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A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.
Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.
Scientific research into courtship began in the 1980s after which time academic researchers started to generate theories about modern dating practices and norms.
Both Moore and Perper found that, contrary to popular beliefs, courtship is normally triggered and controlled by women, continue to support a view that courtship is a social process that socialises both sexes into accepting forms of relationship that maximise the chances of successfully raising children.
Unlike what is regularly seen in other societies, it takes a far more subdued and indirect approach.
It is complex in that it involves stages, and it is considered normal for courtship to last a year or longer.
Traditions are often referred to as a thing of the past, although there are many people that still follow the old-fashioned courting route for their relationships.
Courtship is used by a number of theorists to explain gendering processes and sexual identity.
Over recent decades, though, the concept of arranged marriage has changed or simply been mixed with other forms of dating, including Eastern and Indian ones; potential couples have the opportunity to meet and date each other before one decides on whether or not to continue the relationship.
Unlike courtships, couples that are on a “date”, do not require a chaperone or someone in their presence to prevent anything unholy from happening.