Dating Expectations and Realities: College Edition

by cmisk1 on April 14, 2014 - 11:16pm

Body: Being a college student myself, I was curious to explore what research has been done about this social topic. The Journal article, "The Dating Game: Similarities and Differences in Dating Scripts Among College Students" was just what I was looking for. The purpose of this research was to compare female and male college students’ views/expectations when it comes to the meeting of each other, date activities, and the final outcome of the date(s). I found this study interesting because it wasn't really about the science behind dating or the percentages of college students that date, rather about the college students’ reactions and expectations to this new dating scene. According to their findings, men hold greater expectations for sexual activities on a date, while women hold very little expectations for any sexual activity while on a date. Women often limit sexual intercourse one the first few date, whereas men encourage it. Then the researchers went further with this claim to say that there is a correlation between sexual experience/activity in college students and their involvement to Greek life on campus. Greek membership exposes you to more people and more parties, which lead to friendships and dates. They also noted how most Greek men (fraternities) have a tendency to date younger college girls.

Clearly, a dating misconception in college is the sexual activity expectation differences between men and women. If men are expecting something sexual to take place and women are not, this creates confusion. This misconception sheds a light on the "hook up" scene in college; most men see their college years as a time to explore, have fun, and experience sexual activity with multiple females. Although many females enjoy the "hook up" scene, there are still a majority of females who prefer to be exclusive and settle down and participate in the dating scene. The researchers picked a great social topic to further explore. They broke up each topic into three categories; initiation, activities, and outcome. Under each category was a few possible acceptable choices. Under initiation there was talking, meeting in public, shared interest, and bars/parties. The activities category included movie, dinner, getting to know one another, and sexual intercourse. And finally, the outcomes listed were talking, kiss goodnight, go back home, sexual intercourse, negative outcome after date, and sex limited by the woman. I liked how they took to the time to further indicate to the reader what they meant by each category. I also thought I was interesting how sex limited by the woman, was a given possible outcome to the college students. The only thing I would question about this research study would be their sample size and population. This journal doesn’t mention what college(s) were selected or how many students, male and female, were chosen.

Reference Source: Bartoli, A. (2006) The dating game: Similarities and differences in dating scripts among college students. Sexuality & Culture, 10, 54-80


This is an interesting topic to talk about since there can be much confusion in college relationships. A lot of the time, people just want to hookup and that’s why they go to parties, but other people want a real relationship. So when they go back to whomevers room and one of them makes the move to have sex, the other one is shocked because they wanted more than just a one-night stand.

Your reference study sounds like a good reference, but as you said, it’s somewhat inconvenient for them to not state how many people of each gender were surveyed. In our society, it’s typically the male that just wants a quick fling while the female wants something more substantial. So if the reference surveyed 80% men and 20% women then it is not evenly depicted.

Interesting topic and a good read, thanks!

About the author