In the traditional dating pattern the expected outcome for the male was

In traditional dating people often meet by coincidence. There are downsides to online dating. People may not be physically attracted to each other when they finally meet face to face; often people are not completely honest online; and online dating can be dangerous. Speed dating is a form of organized dating. A group of singles wearing name tags takes turns dating each other for about 10 minutes at a predetermined location e. After each date they note whether they would be interested in meeting again. If the interest is mutual, the organizers provide phone numbers.

Speed dating is similar to traditional dating in that the first meeting is face to face. Like Internet dating, speed dating provides quick access to several potential relationship partners. The downside is that, within the short time frame, it is often difficult to determine level of attraction, compatibility and relationship potential.

It is difficult to say precisely how many Americans and what age groups engage in traditional dating versus other forms of dating. According to Online Dating Statistics, in America there are around million singles aged 20 to Most are single, but some are married. In 50 percent of online daters were 18 to 34 years of age, 24 percent were 35 to 44 years of age, 5. Of those who do not use Internet dating services, some are not actively dating, and some use organized dating such as speed dating.

“Where Have All the Good Men Gone?” Gendered Interactions in Online Dating

The results suggest that injunctive norms and gender role attitudes work synergistically to increase risk for dating violence perpetration among boys; as such, simultaneously targeting both of these constructs may be an effective prevention approach. Primary prevention of dating violence during adolescence has emerged as a focus of public health injury control efforts due to its prevalence and negative consequences for adolescent health and development Vagi et al.

Dating violence victimization can result in harmful and enduring consequences including depression, substance use, suicide ideation, and injury Exner-Cortens et al. Furthermore, patterns of relationship conflict that are established during adolescence may carry-over into adulthood, thereby contributing to the intergenerational transmission of interpersonal violence Bouchey and Furman ; Exner-Cortens et al. Adolescence is thus a critical developmental period that may be effectively targeted to prevent the onset, escalation, and persistence of dating violence into adulthood.

One notable theory-based risk factor that has been linked to both adolescent and adult partner violence, and thus is a potential target for primary prevention efforts, is traditional patriarchal gender role attitudes. These attitudes are often conceptualized as falling on a continuum ranging from traditional to egalitarian or liberal or nontraditional where traditional attitudes include the expectations that men should have the final say in decision-making, that women should be passive, that men should be the heads of households, and that women should be home caregivers Amato and Booth Feminist theoretical perspectives posit that men who hold more traditional gender role attitudes are at increased risk for engaging in partner violence perpetration because traditional beliefs encompass the expectation that males should be in a dominant social position that gives them privilege and power over women; male perpetrated violence against women is an expression of, and means of maintaining, this dominant station Dobash and Dobash Based on these perspectives, as well as scripting theory Byers , researchers have further suggested that men and boys who endorse traditional gender role attitudes may encode and retrieve gender-typed social scripts that emphasize male power and prescribe that men should be tough and aggressive, emotionally disengaged, and have sexual prerogative in romantic relationships Byers ; Eaton and Rose Men and boys who draw on these scripts to guide their social interactions with romantic partners may be at increased risk for perpetrating dating violence as a means of enacting power in their relationships Santana et al.

This combative view of gender relations may cue the retrieval of dominance scripts in dating interactions and contribute to the development of hostile attitudes towards women encompassing the beliefs that women ought to be controlled by men, are only suited for lower status roles, and are sexual objects that justify male dominance Lee et al. Based on these theoretical perspectives, as well as correlational evidence that traditional gender role attitudes are associated with male partner violence perpetration McCauley et al.

These programs assume that the promotion of more egalitarian gender role attitudes will prevent or reduce male-to-female adolescent dating violence perpetration. Empirical research examining this assumption, however, is limited by its overreliance on cross-sectional designs, adult samples, focus on main effects, and failure to include important covariates, such as exposure to family violence, that may produce a spurious relationship between the two constructs. In particular, almost no longitudinal research has examined prospective associations between gender role attitudes and partner or dating violence adult or adolescent as is needed to establish temporal ordering between the two constructs Tharp et al.

This is particularly important given that some theoretical perspectives suggest that dating violence perpetration might influence gender role attitudes e.

This temporal ordering is opposite to that suggested by feminist theoretical perspectives and inconsistent with the conceptual models underpinning prevention programs that assume gender role attitudes contribute to dating violence perpetration rather than vice-versa. Furthermore, research on the relationship between gender role attitudes and dating violence perpetration during adolescence is particularly scarce and inconsistent; adolescence, however, is a key developmental period during which both gender role attitudes and patterns of abusive dating behaviors emerge and become established.

For example, in a correlational study, Sears et al.


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An additional limitation of previous research examining gender role attitudes in relation to dating violence is its focus on the direct association or main effect of adherence to traditional gender role attitudes on perpetration behaviors. For example, Poteat and colleagues Poteat et al. According to social information processing models Huesmann , normative beliefs serve a critical role in regulating behavior by establishing the types of behavior that are and are not acceptable and under what circumstances Huesmann and Guerra Boys who endorse traditional rather than egalitarian gender role attitudes may be more likely to access scripts prescribing dominance towards others, including romantic partners; however, their beliefs about the effectiveness and appropriateness of using violence as a means of expressing dominance i.

According to this reasoning, traditional gender role attitudes may be strongly related to violence perpetration among boys who hold normative beliefs that are more supportive of aggression than among boys who are less supportive of aggression.

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This hypothesis has never been explored in relation to dating or intimate partner violence. The current study addresses the aforementioned limitations in the current literature by providing a longitudinal examination of the synergistic influence of traditional gender role attitudes and normative beliefs about dating violence on male physical dating violence perpetration. More specifically, we examine two distinct normative beliefs constructs, personal injunctive normative beliefs and descriptive normative beliefs, which have been independently associated with a wide range of behaviors e.

Drawing from the definitions offered by Cialdini et al. Social norms scholars consider injunctive and descriptive norms to be conceptually and motivationally distinct and argue that they should be examined as separate constructs in empirical research Cialdini et al. In particular, descriptive norms are thought to define and provide a model for what is typical behavior; teens may act as they perceive others to be acting because doing so provides for an information processing shortcut when one is deciding what to do in a particular situation Cialdini et al.

In contrast, rather than simply informing behavior as do descriptive norms , injunctive norms are viewed as motivating behavior through the promise or threat of personal or social consequences for non-compliance with the norm Cialdini et al. Teens who perceive dating violence to be acceptable may be at increased risk for engaging in dating violence because they believe that doing so will not result in negative sanctions or may result in positive consequences.

As noted above, injunctive norms are conceptually distinct from descriptive norms in that individuals may perceive relationship violence to be prevalent but view such behavior as unacceptable and vice-versa. In the current study, we examine whether and how both descriptive and injunctive norms moderate the relationship between gender role attitudes and dating violence. Based on the theoretical and empirical evidence reviewed above, and building on the work of Poteat et al. Specifically, we expect that traditional gender role attitudes will be more strongly related to physical dating violence perpetration among boys who perceive partner violence as more prevalent descriptive normative beliefs and among those who are more accepting of dating violence injunctive normative beliefs than among boys who do not hold these beliefs.

The rationale for the proposed research is that a more nuanced understanding of how each of these types of normative beliefs work together with gender role attitudes to prospectively influence abusive dating behaviors will inform prevention efforts. In particular, the CDC n. The analyses for this article use data from male participants in a randomized trial evaluating an adolescent dating violence prevention program, Safe Dates Foshee et al.

Introduction

Adolescents were eligible for the evaluation study if they were enrolled in the eighth or ninth grade in one of the 14 public schools in a primarily rural county in North Carolina. At follow-up waves, students who were absent for school data collection, including those who had dropped out of school, were mailed a questionnaire to complete and return. No incentives were provided to teachers or students. Further details of the study methodology and participation rates at each wave have been described elsewhere Foshee et al. The analytic sample was thus comprised of male adolescents who were in the study at T2, reported having dated in the past year, and who were not missing on the criterion variable.

Drop out from the study was not associated with race, family structure, T1 dating violence, gender role attitudes, or injunctive or descriptive normative beliefs; however, drop out was more likely among older participants and among those who reported lower levels of parent education.


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  • Participants were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with eleven statements describing normative beliefs about roles and expectations for men and women in society e. Descriptive norms were assessed at T1 using two items that measured perceived prevalence of aggression in dating relationships. Injunctive norms were assessed at T1 using eight items that measured the extent to which adolescents were accepting of male-to-female and female-to-male physical dating violence perpetration e. Covariates included as controls included the following variables: Additional control variables included as covariates in all analyses included, treatment group assignment , categorized as control 0 or treatment 1 ; T1 dating violence perpetration , assessed using the same measure as for follow-up described above , but using a lifetime rather than past-year reference period.

    Data analyses proceeded in several phases. First, we grand-mean centered all continuous variables to facilitate interpretation and probing of parameter estimates Hayes Following standard recommendations Allison , all model covariates, including interaction terms, were included in the imputation equation. Third, logistic regression was used to examine the main and interactive effects of T1 gender role attitudes and dating violence norms injunctive and descriptive on T2 physical DV perpetration.

    To address the potential for spurious relationships among the constructs being examined, all models controlled for T1 lifetime physical DV perpetration, interparental violence exposure and the demographic covariates age, minority status, parent education, family structure.

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    Significant interactions were probed by examining the conditional effects simple slopes of gender role attitudes on DV perpetration setting values of the moderator normative beliefs at one standard deviation above high and below low the mean Bauer and Curran Table 1 presents descriptive statistics for focal predictors and outcomes.

    Injunctive and descriptive normative beliefs were significantly positively associated with each other and each type of normative belief was significantly positively associated with traditional gender role attitudes, suggesting that boys who hold more traditional gender role attitudes tend to perceive partner violence as more prevalent and tend to be more accepting of the use of physical DV in relationships.

    Both injunctive and descriptive norms and gender role attitudes were positively associated with both T1 and T2 physical DV perpetration see Table 1. Descriptive Statistics for focal predictors and time one T1 and time two T2 physical dating violence DV perpetration. Table 2 presents the parameter estimates from three multivariate logistic regression models. Model 1 assessed the main effects of the focal predictors prior to inclusion of the interaction terms. We subsequently re-estimated model 2 trimming the non-significant interaction term Model 3 , with no difference in the pattern of findings.

    Findings from the final reduced model Model 3 suggest that the prospective relationship between traditional gender role attitudes and physical DV perpetration was stronger for those who endorsed higher as compared to lower levels of acceptance of dating violence. There were no significant associations between any of the covariates and T2 dating violence across any of the models. Model predicted effect of traditional gender role attitudes on physical dating violence perpetration at low and high levels of dating violence DV acceptance injunctive norms.

    Several dating violence prevention programs assume that promotion of more egalitarian gender role attitudes will prevent male-to-female dating aggression e. Research examining this assumption, however, is limited by an overreliance on cross-sectional designs and adult samples Tharp et al. Furthermore, previous research has focused exclusively on examining the direct association between gender role attitudes and dating violence main effect , yet emerging research suggests that the influence of gender role attitudes on violence perpetration may be conditioned by other factors, including normative beliefs about violence Poteat et al.

    The current study addressed this gap by examining prospective associations between gender role attitudes and later physical dating violence perpetration using a sample of adolescent boys and by determining whether personal injunctive norms i. Consistent with expectations, the prospective association between traditional gender role attitudes and dating violence perpetration was moderated by injunctive norms such that, for boys who were high in their acceptance of dating violence, traditional gender role attitudes prospectively predicted greater likelihood of dating violence perpetration; for boys who were low in their acceptance of dating violence, however, traditional gender role attitudes were not associated with later dating violence perpetration.

    Contrary to expectations, beliefs about the prevalence of dating violence descriptive norms did not moderate the effects of gender role attitudes; however, descriptive norms did have a significant main effect predicting increased risk of dating violence perpetration. As applied to the current study, we reason that gender role scripts provide a general guide or schema that boys draw on in determining how to communicate, react, and behave in romantic relationships.