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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.

As Ken Myers says in , from the late 1930s on, young people knew, down to the percentage point, what their peers throughout the country thought and did.

One of the most obvious changes was that it multiplied the number of partners (from serious to casual) an individual was likely to have before marriage.

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.

The questionnaires request information about the applicants’ age, height, occupation, marital status, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity.

In addition, applicants provide open-ended answers about their dating history, interests, hobbies, activities, and partner preferences.

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.

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