Strict parents on dating
Between 19, a dramatic demographic shift changed family dynamics across the United States. By 1900, the average American woman was having only half as many children as she would have three generations earlier.
Thanks to increased access to birth control, couples in the professional and managerial classes were stopping after their second or third kid.
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Parents and schools tried to impose guidelines on these activities.
My grandfather, who was a young dater in the 1930s, recalls a schoolteacher admonishing him and his classmates that if they let girls sit in their laps while “joyriding,” they had to be sure “to keep at least a magazine between them.” F. had any idea how casually their daughters were accustomed to be kissed.” A quick glance at the tables of contents of various editions of Emily Post’s books captures how quickly the shift happened.
A study on child welfare commissioned by the White House in the early 1930s found that outside school activities, the average urban teen spent four nights per week engaging in unsupervised recreation with his or her friends.
Their activities included dating—going to watch vaudeville shows or movies, going for ice cream or Coca-Colas (“coking”), going to dances organized by schools or thrown, impromptu, in a classmate’s basement, and simply piling into a car together and cruising around.
Ironically, the more they gave their children, the less influence they exerted over them. As young people started spending less time with their families and more time with one another, they created their own culture.