Your Montana Public Radio
Fri February 7, 2014
Love Me Did: A History of Courtship
2/13/2014 - The History Guys explore three centuries of pre-marital intimacy. Did economic considerations used to play a greater role in coupling? In what ways have dating practices challenged class and racial boundaries? Has the idea of "romance" itself morphed over time? Considering the stereotypes about Puritan New England, you might be surprised to learn that sweethearts in the 18th century were no only allowed to sleep together before marriage - they were encouraged! The catch? They had to do it within the parents' home. It was known as "bundling" and although sex was theoretically not involved, the practice coincided with a huge increase in premarital pregnancy. By the end of the century, 1/3 of all brides were pregnant by the time they reached the altar.