La Tarrell A. Brown

Major and Classification


Faculty Mentor

Michael Messner, Ph.D.


Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

McNair Project

“Dating Equality Between Heterosexuals”

Project Abstract

This study seeks to examine heterosexual dating equality. By focusing on couples comprised of a man and woman, this study compares and measures dating behaviors, gender role attitudes in household dynamics, political perspectives, and education and employment status. Sex equality seeks to bridge the gap between a man and woman and their roles as expected by norms, culture, etc. This study gets at egalitarian attitudes (having them or not), gender role expectations, and mate selection. Regarding methodology, a mixed method survey instrument is employed, using both quantitative and qualitative questions for analysis. Likert Scaling is used in the instruments design for extracting information on dating experiences, gender and gender role attitudes, as well as mate selection. The instrument was distributed through a Qualtrics survey to popular internet social networks and media, which has resulted thus far in 133 participants. The collection of data continues and the analysis will be ongoing. Why is such a study important? Dating is often the preceding interaction before mate selection, courtship and marriage; therefore, it should be of importance to know attitudes, behaviors, lifestyles, etc. before making the decision to unite with a partner or loved one. Such knowledge can avoid future problems such as separation, disagreements, and divorce.