The economics of dating and mating

Added: Chistopher Lopp - Date: 28.01.2022 19:15 - Views: 44920 - Clicks: 9251

Apply the filtering theory of mate selection. Define propinquity. Differentiate between homogamous and heterogamous characteristics. Define exogamy. Apply the Social Exchange Theory to mate selection. Today we search for soul mates. Look around you in the classroom. How many potential mates are sitting there? In other words, how many single females or males are there in the same classroom? These are the types of questions and answers we consider when we study dating and mate selection. Dating as we know it developed in the 20 th century.

It is a practice in which people meet and participate in activities together in order to get to know each other. Prior to dating, courting was common in the United States. Courting, which involved strong rules and customs, evolved into dating due to wide-spread use of the automobile after the Industrial Revolution. Automobiles enabled young people to have more freedom. After the Industrial Revolution, with the change from agriculture and farming to support families to factory work, love rather than necessity became the basis for marital relationships.

Today, dating is more casual than ever, taking on many forms couple, group, online, etc. In the United States there are millions of people between the ages of is considered prime dating and mate selection ages. The U. Statistical Abstracts estimates that 9. Those s should be very similar after the Census data are analyzed which takes several years after collection. Does that mean that you could have 15 million potential mates out there somewhere?

Yes, potential, yet no in realistic terms. You see, it would take more time than any mortal has in his life to ever interact with that many people. When we see people we filter them as either being in or out of our pool of eligibles. Filtering is the process of identifying those we interact with as either being in or out of our pool of people we might consider to be a date or mate. There are many filters we use. One is physical appearance. We might include some because of tattoos and piercing or exclude some for the exact same physical traits.

We might include some because they know someone we know or exclude the same people because they are total strangers. Figure 1 shows the basic date and mate selection principles that play into our filtering processes This inverted pyramid metaphorically represents a filter that a liquid might be poured through to refine it; e. Propinquity is the geographic closeness experienced by potential dates and mates.

Proximity means that you both breathe the same air in the same place at about the same time. Proximity is crucial because the more you see one another or interact directly or indirectly with one another, the more likely you see each other as mates.

Attraction and the evaluation of physical appearance is subjective and is defined differently for each individual. Truly, what one person finds as attractive is not what others find to be attractive. There are a few biological, psychological, and social-emotional aspects of appearance that tend to make an individual more attractive to more people. These include slightly above average desirable traits and symmetry in facial features. Figure 1. Filtering Theory of Mate Selection. According to the Centers for Disease Control 3 the average man in the United States is five feet ten inches tall and weighs about pounds.

The average woman is about five feet four inches tall and weighs about pounds. Did you just compare yourself? Most of us tend to compare ourselves to averages or to others we know. This is important to understand that we subjectively judge ourselves as being more or less attractive; because we often limit our dating pool of eligibles to those we think are in our same category of beauty.

If you are six feet tall as a man or five feet eight inches as a woman, then you are slightly above average in height. For women larger eyes, softer facial features and chin, fuller lips, and an hour-glass figure facilitate more universally desirable traits. Am I excluded from the date and mate selection market?

There is a principle that has been found to be the most powerful predictor of how we make our dating and mating selection choices—homogamy. Homogamy is the tendency for dates, mates, and spouses to pair off with someone of similar attraction, background, interests, and needs. This is typically true for most couples. They find and pair off with persons of similarity more than difference. Birds of a feather flock together, but you also have probably heard that opposites attract. Some couples seem to be a vast set of contradictions, but researchers tend to find patterns that indicate that homogamy in a relationship can be indirectly supportive of a long-term relationship quality because it facilitates less disagreements and disconnections of routines in the daily life of a couple.

We filter homogamously and even to the point that we tend to marry someone like our parents. Our mates resemble our parents more because we resemble our parents and we tend to look for others like ourselves. Heterogamy is the dating or pairing of individuals with differences in traits. All of us pair off with heterogamous and homogamous individuals with emphasis more on the latter than the former.

Over time, after commitments are made, couples often develop more homogamy. One of the most influential psychologists in the s was Abraham Maslow and his famous Pyramid of the Hierarchy of Needs 4. Maslow sheds light on how and why we pick the person we pick when choosing a date or mate by focusing on how they meet our needs as a date, mate, or spouse. Persons from dysfunctional homes where children were not nurtured nor supported through childhood would likely be attracted to someone who provides that unfulfilled nurturing need they still have.

Persons from homes where they were nurtured, supported, and sustained in their individual growth and development would likely be attracted to someone who promises growth and support in intellectual, aesthetic, or self-actualization becoming fully who our individual potential allows us to become areas of life. It may sound selfish at first glance but we really do date and mate on the basis of what we get out of it or how our needs are met.

The Social Exchange Theory and its rational choice formula clarify the selection process even further. We strive to maximize rewards and minimize costs in our choices of a mate. When we interact with potential dates and mates we run a mental balance sheet in our he. This while simultaneously remembering how we rate and evaluate ourselves. Rarely do we seek out the best looking person at the party unless we define ourselves as an even match for him or her. More often we rank and rate ourselves compared to others and as we size up and evaluate potentials we define the overall exchange rationally or in an economic context where we try to maximize our rewards while minimizing our losses.

The overall evaluation of the deal also depends to a great extent on how well we feel matched on racial and ethnic traits, religious background, social economic class, and age similarities. The complexity of the date and mate selection process includes many obvious and some more subtle processes that you can understand for yourself.

If you are single you can apply them to the date and mate selection processes you currently pursue. Bernard Murstein wrote articles in the early s where he tested his Stimulus-Value-Role Theory of marital choice 5. To Murstein the exchange is mutual and dependent upon the subjective attractions and the subjective assets and liabilities each individual brings to the relationship. The stimulus is the trait usually physical that draws your attention to the person. After time is spent together dating or hanging out, values notions of what is desirable or undesirable are compared for compatibility and an evaluation of the maximization of rewards while minimization of costs is calculated.

If after time and relational compatibility supports it, the pair may choose to take roles being a boyfriend, a wife, etc. How do strangers transition from not even knowing one another to eventually cohabiting or marrying together? From the very first encounter, two strangers begin a process that either excludes one another as potential dates or mates or includes them and begins the process of establishing intimacy. Intimacy is the mutual feeling of acceptance, trust, and connection to another person, even with the understanding of personal faults of the individual.

In other words, intimacy is the ability to become close to one another, to accept one another as is, and eventually to feel accepted by the other. Intimacy is not sexual intercourse, although sexual intercourse may be one of many expressions of intimacy. When two strangers meet they have a stimulus that alerts one or both to take notice of the other. She asked her date to introduce her and that began the relationship which would become her decades-long marriage to the Santa Clause laughing guy.

Many people discuss some subtle connection that just felt safe, like a reunion with a long lost friend when they first met one another. In the stimulus stage some motivation at the physical, social, emotional, intellectual or spiritual level sparks interests and the interaction begins. Over time and with increased interaction, two people may make that journey of values comparisons and contrasts which inevitably includes or excludes the other. Even though Figure 2 shows that a smooth line of increasing intimacy can occur, it does not always occur so smoothly or so predictably.

As the couple reaches a place where a bond has developed they establish patterns of commitment and loyalty which initiates the roles listed in Figure 2. The list of roles is listed in increasing order of level of commitment yet does not indicate any kind of predictable stages the couple would be expected to pursue. In other words, some couples may take the relationship only as far as exclusive dating which is the mutual agreement to exclude others from dating either individual in the relationship. Another couple may eventually cohabit or marry.

Dates are temporary adventures where good looks, fun personality, entertainment capacity, and even your social status by being seen in public with him or her are considered important. Dates are short-term and can be singular events or a few events. These couples eventually hold a DTR. Have you ever experienced one of these? Many describe them as awkward. A DTR can be awkward because of what is at stake.

In the TV series The Office, Jim and Pam experience a of DTRs that early on in the relationship ended with either or both of them wanting more closeness and commitment, but neither of them being capable of making it happen. The Office is fiction, but the relationships clearly reflect some of the human experience in an accurate way. Notice that Jim and Pam were from the same part of the country, had very many social and cultural traits in common, and both met in a setting where they could see each other on a regular basis and have the opportunity to go through the Stimulus-Value-Role SVR process.

Homogamy, propinquity, need matching, compatibility, and eventually commitment all applied in their story together. The cultural similarities of a couple cannot be emphasized enough in this discussion.

The economics of dating and mating

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