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As the years rolled on into the 1920s, however, this system quickly became outdated and unfavorable. Bailey writes in her book , "Dating had almost completely replaced the old system of calling by the mid-1920s — and, in so doing, had transformed American courtship." This was a period of time when couples started going out on dates, which also meant they started paying for dates.This changed the relationship dynamic between a young man and a young woman, as now it was the man's duty to pay for the date, whereas before it was the woman who decided the terms of the visit.
As author Jodi O'Brien put it, "Sex was desexualized" and reserved for marriage, when the couple had entered into a spiritual union with God.
As dating gradually became more about personal pleasure throughout the decades, the expression of sexuality became much more commonplace.
According to the , "The terms 'necking' and 'petting' — the former referring to kisses and caresses above the neck, the latter to the same below it — entered public discussion, giving names to previously unspoken private activities." Now when we think of the '50s, we tend to think of a period of purity and the Stepford Wife ideal, but in actuality, it was a time of sexual change that ended up resulting in a dramatic increase in population.
In the 1950s, "going steady" was the term for being in an exclusive relationship.
This status was about the relationship, sure, but it was also about standing out amongst your peers.