men to call on them when they were “at home”
  • A young man would leave his calling card if the young woman was not seeing visitors, in the hope that he would be invited back
  • Families would make discreet inquiries about the social and economic suitability of the callers
  • A young woman, with her mother as chaperone, might receive several visitors who would understand that they were expected to compete for her affection
  • Later, as a sign that she had made her choice, the young woman might be left alone with one man
  • The young couple would be tucked into bed with a “bundling board” between them so that they could have private conversations without sexual contact
  • However, it was reported that during the 1700s, about one third of brides were pregnant on their wedding day
20 th century courtship
20th Century Courtship
  • In Canada, during the 20th century, courtship evolved into the informal social invention of dating
  • Early in the century, young people met at church or community events and went out together to socials in groups
  • By the 1920s, men began to take the initiative by asking women out and by organizing and paying for the activity
20 th century courtship1
20th Century Courtship
  • Since women could accept or reject the invitations, the choice of activity and the amount of money spent indicated to them the social and economic resources the men had to offer
  • In the 1930s, “going steady” meant a couple had an exclusive relationship but were not necessarily discussing marriage
20 th century courtship2
20th Century Courtship
  • As a result of the consumer society and the growing affluence of young people in the 1950s and 1960s, couples were able to spend money on entertaining recreational activities and dating became an opportunity to spend time together for pleasure and romance
  • Teenagers began dating earlier and it became a common recreation during later adolescences
20 th century courtship3
20th Century Courtship
  • By the 1950s the Western ideal was that dating would lead to falling love and becoming a couple
  • There was less awareness that it was a process of choosing a suitable marriage partner
21 st century courtship
21st Century Courtship
  • Many young couples no longer date in the formalized way of their parents’ generation
  • The use of expressions such as “hooking up” or “seeing someone” to describe a relationship suggests a more casual approach to forming a couple relationship
  • Some couples consider cohabitation to be part of the mate-selection process, while others feel that cohabitation is an alternative to marriage
21 st century courtship1
21st Century Courtship
  • There appears to have been a shift from competing to win someone’s affection to being selective about what the other has to offer for the type of relationship desired
  • Many individuals who are ready to marry find that their field of eligible partners that have not already been rejected may be quite limited
21 st century courtship2
21st Century Courtship
  • It is becoming more common for individuals to initiate some kind of arrangement and enlist the help of others to find potential partners for them

Ex. Matchmakers & online dating

speed dating
Speed Dating
  • Write down 10 questions you would ask someone on the first date.
  • You will have about 5 minutes for each “date”
  • When the lights dim, rate how compatible you think you are with your date.

1=not compatible, 10=very compatible

  • Move onto your next “date”
mate selection marital success
Mate Selection & Marital Success
  • The preference for free-choice marriage in North America suggests that dating experience leads to greater marital success
  • Bernard Murstein’s Market Experience Perspective suggested that dating was effective because it enabled individuals to learn to relate to another person and to judge character so that they would be able to determine personal qualities they desired in a marriage partner
mate selection marital success1
Mate Selection & Marital Success
  • Bernard Murstein explained the relationships among dating, social homogamy and social exchange as a multistep process
  • He used the analogy of sifting to suggest that individuals pass their dates through a series of “filters” to screen out unacceptable marriage partners and to select those who are similar to themselves
mate selection marital success2
Mate Selection & Marital Success
  • As the relationship becomes more serious and the individuals get to know each other, the filters become finer until only one person passes through it for readiness to marry
mate selection marital success3
Mate Selection & Marital Success
  • Martin King Whyte tested the hypothesis that dating experiences lead to successful marriages by conducting extensive interviews about dating with couples in Detroit
  • The results of his study found no correlation between dating experience, length of dating, engagement, degree of premarital sexual activity and marital success
mate selection marital success4
Mate Selection & Marital Success
  • Whyte argues against Murstein’s Market Experience Perspective by explaining that mate selection is not like buying a car, since you cannot “test drive” various partners at the same time
  • If you decide on one you tried before, they might have moved on to someone else and not be available
mate selection marital success5
Mate Selection & Marital Success
  • In free-choice mate selection as it is practiced through dating, you have to decide “yes” or “no” to one person at a time
  • The fact that marriages are slightly less successful with more dating experience could also suggest that it increases an individual’s expectations and makes it more difficult for the person to make a choice or to feel satisfied in a relationship
mate selection marital success6
Mate Selection & Marital Success
  • Dating is not an indicator of marital success, but love is
  • The 2nd conclusion of Whyte’s Detroit study is that being in love when you marry is the best indicator of marital success
stages of marriage
Stages of Marriage
  • Although early marriages usually live up to people’s expectations at first, many couples become disappointed because marriage gets more difficult during the first 5 years
  • There are 3 predictable stages of a marriage
stages of marriage1
Stages of Marriage
  • Relationships are romantic, warm and respectful, focusing on exploration, sexual attraction and the idealization of the partner. Individuals build self-esteem as they try to develop the relationship that suits their life structure.
  • Conflict arises as individuals become more demanding to meet their own needs. This results in instability in the relationship and requires both partners to change their behaviours. Individuals feel let down because the relationship is less rewarding.
stages of marriage2
Stages of Marriage
  • The key to surviving Stage 2 is to recognize that being honest about one’s own needs develops intimacy within the relationship and enables the partners to develop reciprocal roles to meet the needs of each other and of the relationship
  • Discussing with one’s partner how to solve problems reflects mutual interdependence and a commitment to the relationship
stages of marriage3
Stages of Marriage
  • Couples compromise and negotiate a relationship that meets their needs as well as possible. The relationship becomes more realistic, mature and stable.
  • Relationships were much improved if they were able to achieve Stage 3
stages of marriage4
Stages of Marriage
  • At each stage, individuals are transformed as they respond to their partner and adjust to the more flexible roles they play in the maturing relationship
  • Commitment to the relationship, essential for adjusting the relationship, is less evident in cohabitation
arranged marriages
Arranged Marriages
  • In the past and in many societies today, the selection of a mate or life partner, was considered too important to be left to young and inexperienced individuals
  • In collectivist societies, marriage is seen as an alliance between families because the children of that union are the grand children of both families
arranged marriages1
Arranged Marriages
  • When families place a higher value on family and culture than on individual need in collectivist societies, and expect close family interaction, the choice of a spouse who will fit into the family is important
  • Some societies that believe divorce is harmful to children, parents and the extended family prefer arranged marriages, since they remove the complications of romantic love, sexual attraction and recreational dating from mate selection
arranged marriages2
Arranged Marriages
  • Some religions teach that parents have a sacred duty to ensure that their sons and daughters have a good marriage
  • Since most parents wish their sons and daughters to have happy and lasting marriages and to pass on their cultural heritage to their children,

social homogamy is the basis of

mate selection in arranged marriages

arranged marriages3
Arranged Marriages
  • In cultures where arranged marriage is the custom, parents are expected to ensure that their sons and daughters approve of the partner who has been selected for them
  • Arranged marriage should not be confused with forced marriage, where young men and women – or children – are forced into marriage against their will, it is customary now for the individuals to have an opportunity to get to know each other before the marriage takes place
arranged marriages4
Arranged Marriages
  • Perhaps arranged marriages are more durable because the parents made wiser choices of partners
  • On the other hand, individuals might make a stronger commitment to marriage when it is a formal arrangement between families and in the community
arranged marriages5
Arranged Marriages
  • Although it is not clear why the divorce rate is lower in arranged marriages, couples who have similar backgrounds are more likely to manage their shared resources efficiently and with less conflict, and to raise children more easily according to their cultural expectations
  • The expectation that love will develop after marriage seems to be the reality for couples in arranged marriages
  • Intermarriage or heterogamy means marriage between partners who are from different social, racial, religious, ethnic or cultural backgrounds
  • Opposite of homogamy
  • Intermarriage is more common in Canada’s urban communities
  • There are no restrictions on intermarriage in Canada
intermarriage heterogamy
  • The more successful a society becomes at raising children to be “colour blind” and in an environment where diversity and multiculturalism are the norm, the more likely it is that young people will meet, be attracted to and fall in love with someone from a different background
  • The differences, if there are any, between individuals of different races, religions, or ethnic backgrounds exist in their personal family lives
interracial couples
Interracial Couples
  • Interracial marriages are the most visible form of intermarriage
  • Canadian couples in interracial unions are more likely to be cohabiting rather than married
  • Interracial couples adjust to marriage as well as any couple does
  • The major challenge of interracial marriage is raising a biracial child, because it requires that the couple must first reflect on the role that race plays in determining their own identities
interfaith couples
Interfaith Couples
  • Faith, unlike race, is a chosen attribute, as it is possible to convert to another faith
  • Partners in interfaith relationships may have a similar economic and educational background, but their family and cultural experiences might have been quite different
interfaith couples1
Interfaith Couples
  • Couples who respect each other and are willing to compromise can find ways to share their lives
  • However, individuals from different faith backgrounds have to choose whether to compromise some of their beliefs and customs or to accept their spouse’s beliefs and customs as well as their own
interfaith couples2
Interfaith Couples
  • The couple must also decide what faith identity to provide for their children
  • Interfaith marriages are more likely to succeed if at least one partner does not practice their religion or is willing to convert
interethnic couples
Interethnic Couples
  • Marriage between individuals of different ethnic backgrounds is perhaps the most complex form of heterogamy
  • Ethnicity can be a complex mixture of national and racial heritage, religion and culture
  • In Canada, where many people are “hyphenated Canadians” or have 2 cultures, self-identification as a member of an ethnic group suggests that an individual adheres to the specific value system, family structure and role expectations that are associated with that ethnic group
interethnic couples1
Interethnic Couples
  • The major variations among ethnic groups involve gender roles within marriage and in the workplace, the independence and responsibilities of children and the relationship between the conjugal and extended family
  • Each of these affects how a couple will negotiate their relationship at each stage

Divide up into 5 groups.

  • Choose an article.
  • Read the article with your group.
  • In your groups come up with a question that will generate discussion.
  • Be prepared to share your article with the rest of the class.
unit 3 test material covered
Unit 3 Test – Material Covered
  • Chapter 6 Board Notes
  • The Origins of Marriage photocopied package
  • Marriages, Intimate Relationships & Society (Unit 3 – Chapter 6) Power Point
  • Intimate Relationships (Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection) Unit 3 - Chapter 7 Power Point
  • Intimate Relationships (Theories of Attraction & Mate Selection) Unit 3 - Chapter 7 (Continued) Power Point
unit 3 test format
Unit 3 Test – Format

Section A:

10 Multiple Choice

Section B:

5 Short Answer Questions