Chivalry isn’t completely dead. But Benjamin Ritter suggests the convention of men footing the bill for dates might be on its last legs.
The previous article The Real Cost of Dating: Part 1, suggested that the traditional expectation that men should pay for dates is in dire need of change. Due to this cultural standard I estimated that men who date regularly (twice-weekly) are footing the bill for approximately $12,500 a year. Which begs the question, what does recent research show about the current mindset surrounding the topic, and is it warranted?
Researchers at Chapman University conducted the study, Who Pays for Dates? and found that conventional chivalric norms play a large role in today’s dating environment, with little signs of changing; most men (84 percent) and women (58 percent) reported that men pay for most expenses even after dating for a while (six months), over half (57 percent) of women claim they offer to help pay, but many women (39 percent) admitted they hope men would reject their offers, and even more women (44 percent) were bothered when men expected women to help pay and the majority of men (76 percent) feel guilty when they don’t pick up the tab (D. Fowler, 2013).
The act of a man providing for women is a tradition that tends to be explained away through two reasons; men make more money than women, and men are supposed to take the lead and provide for women (traditional chivalric practice basically due to the fact that men earned more than women.)
Today, after 50 years of feminism, women earn 93 cents for every dollar men earn at the start of their career, many women (38 percent) are the breadwinners in heterosexual American marriages, and the majority of heterosexual marriages (80 percent) are operating under a shared responsibility for shouldering the financial burden.
It seems that women are closing in on the wage gap, and the traditional reasons that support men bearing the financial burden for dating have all but dissipated. Not only does the conservative cost of approximately $12,500 a year towards dating make an unfair case, there are other consequences we need to consider.
Maybe the cost of dating doesn’t bother certain men or women, or maybe this will continue to be accepted as a “normal” part of gender roles, but Researchers at Chapman University have found that half of men said they would stop dating a woman who didn’t offer to pay for the date, and that paying for dates is tied to sexual expectations and other negative feelings such as resentment.
The traditional expectation that men pay for dates does not come without negative repercussions, and is probably doing more harm than good. Should this outdated practice continue with the decreasing wage gap and movement towards gender equality?
If it’s worth $12,500.00 a year for a man to meet and date the right partner what is it worth to a woman?
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