The Threat of Contracting AIDS has Changed Dating Habits Essay
The Threat of Contracting AIDS has Changed Dating Habits
It can be argued that dating before the advent of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and in the present where AIDS is obviously a threat to sexually active individuals has not changed too much. For one, from the Flower Power years in the 1960’s to the present, men and women of different ages engage in casual dates for many different purposes aside from finding a “perfect mate.” In one study made by students from Miami University, it was found out that from the 1960’s onwards, dating has been done for “fun and companionship,” and has been done in many different ways that could hardly be described as uniform.
There will always be the teenagers and yuppies that prefer searching for dates in bars, but there will also be those who prefer to follow the “guidelines” of their culture or religion on dating. There are also those who prefer the internet as a dating medium, probably a more efficient substitute to the older pen pal dating system. And, just as dating involved sex in the 60’s, the same holds true today. As such, it would seem that dating habits never changed since the 1960’s. In this paper, it shall be argued that advent of AIDS have caused some changes in dating habits.
That though it might be true that certain practices and purposes of dating have remained constant, as we have just showed, AIDS nevertheless have caused some changes in dating habits that could hardly be reversed, not until AIDS becomes curable. The changes shall be argued on two grounds: that people nowadays take more precaution when dating compared to those who date before the advent of AIDS; and that some people have chosen to revert to moderate (or conservative) sexual values on dating as opposed to the free-love mentality of the 60’s.
First point: Everyone in the United States nowadays knows that any sexual activity attached to dating should include durable condoms, aside from the pills. It has become a customary practice for people who are sexually active to undergo HIV testing regularly. The inclusion of condoms and HIV testing in the regular agenda of “daters” is obviously a new habit that used not to be part of the flower-power-free-loving individuals of the 60’s. This is an extra precaution that people take as individuals are now aware of the real threats of AIDS. It is a common thing for people in the United States to know a friend or two who is suffering from HIV and such has heightened people’s sensitivity to the illness.
Second point: In a 1989 article, Itabari Njeri noticed that more people have chosen to remain celibate after years of being sexually active. Njeri has noted a lot of cases, even that of college students, who chose to revert to Christian values of sex-after-marriage not only because students fear acquiring the disease but also because in the process of being AIDS-conscious, the respondents also wanted to find out what a meaningful relationship means.
The same precaution has been taken nowadays by people, irrelevant of religious beliefs. It is a most common occurrence in the internet to find “guidelines” for HIV-positive” patients who are searching for potential dates. Number one priority of these guidelines would be the revelation of the disease and the practice of safer sex. Some HIV-positive patients have even opted not to be sexually active while at the same time maintaining loving relationships (Friedman).
Hence, the additional precaution that people take when it comes to sex and dating at the same time the reversion to more moderate sexual practices prove that dating habits have changed due to the threat of AIDS.
“Dating, Mating and Relating: Dating and Courtship in Modern Society.” Miami University. 17 April 2003. 25 May 2007. http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu/reflections/FinalArticles/DatingMatingandRelating.D.html.
Friedman, David. “The Dating Renaissance.” The Body. November 1997. 25 May 2007. http://www.thebody.com/content/living/art30589.html.
Njeri, Itabari “A New Sexuality? –AIDS has Forced Many to Change Sexual Practices”. Essence. Jan 1989. FindArticles.com. 25 May. 2007. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_n9_v19/ai_6932648
Roberts, Tara. “Unzipped: 5 young women talk about sex in the nineties – Panel Discussion”. Essence. August 1996. FindArticles.com. 27 May. 2007. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_n4_v27/ai_18493589