Who Pays on the First Date?

With more women being independent, along with the third wave feminism movement and other such equality movements, dating has changed over the past twenty years. Traditionally men were expected to pay for the first date in the West and pay more than women on subsequent dates. In traditional heterosexual dating, men generally take a more active role (making the first move) and women take a more reactive role. Researchers wanted to know to what extent this traditional gender roles for dating still persisted among millennials.

The study consisted of 552 heterosexual college students from the southeastern US, 97% of which had an income of less than $25,000 USD a year. Half of the participants were single. The participants were asked to complete a short version of the Bem Sex Role inventory, which explores masculine and feminine traits, questions that assessed machismo (aggressiveness) and caballerismo (chivalry), and questions on their attitudes towards women. The final sets of questions were about the payment on their first dates (who paid), payments on the subsequent dates, and their payment expectations (who should pay) during the first and subsequent dates.

The researchers found that men almost always paid on the first date and paid more on subsequent dates than women. Participants, on average, expected men to pay more for the first date and subsequent dates, though this was truer in the male participants than female participants. Women did tend to prefer a more shared approach, especially after the first date, however they still let their partners pay. The researchers noted “the more individuals embraced antifeminism and positive masculinity attitudes, the more they would expect the male partner to pay for first and subsequent dates.”

The findings show an overall trend to traditional dating roles still among millennials. However due to the study being done in the southeast, it is important to replicate the study in more areas to get a more diverse sample.


Original Article: https://www.psypost.org/2022/01/study-of-college-students-indicates-men-are-still-expected-to-pay-the-bill-on-first-dates-62330

Study: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00332941211057144

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