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No longer was quantity emphasized, but rather the stress fell on finding a loyal partner.
This change was partially catalyzed by the scarcity of young males in the United States, as nearly all able-bodied men between 18 and 26 were engaged in the war effort across seas.
Women especially were impeded by the law, which still did not acknowledge them as capable of claiming possession of property or monetary assets.
This courtship style was originally associated with less affluent youth without access to the resources or attractive homes needed to entertain.
Due to this connection with the lower class, the practice was initially mistrusted by parents, but dating quickly replaced calling as the favored model of romance.
In the years preceding World War II, a popularity-based system that sociologists refer to as the “dating and rating complex” developed.
Additionally, the many legal and social barriers surrounding divorce increased the pressure to ensure that a match was suitable.
This tradition of parental oversight was legitimized by the law, which held that guardians were permitted and expected to organize the transition of their child into a legal marriage.
Women became less concerned with a man's status and more interested in his likelihood of survival.
Marriage also experienced a revival and was subsequently reabsorbed into youth culture: Marriage rates rose and average ages of married couples declined.
The courting script was usually contained to “calling,” in which the man was invited into the woman’s parlor for conversations over tea and involved a large degree of supervision.
Reputation was also an essential form of social currency that required intimate guarding.
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Men in the relationship would make their arrangement visible to outsiders by gifting his date a letterman jacket or a class ring, and the girl expected to be called and taken out on dates a certain number of times each week.