• In 1978, author Beth Bailey was a senior in college and appeared on the Phil Donahue show to defend coed dorms.
• The controversy Bailey encountered, she now realizes, was not really about coed dorms but the transformation of dating.
• Many regretted the collapse of dating and romance, but Bailey and her fellow discussants said that love was more than mere mystery and romance and that intimacy could come first.
• From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America concerns America's system of courtship as it existed primarily between 1920 and 1965. The book analyzes the origins of dating and its demise.
• Courtship was initially a private act conducted in a public world. Boys and girls left to meet at restaurants and dining.
• Advice literature made courtship more public, as did social science experts.
• The rules of dating were rooted in the idea of man-as-provider, but as women entered the...
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