Dating rules of the 1950s

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One example of this impression management comes from a 1938 article in where a Smith College senior advised incoming freshmen on how to cultivate an "image of popularity." She wrote, "During your first term, get home talent to ply you with letters, telegrams and invitations.

College men will think, ." She also suggested that you get your mom back home to send you flowers from time to time, again, to give the impression of popularity.

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It was no longer the way a marriageable couple signaled their deepening intentions.

In 1937, sociologist Willard Waller published a study in the .

His study of Penn State undergraduates detailed a "dating and rating" system based on very clear standards of popularity.

Due primarily to this scarcity of men, two things happened in the United States after World War II pertaining to marriage: Marriage rates climbed, and the average age of those marrying went down.

However, the most striking change in postwar courtship and dating was the ever-earlier age at which children and teenagers entered the courtship and dating system.

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