This thesis explores college student dating behavior correlating that behavior with variables such as gender, length of dating relationship, sex role orientation, and similar backgrounds and interests (socioeconomic status, major, Greek involvement) suggesting that each of these variables are predictive of how a student behaves within a relationship and with whom they will date. Theories of gender and social class are used to interpret how these variables affect dating behavior. The variables were studied by developing a questionnaire that was administered to 93 students at The College of Wooster. The fmdings suggest several things. Gender differences exist in dating behavior with women more likely to disclose their feelings to their partners than men and more likely than men to have an androgynous sex role orientation. Significant gender differences do not exist on measures of romanticism. Androgynous individuals are not more likely to disclose their feelings than masculine and feminine persons. Of the variables within similar interests and backgrounds, only Greek involvement is determined to play a role in dating behavior. Length of relationship is not found to have any significance in dating behaviors. Daters and non-daters are also compared woth no significant differences found in the behaviors of each group. Future research is suggested, focusing on a more in depth test of the theories used, particularly theories of gender. A larger sample is suggested in order to categorize couples by length of relationship to better test the effects of relationship stage on the dating behaviors.


Blair, Robert


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1994 Jessica S. Amburgey