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How to be a MAN! - ADDtvChannel

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Published on Apr 10, 2012

Brush up on your dating skills with our how-to on being chivalrous.

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Humans have been compared to other species in terms of sexual behavior. Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, and pair bond arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life.[4] According to Sapolsky, humans are somewhat in the middle along this spectrum, in the sense that humans form pair bonds, but there is the possibility of cheating or changing partners.[4], These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating. The institution describing a male-female bond has generally been known as marriage, although what constitutes a marriage has varied widely over time and by culture. In most societies, and during much of human history, marriages were arranged by parents and older relatives with the goal not being love but "economic stability and political alliances," according to anthropologists.[5] Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before any permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman. Men were the dominant sex in a system of patriarchy.[6] While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, wives were often seen almost as a form of property serving the function of reproduction. Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as Europe; in China, according to sociologist Tang Can, society "demanded people get married before having a sexual relationship"[7] and many societies found that some formally recognized bond between a man and a woman was the best way of rearing and educating children as well as helping to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings regarding competition for mates.

Generally, during much of recorded history of humans in civilization, and into the Middle Ages in Europe, weddings were seen as business arrangements between families, while romance was something that happened outside of marriage discreetly, such as covert meetings.[8] The 12th-century book The Art of Courtly Love advised that "True love can have no place between husband and wife."[8] According to one view, clandestine meetings between men and women, generally outside of marriage or before marriage, were the precursors to today's dating.[8]

In the last century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship. It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage,[11] but as marriage became less permanent with the advent of divorce, dating could happen at other times in peoples lives as well. People became more mobile.[12] Rapidly developing technology played a huge role: new communication technology such as the telephone,[13] Internet[14] and text messaging[15] enabled dates to be arranged without face-to-face contact. Cars extended the range of dating as well as enabled back-seat sexual exploration. In the mid twentieth century, the advent of birth control as well as safer procedures for abortion changed the equation considerably, and there was less pressure to marry as a means for satisfying sexual urges. New types of relationships formed; it was possible for people to live together without marrying and without having to deal with children. Information about human sexuality grew. Alternative arrangements such as homosexuality became more accepted. Today, the institution of dating continues to evolve at a rapid rate with new possibilities and choices opening up.

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