In the late 1940s, Margaret Mead, in describing this pre-war dating system, argued that dating was not about sex or marriage.
Instead, it was a "competitive game," a way for girls and boys to demonstrate their popularity.
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( Dating should not even begin until you are sixteen.
There is no question that faithful Latter-day Saint young women can have a great impact for good in helping young men to magnify their priesthood and to motivate them to good works and to be their best selves. The casual relationship grows rapidly into intimacies, develops heavy temptations, and stirs passions far beyond the ability of most young people to cope with. Heed the counsels from your bishop, from your priesthood and auxiliary teachers, from your seminary teacher. the date, and even for the steady date that will culminate in the romance which will take young people to the holy temple for eternal marriage. It is wrong to do even the right things at the wrong time in the wrong place under the wrong circumstances.
Nearly 40 percent of our unwed mothers are between fifteen and nineteen years of age. This age is the time for Mary to get acquainted with many boys to learn the good qualities of each, and for Johnny to get acquainted with many girls to see the fine points of each. Steady dating is courtship, and surely the beginning of courtship ought to be delayed until you have emerged from you teens.
Results indicated that going steady among high school sophomores was associated with lower self-esteem.
For girls, the difference in self-esteem between those who were going steady and those who were not was greatest among those who had gone steady in the past.