The age-old question of who should pay for dates is still a hot topic of debate, despite the push for gender equality in modern society. A recent dinner conversation between a 27-year-old woman and her date at a cozy bar in Upper Manhattan brought this issue to the forefront. The woman argued that gender equality didn’t mean men and women should pay the same on dates, citing the gender wage gap and additional expenses women face for reproductive care and getting ready for outings. This debate is emblematic of the tension in modern dating, where young people emphasize equity and equality in other aspects of their lives, but seem to be following traditional dating rules when it comes to who foots the bill.
Recent research, popular culture, and conversations with young Americans suggest that the longstanding norm of men paying for dates still holds true. According to a study published in Psychological Reports, young men paid for all or most of the dates around 90 percent of the time, while women paid only about 2 percent of the time. These findings show that the traditional pattern of men paying for women is still deeply entrenched, regardless of individuals’ views on gender norms. Psychologists have also pointed out that this persistent tradition of men paying for women can contribute to benevolent sexism, which may eventually lead to more hostile views towards women.
Opinions on this topic vary, with some defending the norm due to the gender wage gap and societal expectations, while others, particularly those in L.G.B.T.Q. relationships, have a different approach. Despite the push for gender equality, the issue of who pays for dates continues to be a complex and nuanced topic in modern dating.
In a time where gender equality is of utmost importance, many are questioning the validity of these traditions, emphasizing the need for more open and honest conversations about finances and expectations in dating. While some may still adhere to the traditional norms, others are seeking a more equitable approach to dating and relationship dynamics.