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Further, the on-campus interviews, because they go into much more depth, can reveal what lies behind some of the responses to structured questions and, therefore, can provide insights not revealed by the national survey results.

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Among the scholars who have argued for the importance of socially defined mating processes is Leon Kass, who has chronicled and lamented the demise of courtship.[1] Although few are likely to challenge Kass' contention that there has been a decline in the "wooing" of young women by young men, all while under the supervision of parents and other older adults, more debatable is Kass' argument that courtship has not been replaced by any effective institutionalized mating norms, or at least not by ones guided by older adults. More broadly, are young women today left to find the pathway to marriage completely on their own, or are there any social processes at work that help (or harm) them if they wish to achieve a happy marriage?

This study seeks to examine the dating and courtship attitudes and values of contemporary college women, focusing on unmarried, heterosexual women enrolled as undergraduates in four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

Each generation of young people comes up with its own, seemingly impenetrable vocabulary to describe their experiences, and outside observers are eager to learn the meaning behind these terms.

This report should satisfy those within and outside of the academy who want to know something about what college women today are doing, thinking, and feeling regarding sexuality, dating, courtship, and marriage.

Right" describes the attitudes and values of today's college women regarding sexuality, dating, courtship, and marriage.

Marriage is a major life goal for the majority of today's college women, and most would like to meet a spouse while at college; however, there are important aspects of the college social scene that appear to undermine the likelihood of achieving the goal of a successful future marriage.

An 18-month study of the attitudes and values of today's college women regarding sexuality, dating, courtship, and marriage – involving in-depth interviews with a diverse group of 62 college women on 11 campuses, supplemented by 20-minute telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 college women – yields the following major findings.

All of us are fascinated by how young people meet and mate, and as a society we are particularly interested in how college students – the next generation of social leaders – make these decisions.

Although recent changes in mating practices on American college campuses have not been well documented, it is clear that there have been many changes in the context in which these practices occur.

For instance, since the middle of the 20th century, the relative numbers of men and women enrolled in institutions of higher learning have changed dramatically (see Figure 1, available only in the pdf version of this report).

At the same time, there is a growing discussion in the U. about marriage and its benefits for children and society.