“American culture tells us that dating is expected, at least for high school students if not middle school students. After all, isn’t that one of the implicit messages of school dances and proms, especially when tickets are sold only to couples?”
—Challenging Casanova, Andrew Smiler PhD.
Andrew Smiler reflects on social expectations in our culture. He makes a subtle but audacious point by saying that we raise our children to be daters and dates. As our society continues enforcing gender roles it’s difficult to understand the lack of acceptance for promiscuity in adolescence. We are what we eat—interpret that as you will—and over the past several decades, we’ve been shifting towards gluttony.
The culture as a whole is more selfish than ever. Men and women are getting married, on average, five to six years later than they were only fifty years ago, in part because they have a stronger desire to live “their own” life before starting families. This gives way to a cultural shift where more people are having, and are okay with having, sex before marriage.
Pop culture’s enthusiasm for boys to grow up “scoring” has intrinsic consequences: young men develop believing it’s normal, even encouraged to fit that bill. Women, though, can experience social exile for being labeled as an easy hit. We give younger generations permission to be sexually passive.