Nevertheless, Bailey (1968) finds that spending money on dates continued to escalate and advice books advocated judging a man's seriousness by the amount of money he was willing to spend on a date.Material generosity by males and sexual generosity by females continued to be taken as signs of love (Katz 1976).
While Waller's analysis has been criticized (Lasch 1977, Gordon 1981), it is generally accepted as describing a dating system that persisted in colleges from the 1921 Is into the 1940s.
Within this system Waller (1938/1970) saw a danger of exploitation by both parties.
For their part, women also needed to dress, dance, and talk well, plus be physically attractive.
Dress became such a restrictive social barrier that women even quit going to school because of insufficiently fashionable wardrobes (Modell 1983).
However, perhaps due to the crass associations of exchanging money and gifts for the attentions and sexual favors of prostitutes, mistresses, gigolos, and gold-diggers, research on Western dating has largely ignored the monetary and material aspects of these relationships. DATING AND COURTSHIP The role of material possessions in early middle class American courtship practices was not so much in impressive gift-giving as in displaying command of the resources for providing comfort and earning a living. 24) explains: Before a man could marry, he had to possess the means to support a wife and children....