A new study on chivalry reveals what anyone who has ever dated or accidentally glanced at the cover of Cosmo in the supermarket checkout line has known for years: Men and women are deeply conflicted on their stance toward men paying on dates.
"The motivation for the study was to understand why some gendered practices are more resistant to change than others; for example, the acceptance of women in the workplace versus holding onto traditional notions of chivalry," said Chapman University's Dr. David Frederick, one of the study's coauthors.
One might argue with Frederick's assertion that women are accepted into the workplace, but the question of who pays for dates is one of those cute non-problems, like bickering over the position of the toilet seat or who gets to shoot up first.
In short, the study shows that 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women think that men pay for most expenses, even after dating for awhile. Fifty-seven percent of women say they offer to help pay, but 39 percent admitted they hope men will reject their offers to pay, and 44 percent of women were bothered when men expected women to help pay. Forty-four percent of men said they would stop dating a woman who never pays, though 76 percent said they felt guilty accepting women’s money.
The report also has a section detailing that question on everyone's mind:
Or, as one 23-year-old study participant said: "I should never have to pay for anything. He is getting this piece of ass!"
The implied reciprocity of physical intimacy for being treated described by Zelizer (2005) was mostly not endorsed by our respondents, especially not by the men. Only a minority of men and women—but more women than men - explicitly connected sex and paying for dates. As shown in Table 1, one in six men believed that women should engage in sexual activity if the man pays the bill on a date, with 18-25 year old men most likely to endorse this position (21 percent). Men who always pay for dates and wish expenses were shared, however, were twice as likely to expect sexual activity as men who always pay for dates and are okay with that arrangement (23% vs. 11%).