Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Going Steady

I saw this yesterday: Crash and burn: the intense and fleeting romances of the Covid era.

This, in particular, caught my eye: 
Dr Lisa Wade, associate professor of gender and sexuality studies and sociology at Tulane University and author of American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, draws a parallel between the fast-and-furious Covid romances and the dating scene in the aftermath of the second world war. Because many soldiers had died overseas, married foreign wives, or experimented with men during the war, a national panic ensued – how would young women find husbands?

“It was under these conditions that young people invented ‘going steady’,” Wade says. “Prior to this, premarital monogamy was unheard of.”

This blew my mind. 

I assumed that "going steady" had been around forever as the cultural norm for most people. Not existing until the aftermath of WWII? It doesn't even seem possible. I mean, I don't care what people do sexually--not my business--but it upended my notion that dating monogamy had been around for a long time. 

Then, the rabbit hole. 

Like this article: The evolution of monogamy in response to partner scarcity. Serious monogamy nerd alert.

I talked to Mom 91.6 and asked her if she remembered anything about this, but by the time she was dating, going steady had already become a thing. She did say she remembered how many war brides there were after WWII, and how some people in America viewed them with suspicion because they believed they'd only gotten married to gain their citizenship.

I personally found it very difficult to go out with more than one person at a time, and never went out with more than two (and only did that once or twice). The logistics always seemed far too daunting for me to manage. 

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