First, is the American culture and how courtship and marriage is viewed in today’s society. Since America is a blend of many religions and cultures, this analysis of courtship is based on the average American and the collective view of the majority. Currently, Americans feel that “They are in no rush” to marry or settle down with anyone (Skolnick and Skolnick, 2014, p. 109). The present-day age of marriage on average for men and women is 28 and 26 respectively, and prior to this age there is an emphasis on “fun and freedom” (p. 109, 111). Marriage is reserved for when both partners have financial and emotional stability (p. 111). These Americans view marriage as serious commitment, but not one they feel should be a serious concern in the early stages of adult hood.
While the lack of desire for marriage is not a serious concern, it does not mean there is a lack of relationships or desire for love. Research shows that almost all adults, 93-96 percent, desire love and marriage, but there is no rush in the endeavor (Skolnick and Skolnick, 2014, p. 110). Instead, “Most sexual relationships among emerging adults neither begin with marital relations nor end in marriage or cohabitation. They just begin and end” (Skolnick and Skolnick, 2014, p. 109). In other words, men and women are and feel free to love whomever they want ...
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...l “wait” for him for his decision about marriage (p. 192). At this point the couple can now be referred to as novios or “steadies” (p. 192).
Unlike the Amish, “Novios may go out together unchaperoned” (Padilla, 1958, p193). This does not mean that the boy and girl go gallivanting off in the night. There is a level of respect that both the boy and girl are expected to have for each other. This means that while handholding is acceptable, and further physical touching or closeness is condemned (p. 193). As time continues and the couple become more intamte emotionally, a little bit more physicality is accepted. The couple may move from hand holding to kissing, but anything past that is still “frowned upon.” Lastly, Courtship reaches its final stage when the boy and girls “engagement commences when the man makes a specific request to marry the girl” (Padilla, 1958, p193).
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