Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Human Courting

  • Haley DillonEmail author
  • Rachael Carmen
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1886-1



The process of social and cultural processes whereby one attempts to gain another as a mate.


Courting as we know it has gone through a drastic change in the last century, with an almost insurmountable level of change in the past decade due to technology. The word courting itself is old fashioned, bringing images of ice cream socials in the 1950s – now we commonly use words like dating. Once upon a time, and currently in some cultures, a man and a woman did not choose to spend their lives together, their bond was chosen by parents or other authority figures. When mateships are decided upon by outside people, there was/is no courting necessary. In modern times (with some exceptions), this tradition of having a mate chosen by an outside party has gone by the wayside and has been replaced with courtship – a period of time wherein a couple gets to know one another, often wherein one person (usually the male) competes for...

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  1. Trivers, R. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  2. Weir, L. K., Grant, J. W. A., Hutchings, J. A. (2011). The influence of operational sex ratio on the intensity of competition for mates. The American Naturalist, 177(2), 167–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dominican CollegeOrangeburgUSA
  2. 2.Marist CollegePoughkeepsieUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gary L Brase
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA