Courtship is the period of development towards an intimate relationship wherein people (usually a couple) get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other romantic arrangement.
A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.
As a standard rule, dating is widely accepted; along with inter-racial relationships, gay/lesbian relationships, pre-marital sex and abortion.
A lot of the Australian values are derived from British courtship culture; therefore, marriage practices are much the same.
Courtship is used by a number of theorists to explain gendering processes and sexual identity.
Scientific research into courtship began in the 1980s after which time academic researchers started to generate theories about modern dating practices and norms.
The average duration of courtship varies considerably throughout the world.
However, by the Jazz Age of the 1920s, dating for fun was becoming a cultural expectation, and by the 1930s, it was assumed that any popular young person would have lots of dates.
This form of dating, though, was usually more chaste than is seen today, since premarital sex was not considered the norm.
Forbidding experimental and serial courtship and sanctioning only arranged matches is partly a means of guarding the chastity of young people and partly a matter of furthering family interests, which, in such cultures, may be considered more important than individual romantic preferences.
Throughout history, courtship has often included traditions such as exchanging valentines, written correspondence (which was facilitated by the creation of the postal service in the nineteenth century), and similar communication-based courting.
Both Moore and Perper found that, contrary to popular beliefs, courtship is normally triggered and controlled by women, continue to support a view that courtship is a social process that socialises both sexes into accepting forms of relationship that maximise the chances of successfully raising children.