Dating in the 1950s

24-Jul-2017 03:26

Oh, by the way: Teen pregnancy rates skyrocketed in the '50s, with 1958 being the highest ever recorded birthrate within 15-19 year-olds in American History. Much like dating, it was not until after WWII that the concept of "going steady" the way we understand it really entered American popular culture.

Personally, I find this fact hilarious, especially due to the complete 180 done by society on casual dating. Pre-war, "going steady" was a label reserved for very serious relationships where the couple would be getting married soon, and it wasn't until the 1950s that the term stated being applied more liberally to include mutually exclusive dating.

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Unlike the personal dinner and movie dates of today, it was very common for groups of couples to go out together at this time.

Group dates were actually encouraged as first dates for many suitors, as it relieved the tension and awkwardness of the first few "romantic" times together for a couple.

Teenage sex was considered a national crisis, and it was combated in the classroom with terrible videos, in the church with the perfect amount of Catholic guilt and on the streets in the form of patrol cars.

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Many old-timers would say things were as good as they got in the 'good old days.' I think there were upsides and downsides: Upsides to 1950s: * People were less busy, and there was more chance for spontaneous socialization, and meeting of prospective partners.

Let that sink for a moment as you read this from your university library: this is how far society has progressed. The 1950s marked the rise of the "modern teenager": boys and girls with money to spend, their own culture and most importantly, their own cars.

Thanks to little factors like the Korean War, societal expectations for gender roles and the ability for one working parent households to maintain a middle-class position through factory jobs which required no college education, people were getting married and starting families pretty damn early. The '50s had cheap cars in plenty of new and exciting styles.

Basically, parents thought that teenage sex could be prevented by making it really difficult. I think those videos are still used for modern sex ed though.

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An idealic, postwar time of America where if you were white and middle class, your life was pretty great.