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There is too much that could be said here, so I’ll be brief.Simply put, with the onset of the widespread use of chemical and other means of birth control, the language of procreation — of having children — was separated from the language of marriage. of Chicago ethicist Leon Kass argues in his chapter on courtship in , under the old system of courtship, marriage and bringing a child into the world were inextricably linked. With the ever decreasing risk of pregnancy, having sex and being married were no longer tied together.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.Most of us seek a partner, for life or at least for a while. After all, we meet hundreds, even thousands, of people in the course of our daily lives.What makes two people pick one another from among the myriad available candidates?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.
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.It’s as if those who wrote and commented on male-female relationship had stopped reading the Song of Solomon and Jane Austen in favor of Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes.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.So these are four important cultural forces in the early part of the 20th century that assisted in moving our culture from the older courtship system that existed prior to the late 19th century, to a courtship system that includes “dating,” which, I will argue in the next article, is much more ambiguous and confusing. Skip has been married to his wife, Stacey, since 1986.I will also talk about dating itself (including the origination of the word Skip Burzumato is the rector of St. They have four children: Bradley, Gracie, Nicholas and Elizabeth; and one dog, Mazer.