Across university campuses, couples publicized their decision to "go steady" when the man gave the woman an article of his clothing to wear, such as a jacket, sweater, or ring.
In both "going steady" and "dating" relationships in the 1940s and 1950s (unlike those of previous generations), peers had a much larger influence on the relationship than did the family.
This new drive to experience and understand one's own sexuality—combined with the freeing nature of drugs and alcohol—created an environment wherein people felt comfortable expressing their sexuality.
In the most recent decades and in the beginning of the 21st century, it has become clear that dating has evolved dramatically.
Students were also more willing to have sex outside of committed relationships because birth control was increasingly available. Oral sex was also on the rise, entering the lives of many young people.
Beginning in the late 1960s, the Women's Movement enforced the idea that women, like men, were sexual beings who had desires and the right to receive pleasure.
It is important to note that many of these mainstream rituals were strictly confined to heterosexual dating.