ORANGE, Calif. (CBS Las Vegas) – Researchers at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. have found that, despite the ever-evolving nature of gender relations in the United States, men are still by and large expected to pay for first dates with a woman.

According to a post to the University’s press room blog, the study involved 17,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 65. And of those participants, and overwhelming majority felt that men should foot the bill for dates at the beginning of relationships with women.

“The motivation for the study was to understand why some gendered practices are more resistant to change than others; for example, the acceptance of women in the workplace versus holding onto traditional notions of chivalry,” study co-author David Frederick was quoted as saying.

He, along with Janet Lever of California State University, Los Angeles, and Rosanna Hertz of Wellesley College, found that 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women reported that the male in the relationship paid for most activities and expenses, even after dating for a significant amount of time.

Researchers also found that, while 57 percent of women said they offer to help pay, 39 percent of them do not actually want to do so, and hope their partner will reject the offer. Additionally, 44 percent of women expressed frustration with men who expect them to help pay the bill.

“Whereas young men and women in their [twenties] were the most likely to endorse egalitarian practices, this is a mass culture phenomenon — the same basic patterns were seen regardless of daters’ ages, income, or education,” the press release noted. “Although there is evidence of resistance to change, the data suggest that the deep-rooted courtship ritual around who pays is also changing along with the transformation of the material and social power of women and men.”

Frederick is expected to present the research – organized into a paper entitled “Who Pays for Dates? Following versus Challenging Conventional Gender Norms” – at an annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.


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