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Amorous Indian Couple Relief

Amorous Indian Couple Relief

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Tribes to receive $31 billion in relief funds from American Rescue Plan


The American Rescue Plan was enacted by Congress Wednesday and will be sent to President Joe Biden to sign into law. The U.S Senate Committee on Indian Affairs pegged the total spending for tribes at $31 billion.

The 628-page coronavirus relief legislation includes $1,400 in direct payments to individuals making up to $75,000 annually, gives $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, $20 billion to tribal nations, and budgets $14 billion for vaccine distribution. The law will extend jobless benefits through September.

This bill, President Biden’s first legislative victory, is a significant contrast to the Republican approach to governing. Former President Donald Trump’s first initiative was a $1.9 trillion tax relief measure that primarily benefited the wealthy.

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, tweeted that she would be voting for the measure to “get urgent relief to families in New Mexico and across the country.” This may end up being Haaland’s last vote as a member of Congress if she is confirmed soon as Interior Secretary. She is a citizen of Laguna Pueblo.

The independent Tax Policy Center said that the relief bill would give almost 70 percent of this year's tax breaks to households earning $91,000 or less. In contrast, the Trump-era GOP tax bill gave nearly half its 2018 reductions to the top 5 percent of households earning around $308,000, said the research center, which is run by the liberal-leaning Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.

The rescue plan, on the other hand, has significant benefits for tribal governments, working families and the poor.

The plan pumps money directly into the economy through all sorts of mechanisms, including $20 billion that will go directly to tribal nations and another $6 billion for Indian health programs. The plan has funds to ramp up vaccine distribution, expanded unemployment insurance, support for ailing businesses, funding for schools, and, of course, a check of $1,400 to most Americans.

This legislation does more to address poverty, especially child poverty, than any law since the 1930s and the New Deal.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt came into office spending directed at American Indians and Alaska Natives was $20.5 million. A year later that jumped to $28.3 million, an increase of more than 38 percent. Last year’s CARES Act contained $2 billion for tribal governments — so the starting increase in this plan is a 900 percent increase and that does not include the money for Indian health programs, roughly a doubling of $6 billion. And even that amount is less than what will be spent because the new law also increases funding for the Affordable Care Act which in turn will boost the Indian health system, especially those facilities operated by tribes and nonprofits.

We also know that the tribal nations have significant challenges ahead.

As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities put it in a recent report … “the pandemic has stretched tribal nations’ finances and health systems to the breaking point.”

National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp said that “direct relief and other aid which is critical to the health, safety, and well-being of our communities and necessary to build back our distressed governments and economies.”

Wayne Ducheneaux, Cheyenne River, is executive director of the Native Governance Center. He said the law presents some challenges but that tribes can really make a big bang with these bucks.

There is a lot to be learned from how tribes managed the $2 billion from last year’s CARES Act. The law originally required all of the money to be spent before Dec. 31, putting tribes under the gun. “ And then when it got extended, you had a mix, you had some tribes that still had some money left over, and were able to move forward with thoughtful long-term projects to, you know, create some systemic change for their nations.”

“One big issue with this $20 billion is, you know, how can tribes pick up where they left off and how can they use it in a strategic way, moving forward to amplify the work that they're already doing,” Ducheneaux said. “It's going to be a struggle … but with proper technical assistance and support, they can really make a pretty big bang for this amount of buck.”

The Navajo Nation has proposed a distribution formula for spending down the money, dividing up 40-percent based on population, 20-percent based on land base, 20-percent based on number of employees, and 20-percent based on COVID-19 impacts.

“We realize that there are great needs in our communities, immediate and long-term. With the CARES Act, we had a very short timeframe to expend the funds due to the original deadline that was included in the bill enacted by Congress, but we did our best to connect homes to electricity, provide water to homes, strengthen broadband, and provide direct financial assistance to our Navajo people. The current bill being considered would provide a greater timeframe to use the funds, which will allow us to plan more efficiently and complete more projects and provide more long-term assistance. We appreciate all of the support and collaboration of our Congressional members and federal partners throughout this process,” said Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer.

The Navajo Nation’s Controller Pearline Kirk said this week the complexity of managing federal funds has complicated the running of tribal governments. She said under the CARES Act the nation had to manage $714 million in spending.

“This is a nearly 225 percent increase over what the Navajo Nation normally manages in federal funds over a normal 12-month period,” she said in a news release.

“The regular duties of the Controller’s Office did not miss a beat throughout the dangers and risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our office continued execution of its day-to-day duties including oversight, reporting and compliance of 4,000 federal and state grants, processing accounts payable, processing 1,500 contracts, receiving records and ORs, processing payroll for 5,000 employees and completing Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements,” Kirk said. “In addition, the office completed work on the Navajo Nation Financial and Single Audit for FY 2019 and is currently performing work on the FY 2020 audit.”


Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries. From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine. As humans societies have evolved from hunter-gatherers into civilized societies, there have been substantial changes in relations between people, with perhaps one of a few remaining biological constants being that both adult women and men must have sexual intercourse for human procreation to happen.

Humans have been compared to other species in terms of sexual behavior. Neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky constructed a reproductive spectrum with opposite poles being tournament species, in which males compete fiercely for reproductive privileges with females, and pair bond arrangements, in which a male and female will bond for life. [4] According to Sapolsky, humans are somewhat in the middle of this spectrum, in the sense that humans form pair bonds, but there is the possibility of cheating or changing partners. [4] These species-particular behavior patterns provide a context for aspects of human reproduction, including dating. However, one particularity of the human species is that pair bonds are often formed without necessarily having the intention of reproduction. In modern times, emphasis on the institution of marriage, traditionally described as a male-female bond, has obscured pair bonds formed by same-sex and transgender couples, and that many heterosexual couples also bond for life without offspring, or that often pairs that do have offspring separate. Thus, the concept of marriage is changing widely in many countries.

Historically, marriages in most societies were arranged by parents and older relatives with the goal not being love but legacy and "economic stability and political alliances", according to anthropologists. [5] Accordingly, there was little need for a temporary trial period such as dating before a permanent community-recognized union was formed between a man and a woman. While pair-bonds of varying forms were recognized by most societies as acceptable social arrangements, marriage was reserved for heterosexual pairings and had a transactional nature, where wives were in many cases a form of property being exchanged between father and husband, and who would have to serve the function of reproduction. Communities exerted pressure on people to form pair-bonds in places such as Europe in China, society "demanded people get married before having a sexual relationship" [6] and many societies found that some formally recognized bond between a man and a woman was the best way of rearing and educating children as well as helping to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings regarding competition for mates.

Generally, during much of recorded history of humans in civilization, and into the Middle Ages in Europe, weddings were seen as business arrangements between families, while romance was something that happened outside of marriage discreetly, such as covert meetings. [7] The 12th-century book The Art of Courtly Love advised that "True love can have no place between husband and wife." [7] According to one view, clandestine meetings between men and women, generally outside of marriage or before marriage, were the precursors to today's dating. [7]

From about 1700 a worldwide movement perhaps described as the "empowerment of the individual" took hold, leading towards greater emancipation of women and equality of individuals. Men and women became more equal politically, financially, and socially in many nations. Women eventually won the right to vote in many countries and own property and receive equal treatment by the law, and these changes had profound impacts on the relationships between men and women. Parental influence declined. In many societies, individuals could decide—on their own—whether they should marry, whom they should marry, and when they should marry. A few centuries ago, dating was sometimes described as a "courtship ritual where young women entertained gentleman callers, usually in the home, under the watchful eye of a chaperone," [8] but increasingly, in many Western countries, it became a self-initiated activity with two young people going out as a couple in public together. Still, dating varies considerably by nation, custom, religious upbringing, technology, and social class, and important exceptions with regards to individual freedoms remain as many countries today still practice arranged marriages, request dowries, and forbid same-sex pairings. Although in many countries, movies, meals, and meeting in coffeehouses and other places is now popular, as are advice books suggesting various strategies for men and women, [9] in other parts of the world, such as in South Asia and many parts of the Middle East, being alone in public as a couple is not only frowned upon but can even lead to either person being socially ostracized.

In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship. It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage, [10] but as marriage became less permanent with the advent of divorce, dating could happen at other times in peoples lives as well. People became more mobile. [11] Rapidly developing technology played a huge role: new communication technology such as the telephone, [12] Internet [13] and text messaging [14] enabled dates to be arranged without face-to-face contact. Cars extended the range of dating as well as enabled back-seat sexual exploration. In the mid-twentieth century, the advent of birth control as well as safer procedures for abortion changed the equation considerably, and there was less pressure to marry as a means for satisfying sexual urges. New types of relationships formed it was possible for people to live together without marrying and without children. Information about human sexuality grew, and with it an acceptance of all types of consensual sexual orientations is becoming more common. Today, the institution of dating continues to evolve at a rapid rate with new possibilities and choices opening up particularly through online dating.

Etymology Edit

The word "dating" entered the American language during the Roaring Twenties. Prior to that, courtship was a matter of family and community interest. Starting around the time of the Civil War, courtship became a private matter for couples. [15]

Wide variation in behavior patterns Edit

And the only rule is that there are no rules.

Social rules regarding dating vary considerably according to variables such as country, social class, race, religion, age, sexual orientation and gender. Behavior patterns are generally unwritten and constantly changing. There are considerable differences between social and personal values. Each culture has particular patterns which determine such choices as whether the man asks the woman out, where people might meet, whether kissing is acceptable on a first date, the substance of conversation, who should pay for meals or entertainment, [17] [18] or whether splitting expenses is allowed. Among the Karen people in Burma and Thailand, women are expected to write love poetry and give gifts to win over the man. [19] [ citation needed ] Since dating can be stressful, there is the possibility of humor to try to reduce tensions. For example, director Blake Edwards wanted to date singing star Julie Andrews, and he joked in parties about her persona by saying that her "endlessly cheerful governess" image from movies such as Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music gave her the image of possibly having "lilacs for pubic hair" [20] Andrews appreciated his humor, sent him lilacs, dated him and later married him, and the couple stayed together for 41 years until his death in 2010. [20]

Different meanings of the term Edit

While the term dating has many meanings, the most common refers to a trial period in which two people explore whether to take the relationship further towards a more permanent relationship in this sense, dating refers to the time when people are physically together in public as opposed to the earlier time period in which people are arranging the date, perhaps by corresponding by email or text or phone. [21] Another meaning of the term dating is to describe a stage in a person's life when he or she is actively pursuing romantic relationships with different people. If two unmarried celebrities are seen in public together, they are often described as "dating" which means they were seen in public together, and it is not clear whether they are merely friends, exploring a more intimate relationship, or are romantically involved. A related sense of the term is when two people have been out in public only a few times but have not yet committed to a relationship in this sense, dating describes an initial trial period and can be contrasted with "being in a committed relationship".

Evaluation Edit

One of the main purposes of dating is for two or more people to evaluate one another's suitability as a long term companion or spouse. [ citation needed ] Often physical characteristics, personality, financial status, and other aspects of the involved persons are judged and, as a result, feelings can be hurt and confidence shaken. Because of the uncertainty of the whole situation, the desire to be acceptable to the other person, and the possibility of rejection, dating can be very stressful for all parties involved. Some studies have shown that dating tends to be extremely difficult for people with social anxiety disorder. [22]

While some of what happens on a date is guided by an understanding of basic, unspoken rules, there is considerable room to experiment, and there are numerous sources of advice available. [23] [24] [25] Sources of advice include magazine articles, [21] self-help books, dating coaches, friends, and many other sources. [26] [27] [28] And the advice given can pertain to all facets of dating, including such aspects as where to go, what to say, what not to say, what to wear, how to end a date, how to flirt, [29] and differing approaches regarding first dates versus subsequent dates. [30] In addition, advice can apply to periods before a date, such as how to meet prospective partners, [25] [30] as well as after a date, such as how to break off a relationship. [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [ excessive citations ]

There are now more than 500 businesses worldwide that offer dating coach services—with almost 350 of those operating in the U.S. And the number of these businesses has surged since 2005 [38] [ needs update ] Frequency of dating varies by person and situation among singles actively seeking partners, 36% had been on no dates in the past three months, 13% had one date, 22% had two to four dates and 25% had five or more dates, according to a 2005 U.S. survey. [39]

The copulatory gaze, looking lengthily at a new possible partner, brings you straight into a sparring scenario you will stare for two to three seconds when you first spy each other, then look down or away before bringing your eyes in sync again. This may be combined with displacement gestures, small repetitive fiddles that signal a desire to speed things up and make contact. When approaching a stranger you want to impress, exude confidence in your stance, even if you're on edge. Pull up to your full height in a subtle chest-thrust pose, which arches your back, puffs out your upper body and pushes out your buttocks. Roll your shoulders back and down and relax your facial expression. [ excessive quote ]

Meeting places Edit

There are numerous ways to meet potential dates, including blind dates, classified ads, dating websites, hobbies, holidays, office romance, social networking, speed dating, or simply talking in public places, vehicles or houses. A Pew study in 2005 which examined Internet users in long-term relationships including marriage, found that many met by contacts at work or at school. [39] The survey found that 55% of relationship-seeking singles agreed that it was "difficult to meet people where they live." [39] Work is a common place to meet potential spouses, although there are some indications that the Internet is overtaking the workplace as an introduction venue. [41] In Britain, one in five marry a co-worker, but half of all workplace romances end within three months. [42] One drawback of office dating is that a bad date can lead to "workplace awkwardness." [43]

Gender differences Edit

There is a general perception that men and women approach dating differently, hence the reason why advice for each sex varies greatly, particularly when dispensed by popular magazines. For example, it is a common belief that heterosexual men often seek women based on beauty and youth. [44] [45] Psychology researchers at the University of Michigan suggested that men prefer women who seem to be "malleable and awed", and prefer younger women with subordinate jobs such as secretaries and assistants and fact-checkers rather than executive-type women. [46] Online dating patterns suggest that men are more likely to initiate online exchanges (over 75%) and extrapolate that men are less "choosy", seek younger women, and "cast a wide net". [23] In a similar vein, the stereotype for heterosexual women is that they seek well-educated men who are their age or older with high-paying jobs. [44] Evolutionary psychology suggests that "women are the choosier of the genders" since "reproduction is a much larger investment for women" who have "more to lose by making bad choices." [47]

All of these are examples of gender stereotypes which plague dating discourse and shape individuals' and societies' expectations of how heterosexual relationships should be navigated. In addition to the detrimental effects of upholding limited views of relationships and sexual and romantic desires, stereotypes also lead to framing social problems in a problematic way. For example, some have noted that educated women in many countries including Italy and Russia, and the United States find it difficult to have a career as well as raise a family, prompting a number of writers to suggest how women should approach dating and how to time their careers and personal life. The advice comes with the assumption that the work-life balance is inherently a "woman's problem." In many societies, there is a view that women should fulfill the role of primary caregivers, with little to no spousal support and with few services by employers or government such as parental leave or child care. Accordingly, an issue regarding dating is the subject of career timing which generates controversy. Some views reflect a traditional notion of gender roles. For example, Danielle Crittenden in What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us argued that having both a career and family at the same time was taxing and stressful for a woman as a result, she suggested that women should date in their early twenties with a seriousness of purpose, marry when their relative beauty permitted them to find a reliable partner, have children, then return to work in their early thirties with kids in school Crittenden acknowledged that splitting a career path with a ten-year baby-raising hiatus posed difficulties. [48] There are contrasting views which suggest that women should focus on careers in their twenties and thirties. Columnist Maureen Dowd quoted comedian Bill Maher on the subject of differing dating agendas between men and women: "Women get in relationships because they want somebody to talk to -- men want women to shut up." [49]

In studies comparing children with heterosexual families and children with homosexual families, there have been no major differences noted though some claims suggest that kids with homosexual parents end up more well adjusted than their peers with heterosexual parents, purportedly due to the lack of marginalizing gender roles in same-sex families. [50]

It is increasingly common today, however, with new generations and in a growing number of countries, to frame the work-life balance issue as a social problem rather than a gender problem. With the advent of a changing workplace, the increased participation of women in the labor force, an increasing number of men who are picking up their share of parenting and housework, [51] and more governments and industries committing themselves to achieving gender equality, the question of whether or not, or when to start a family is slowly being recognized as an issue that touches (or should touch) both genders.

Love Edit

The prospect of love often entails anxiety, sometimes with a fear of commitment [52] and a fear of intimacy for persons of both sexes. [53] One woman said "being really intimate with someone in a committed sense is kind of threatening" and described love as "the most terrifying thing." [54] In her Psychology Today column, research scientist, columnist, and author Debby Herbenick compared it to a roller coaster:

There's something wonderful, I think, about taking chances on love and sex. . Going out on a limb can be roller-coaster scary because none of us want to be rejected or to have our heart broken. But so what if that happens? I, for one, would rather fall flat on my face as I serenade my partner (off-key and all) in a bikini and a short little pool skirt than sit on the edge of the pool, dipping my toes in silence.

One dating adviser agreed that love is risky, and wrote that "There is truly only one real danger that we must concern ourselves with and that is closing our hearts to the possibility that love exists." [56]

Controversy Edit

What happens in the dating world can reflect larger currents within popular culture. For example, when the 1995 book The Rules appeared, it touched off media controversy about how men and women should relate to each other, with different positions taken by columnist Maureen Dowd of The New York Times [57] and British writer Kira Cochrane of The Guardian [58] and others. [59] [60] It has even caused anthropologists such as Helen Fisher to suggest that dating is a game designed to "impress and capture" which is not about "honesty" but "novelty", "excitement" and even "danger", which can boost dopamine levels in the brain. [61] The subject of dating has spun off popular culture terms such as the friend zone which refers to a situation in which a dating relation evolves into a platonic non-sexual union. [62] [63] [64] [65]

Risks of violence Edit

Since people dating often do not know each other well, [ citation needed ] there is the risk of violence, including date rape. According to one report, there was a 10% chance of violence between students happening between a boyfriend and girlfriend, sometimes described as "intimate partner violence", over a 12–month period. [66] A 2004 estimate was that 20% of U.S. high school girls aged 14–18 were "hit, slapped, shoved or forced into sexual activity". [67] Violence while dating isn't limited to any one culture or group or religion, but remains an issue in different countries. [68] (It is usually the female who is the victim, but there have been cases where males have been hurt as well.) Sara McCorquodale suggests that women meeting strangers on dates meet initially in busy public places, share details of upcoming dates with friends or family so they know where they'll be and who they'll be with, avoid revealing one's surname or address, and conduct searches on them on the Internet prior to the date. [69] One advisor suggested: Don't leave drinks unattended have an exit plan if things go badly and ask a friend to call you on your cell phone an hour into the date to ask how it's going. [69]

Technology Edit

The Internet is shaping the way new generations date. Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, and other applications have made remote connections possible. Particularly for the LGBTQ+ community, where the dating pool can be more difficult to navigate due to discrimination and having a 'minority' status in society.

Online dating tools are an alternate way to meet potential dates. [70] [71] Many people use smartphone apps such as Tinder, Grindr, or Bumble which allow a user to accept or reject another user with a single swipe of a finger. [72] Some critics have suggested that matchmaking algorithms are imperfect and are "no better than chance" for the task of identifying acceptable partners. [72] Others have suggested that the speed and availability of emerging technologies may be undermining the possibility for couples to have long-term meaningful relationships when finding a replacement partner has potentially become too easy. [72]

Dating customs and habits vary considerably throughout the world. The average duration of courtship before proceeding to engagement or marriage varies considerably throughout the world. [73]

Africa Edit

Ethiopia Edit

According to one source, there are four ways that marriage can happen among the Nyangatom people: (1) arranged marriage, when well-respected elders are sent to the girl's family on behalf of the boy's family (2) courtship or dating after a friendly meeting between boy and girl such as at a market place or holiday where there's dancing (3) abduction, such as during a blood feud between families (4) inheritance. [74]

North Africa Edit

In North Africa like in many parts of the Middle East, sex without marriage is considered unacceptable. Dating in North Africa is predominantly done under family supervision, usually in a public place. [ citation needed ]

Asia Edit

Asia is a mix of traditional approaches with involvement by parents and extended families such as arranged marriages as well as modern dating. In many cultural traditions, including some in South Asia, [75] and the Middle East [76] and to some extent East Asia, as in the case of Omiai in Japan and the similar "Xiangqin" (相親) practiced in the Greater China Area, a date may be arranged by a third party, who may be a family member, acquaintance, or professional matchmaker.

China Edit

Patterns of dating are changing in China, with increased modernization bumping into traditional ways.

A 2003 report in China Daily suggested that dating for most Chinese university women was "difficult", required work, stole time away from academic advancement, and placed women in a precarious position of having to balance personal success against traditional Chinese relationships. [77] Many women were reported to have high standards for men they sought, but also worried that their academic credentials could "scare away more traditional Chinese men." [77] It was reportedly difficult finding places to have privacy, since many dormitory rooms had eight or more pupils in one suite, while dating in restaurants tended to be expensive. [77] One student remarked: "American couples drink and dance together. But in China, we study together." [77]

Romantic love is more difficult during times of financial stress, and economic forces can encourage singles, particularly women, to select a partner primarily on financial considerations. Some men postpone marriage until their financial position is more secure and use wealth to help attract women. One trend is towards exclusive matchmaking events for the 'rich and powerful' for example, an annual June event in Wuhan with expensive entry-ticket prices for men (99,999 RMB) lets financially secure men choose so-called bikini brides based on their beauty and education, and the financial exclusivity of the event was criticized by the official news outlet China Daily. [78] Surveys though from 2015 to 2018 suggest that the majority of Chinese respondents (especially college students) would place the character and personality of their partners above material assets, [79] [80] [81] [82] [83] with also increasing acceptance towards evenly splitting bills or going Dutch. [84] [85] [86]

There have been conflicting reports on expatriate dating in China's capital city. One account in 2006 suggested the dating scene in Beijing to be "sad" with particular difficulties for foreign women hoping to find romance. [87] It was reportedly due to the cold, uninterested, or unappealing attitudes of the male expats and the shyness and cultural differences of the Chinese men, [87] and another account in 2010 documented similar, if slightly improved results. [88] A different report in 2010, though, suggested that some Chinese men preferred Western women, viewing them as less girlish and materialistic, and also more independent and straightforward than Chinese women. [89] A 2016 survey of Chinese students abroad, however, imply there have been significant barriers to foreign dating, [90] and the intermarriage rate of Chinese women in Shanghai has been decreasing. [91]

A new format of Internet "QQ" chat rooms is gaining ground against so-called "traditional dating agencies" in Changsha (Hunan Province) the QQ rooms have 20,000 members, and service is much less expensive than dating agencies which can charge 100 to 200 yuan ($13 to $26 USD) per introduction. [92] Internet dating, with computer-assisted matchmaking, is becoming more prevalent one site supposedly has 23 million registered users. [93] Speed dating has come to Shanghai and other cities. [94] [95] Worldwide online matchmakers have explored entering the Chinese market via partnerships or acquisitions. [96]

Each year, November 11 has become an unofficial holiday [97] known as China's Singles' Day when singles are encouraged to make an extra effort to find a partner. [98] Worried parents of unmarried children often arrange dates for their offspring on this day as well as others. [98] Before the day approaches, thousands of college students and young workers post messages describing their plans for this day. In Arabic numerals, the day looks like "1111", that is, "like four single people standing together", and there was speculation that it originated in the late 1990s when college students celebrated being single with "a little self-mockery" [97] but a differing explanation dates it back to events in the Roman Empire. [97] For many, Singles' Day offers people a way to "demonstrate their stance on love and marriage. [97] In 2005, a government-sponsored agency called Shanghai Women's Activities Centre (Chinese: Jinguoyuan) organized periodic matchmaking events often attended by parents. [99]

There has been concern that young people's views of marriage have changed because of economic opportunities, with many choosing deliberately not to get married, [97] as well as young marrieds who have decided not to have children, or to postpone having them. [98] Cohabiting relationships are tolerated more often. [6] Communities where people live but do not know each other well are becoming more common in China like elsewhere, leading to fewer opportunities to meet somebody locally without assistance. [98] Divorce rates are rising in cities such as Shanghai, which recorded 27,376 divorces in 2004, an increase of 30% from 2003. [98]

Relationships between students preparing for college are frowned upon by many parents in China. There was a report that sexual relations among middle schoolers in Guangzhou sometimes resulted in abortions. [100] There have been reports of scams involving get-rich-quick schemes a forty-year-old migrant worker was one of a thousand seduced by an advertisement which read "Rich woman willing to pay 3 million yuan for sperm donor" but the worker was cheated out of his savings of 190,000 yuan (27,500 USD). [101]

The dating game show If You Are the One, titled after Chinese personal ads, featured some provocative contestants making sexual allusions and the show reportedly ran afoul of authorities and had to change its approach. [102] The two-host format involves a panel of 24 single women questioning a man to decide if he'll remain on the show if he survives, he can choose a girl to date the show gained notoriety for controversial remarks and opinions such as model Ma Nuo saying she'd prefer to "weep in a BMW than laugh on a bike", who was later banned from making appearances. [103]

India Edit

Indian dating is heavily influenced by the custom of arranged marriages which require little dating, although there are strong indications that the institution is undergoing change, and that love marriages are becoming more accepted as India becomes more intertwined with the rest of the world. In the cities at least, it is becoming more accepted for two people to meet and try to find if there is compatibility. [104]

The majority of Indian marriages are arranged by parents and relatives, and one estimate is that 7 of every 10 marriages are arranged. [105] Sometimes the bride and groom don't meet until the wedding, and there is no courtship or wooing before the joining. [73] In the past, it meant that couples were chosen from the same caste and religion and economic status. [106] There is widespread support for arranged marriages generally. Writer Lavina Melwani described a happy marriage which had been arranged by the bride's father, and noted that during the engagement, the woman was allowed to go out with him before they were married on only one occasion the couple married and found happiness. [107] Supporters of arranged marriage suggest that there is a risk of having the marriage fall apart whether it was arranged by relatives or by the couple themselves, and that what's important is not how the marriage came to be but what the couple does after being married. [107] Parents and relatives exert considerable influence, sometimes posting matrimonial ads in newspapers and online. [106] Customs encourage families to put people together, and discourage sexual experimentation as well as so-called serial courtship in which a prospective bride or groom dates but continually rejects possible partners, since the interests of the family are seen as more important than the romantic needs of the people marrying. [2] Indian writers, such as Mistry in his book Family Matters, sometimes depict arranged marriages as unhappy. [108] Writer Sarita Sarvate of India Currents thinks people calculate their "value" on the "Indian marriage market" according to measures such as family status, and that arranged marriages typically united spouses who often didn't love each other. [109] She suggested love was out of place in this world because it risked passion and "sordid" sexual liaisons. [109] Love, as she sees it, is "Waking up in the morning and thinking about someone." [109] Writer Jennifer Marshall described the wife in an arranged marriage as living in a world of solitude without much happiness, and feeling pressured by relatives to conceive a son so she wouldn't be considered as "barren" by her husband's family in this sense, the arranged marriage didn't bring "love, happiness, and companionship." [110] Writer Vijaysree Venkatraman believes arranged marriages are unlikely to disappear soon, commenting in his book review of Shoba Narayan's Monsoon Diary, which has a detailed description of the steps involved in a present-day arranged marriage. [111] There are indications that even the institution of arranged marriages is changing, with marriages increasingly being arranged by "unknown, unfamiliar sources" and less based on local families who know each other. [105] Writer Lavina Melwani in Little India compared Indian marriages to business deals:

Until recently, Indian marriages had all the trappings of a business transaction involving two deal-making families, a hardboiled matchmaker and a vocal board of shareholders – concerned uncles and aunts. The couple was almost incidental to the deal. They just dressed and showed up for the wedding ceremony. And after that the onus was on them to adjust to the 1,001 relatives, get to know each other and make the marriage work.

Relationships in which dating is undertaken by two people, who choose their dates without parental involvement and sometimes carry on clandestine get-togethers, has become increasingly common. When this leads to a wedding, the resulting unions are sometimes called love marriages. There are increasing instances when couples initiate contact on their own, particularly if they live in a foreign country in one case, a couple met surreptitiously over a game of cards. [106] Indians who move abroad to Britain or America often follow the cultural patterns of their new country: for example, one Indian woman met a white American man while skiing, and married him, and the formerly "all-important relatives" were reduced to bystanders trying to influence things ineffectively. [106] Factors operating worldwide, such as increased affluence, the need for longer education, and greater mobility have lessened the appeal for arranged marriages, and these trends have affected criteria about which possible partners are acceptable, making it more likely that pairings will cross previously impenetrable barriers such as caste or ethnic background. [106] Indian Americans in the U.S. sometimes participate in Singles Meets organized by websites which happen about once a month, with 100 participants at each event an organizer did not have firm statistics about the success rate leading to a long-term relationship but estimated about one in every ten members finds a partner through the site. [112]

Dating websites are gaining ground in India. Writer Rupa Dev preferred websites which emphasized authenticity and screened people before entering their names into their databases, making it a safer environment overall, so that site users can have greater trust that it is safe to date others on the site. [113] Dev suggested that dating websites were much better than the anonymous chatrooms of the 1990s. [113]

During the interval before marriage, whether it is an arranged or a love marriage, private detectives have been hired to check up on a prospective bride or groom, or to verify claims about a potential spouse made in newspaper advertising, and there are reports that such snooping is increasing. [105] Detectives investigate former amorous relationships and can include fellow college students, former police officers skilled in investigations, and medical workers "with access to health records." [105]

Transsexuals and eunuchs have begun using Internet dating in some states in India. [114]

The practice of dating runs against some religious traditions, and the radical Hindu group Sri Ram Sena threatened to "force unwed couples" to marry, if they were discovered dating on Valentine's Day a fundamentalist leader said "drinking and dancing in bars and celebrating this day has nothing to do with Hindu traditions." [115] The threat sparked a protest via the Internet which resulted in cartloads of pink panties being sent to the fundamentalist leader's office. [115] as part of the Pink Chaddi Campaign (Pink Underwear/Panties Campaign). Another group, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, threatened to do the same, for which it was severely mocked online [116] and on the day after Valentine's Day, had protesters outside its Delhi headquarters, with people (mockingly) complaining that it did not fulfill its "promise", [117] with some having come with materials for the wedding rituals.

Japan Edit

There is a type of courtship called Omiai in which parents hire a matchmaker to give resumes and pictures to potential mates for their approval, leading to a formal meeting with parents and matchmaker attending. [118] If the couple has a few dates, they're often pressured by the matchmaker and parents to decide whether or not to marry. [118]

Korea Edit

The reasons for dating in Korea are various. Research conducted by Saegye Daily showed that teenagers choose to date for reasons such as "to become more mature," "to gain consultation on worries, or troubles," or "to learn the difference between boys and girls," etc. [119] Similarly, a news report in MK Daily showed that the primary reasons for dating for workers of around ages 20-30 are "emotional stability," "marriage," "someone to spend time with," etc. [120] An interesting feature in the reasons for dating in Korea is that many Koreans are somewhat motivated to find a date due to the societal pressure that often views single persons as incompetent. [121]

Present Korean dating shows a changing attitude due to the influence of tradition and modernization. There are a lot of Confucian ideas and practices that still saturate South Korean culture and daily life as traditional values. [122] Patriarchy in Korea has been grounded on Confucian culture that postulated hierarchical social orders according to age and sex. [123] Patriarchy is "a system of social structure and practices in which men dominate, oppress and exploit women” which is well reflected in the ways of dating in Korea. [124] Adding to it, there is an old saying that says a boy and a girl should not sit together after they have reached the age of seven. It is one of the old teachings of Confucianism [125] and reveals its inclination toward conservatism.

Most Koreans tend to regard dating as a precursor to marriage. According to a survey conducted by Gyeonggi-do Family Women's Researcher on people of age 26-44, 85.7% of respondents replied as ‘willing to get married’. There is no dating agency but the market for marriage agencies are growing continuously. [126] DUO and Gayeon are one of the major marriage agencies in Korea. Also, "Mat-sun", the blind date which is usually based on the premise of marriage, is held often among ages of late 20s to 30s. [127] But the late trend is leaning towards the separation between dating and marriage unlike the conservative ways of the past. [128] In the survey conducted by a marriage agency, of 300 single males and females who were asked of their opinions on marrying their lovers, about only 42% of the males and 39% of the females said yes. [129] There are also cases of dating without the premise of marriage. However, the majority still takes getting into a relationship seriously.

Dating in Korea is also considered a necessary activity supported by society. [121] Korean adults are constantly questioned whether or not they are dating by the people around them. [121] During family gatherings on holidays one of the questions that people hate getting asked the most is related to marriage. [130] According to a survey it was the highest ranked by 47.3 percent. [130]

College students in their sophomore to junior year who have not been in a relationship feel anxious that they are falling behind amongst their peers. Most of them try "sogaeting", going out on a blind date, for the first time to get into a relationship. Dating is a duty that most people feel they must take on to not seem incompetent. [131] In recent trends, even dramas such as “”Shining Romance” (“빛나는 로맨스”), and “Jang Bo-ri is Here!” (“왔다 장보리”), and in a variety show called, “Dad! Where Are We Going?” (“아빠 어디가?”) there are elementary children confessing their love.

Dating has also been depicted to be an activity of fun and happiness. There are Korean TV programs that film celebrities together as married couples supporting this depiction of dating such as “We Got Married” (“우리 결혼했어요”), “With You” (“님과 함께”) and “The Man Who Gets Married Daily” (“매일 결혼 하는 남자.”) [131]

According to a survey by wedding consulting agency, men consider a physical relation as a catalyst of love, otherwise, women regard it as a confirmation of affection. Adding to it, both 79.2% of men and 71.0% of women stated that how deep their physical relation in dating is concerned in the decision of whether to marry. [132]

Pakistan Edit

Marriages and courtship in Pakistan are influenced by traditional cultural practices similar to those elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent as well as Muslim norms and manners. Illegitimate relationships before marriage are considered a social taboo and social interaction between unmarried men and women is encouraged at a modest and healthy level. Couples are usually wedded through either an arranged marriage or love marriage. Love marriages are those in which the individuals have chosen a partner whom they like by their own choice prior to marriage, and usually occur with the consent of parents and family. Arranged marriages on the other hand are marriages which are set and agreed by the families or guardians of the two individuals where the couple may not have met before. In either cases and in consistency with traditional marital practices, individuals who marry are persuaded to meet and talk to each other for some time before considering marrying so that they can check their compatibility.

Singapore Edit

Singapore's largest dating service, SDU, Social Development Unit, is a government-run dating system. The original SDU, which controversially promoted marriages among university graduate singles, no longer exists today. On 28 January 2009, it was merged with SDS [Social Development Services], which just as controversially promoted marriages among non-graduate singles. The merged unit, SDN Social Development Network seeks to promote meaningful relationships, with marriage touted as a top life goal, among all resident [Singapore] singles within a conducive network environment of singles, relevant commercial and public entities.

Taiwan Edit

Survey of Taiwan students
Statement Agree
Hopeful they'll find a relationship 37%
Have no clear idea how to approach someone who interested them 90%
"Changes of heart" and "cheating" cause breakups 60%
Willing to resume relationship if problems are resolved 31%
Having more than one relationship at a time isn't good 70%
Women who won't enter a relationship if man lives too far away 70%
Women who believe height in men matters 96%
. source: China Daily [133]

One report suggested that in southern Taiwan, "traditional rules of courtship" still apply despite the influence of popular culture for example, men continue to take the initiative in forming relationships. [133] A poll in 2009 of students at high schools and vocational schools found that over 90% admitted that they had "no clear idea of how to approach someone of the opposite sex who interested them". What caused relationships to break up? 60% said "changes of heart" or "cheating". Dating more than one person at a time was not permissible, agreed 70%.

Europe Edit

Britain Edit

In Britain, the term dating bears similarity to the American sense of the tentative exploratory part of a relationship. If two people are going out together, it may mean they're dating but that their relationship has advanced to a relatively long-standing and sexual boyfriend-girlfriend relationship although they're not cohabiting. Although Britons are familiar with the term dating, the rituals surrounding courtship are somewhat different from those commonly found in North America. Writer Kira Cochrane advises daters to "get out there and meet people" while noting a trend of temporary suspension of marriage until an individual reaches his or her thirties. [16] She sees a trend for developing new ways of meeting people. [16] In contrast, writer Bibi van der Zee found dating etiquette rules to be helpful, and found that supposedly liberated advice such as "just be yourself" to be the "most useless advice in history." [134] She expresses frustration following fruitless sexual relationships, and that her mid twenties saw dating relationships with partners who were less willing to return phone calls or display interest in long-term commitment. She felt "clueless and unwanted", she wrote, and found advice books such as The Rules helpful. [135] British writer Henry Castiglione signed up for a "weekend flirting course" and found the experience helpful he was advised to talk to and smile at everyone he met. [136] Emailing back-and-forth, after meeting on a dating website, is one way to get to know people in Britain, and elsewhere. [35] In the UK, one estimate from 2009 is that 15 million people are single, and half of these are seeking a long-term relationship three-quarters of them have not been in a relationship for more than 18 months. [137] In a twelve-month period, the average number of dates that a single person will have is four. [137] When dating, 43% of people google their dates ahead of time. [138] Almost five million Britons visited a dating website in the past twelve months. [137] A third admitting to lying on their profile. [137] A fifth of married individuals between 19 and 25 met their spouse online. [137] One poll in 2009 of 3,000 couples suggested that the average duration of their courtship period, between first meeting to the acceptance of a marriage proposal, was three years. [139] In 2017 Britain online dating fraud victim numbers at record high. According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, there were 3,889 victims of so-called romance fraud last year [140] who handed over a record £39m. Online dating safety in the UK is a concern for authorities and individuals.

German-speaking countries Edit

While analysts such as Harald Martenstein and others suggest that it is easier for persons to initiate contact in America, many Germans view the American dating habits as "unspontaneous", "ridiculous" and "rigid". [ citation needed ] Until the 1960s, countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Austria had a more formal approach for first contacts that was eased during seasonal festivals like carnival and festivals and funfairs like the Oktoberfest, which allowed for more casual flirts. [141]

Membership in voluntary associations is relatively high in German-speaking countries and these provided further chances for possible partners to meet. Strolling on Esplanades and Promenade walkways such as the one in Hamburg called the Jungfernstieg (maidens way), have been another venue for introductions as early as the 19th century. Analyst Geoffrey Gorer described dating as an American idiosyncrasy focusing on youth of college age and expressed in activities such as American proms. In contrast German speaking countries and the longstanding musical tradition there provided ample opportunity of persons of varying ages enjoying social dances, such as the Vienna Opera Ball and other occasions.

Romantic encounters were often described with French terms like rendezvous or tête-à-tête. The German term of Stelldichein (as translated by Joachim Heinrich Campes) is used to signify dating when the age of consent to marriage was relatively high. German traditions to signify lovers who met in hiding were described with terms like Fensterln (windowing) or Kiltgang (dawn stroll) used in Bavaria and Switzerland. [142] Analyst Sebastian Heinzel sees a major cultural divide between American dating habits and European informality, and leads to instances in which European expatriates in cities such as New York keep to themselves. [143]

Today, most German couples in long-term relationships get to know each other through mutual friends, at work or while going out at night the first few months of dating often involve sexual intercourse, but are still rather casual and do not imply a serious wish to get married. [144]

Italy Edit

Italians maintain a conservative approach to dating. Also, inviting friends or relatives during a date is not uncommon. More modern approaches such as blind dates, speed dating and dating websites are not as popular as abroad, and are not considered very effective by the majority of the population. However, social network members outnumber the European average, [145] and they may use Facebook for dating purposes too.

Spain Edit

One report suggested Spanish women were the "greatest flirts", based on an unofficial study by a dating website which ranked countries based on initiations of contact. [146]

Middle East Edit

Iran Edit

People of different sexes are not allowed to "mix freely" in public. [147] Since 1979, the state has become a religious autocracy, and imposes Islamic edicts on matters such as dating. Clerics run officially sanctioned internet dating agencies with strict rules. [147] Prospective couples can have three meetings: two with strict supervision inside the center, and the third being a "brief encounter on their own" afterwards, they can either (1) choose to marry or (2) agree to never see each other again. [147] This has become the subject of a film by Iranian filmmaker Leila Lak. [147] Iran has a large population of young people with 70 percent of the 83-million population being under the age of thirty. [148] However, economic hardship discourages marriage, and divorce rates have increased in Tehran to around a quarter of marriages, [148] even though divorce is taboo. [148] While the Iranian government "condemns dating and relationships", it promotes marriage with (1) online courses (2) "courtship classes" where students can "earn a diploma" after sitting through weekly tests and "hundreds of hours of education" (3) "marriage diplomas" (4) matchmaking and arranged marriages. [148] Authorities push a conservative approach and shun unmarried romantic relationships and encourage "traditional match-making". [148] But young people have disobeyed the restrictions one said "It is wiser to have different relationships" and believed in defying religious rules which suggest "short-term illegitimate relationships harm dignity." [148] Adultery can be punished by death. [148] While youths can flout selected restrictions, there are almost no instances in which unmarried people move in together. [148] There have been efforts to promote Sigheh (temporary marriage). [148]

Israel Edit

In Israel, in the secular community, dating is very common amongst both heterosexual and homosexual couples. However, because of the religious community, there are some religious exceptions to the dating process. In the Haredi and Chasidic communities (Ultra-Orthodox Judaism) most couples are paired through a matchmaker.

Lebanon Edit

One report suggests the Lebanese dating game is hampered by "the weight of family demands upon individual choice" and that there were difficulties, particularly for people seeking to marry across religious lines, such as a Christian seeking to marry a Muslim. [149]

Saudi Arabia Edit

The Saudi Gazette quoted a Wikipedia article on domestic violence, suggesting it was an issue for Saudis, including abusive behavior while dating by one or both partners. [68]

North America Edit

One report suggested the United States as well as other western-oriented countries were different from the rest of the world because "love is the reason for mating," as opposed to marriages being arranged to cement economic and class ties between families and promote political stability. [5] Dating, by mutual consent of two single people, is the norm. British writer Kira Cochrane, after moving to the U.S., found herself grappling with the American approach to dating. [150] She wondered why it was acceptable to juggle "10 potential partners" while weighing different attributes she found American-style dating to be "exhausting and strange." [150] She found dating in America to be "organized in a fairly formal fashion" with men approaching women and asking point blank for a date she found this to be "awkward." [150] She described the "third date rule" which was that women weren't supposed to have sex until the third date even if they desired it, although men were supposed to try for sex. [151] She wrote: "Dating rules almost always cast the man as aggressor, and the woman as prey, which frankly makes me feel nauseous." [151] Canadian writer Danielle Crittenden, however, chronicling female angst, criticized a tendency not to take dating seriously and suggested that postponing marriage into one's thirties was problematic: [152]

By waiting and waiting and waiting to commit to someone, our capacity for love shrinks and withers. This doesn't mean that women or men should marry the first reasonable person to come along, or someone with whom they are not in love. But we should, at a much earlier age than we do now, take a serious attitude toward dating and begin preparing ourselves to settle down. For it's in the act of taking up the roles we've been taught to avoid or postpone––wife, husband, mother, father––that we build our identities, expand our lives, and achieve the fullness of character we desire.

Journalist Emily Witt in 2016 wrote that while "social mores had changed to accept a wider range of sexual practices", there was still much "loneliness and anxiety". [153] She traveled to San Francisco and began dating a lot, using Internet dating services and apps, and sometimes going to singles' bars alone, only to find that the "romantic-comedy concept of love" with a "perfect, permanent, tea-for-two ending" was not going to happen to her. [153]

There is evidence that couples differ in the pace and timing with which they initiate sex in their relationships. Studies show that approximately 50% of premarital young adult couples become sexually involved within the first month of dating, while 25% initiate sex one to three months after beginning to date and a small proportion of couples wait until marriage before initiating sexual relations. [154]

Teenagers and college-aged students tend to avoid the more formal activity of dating, and prefer casual no-strings-attached experiments sometimes described as 'hookups'. It permits young women to "go out and fit into the social scene, get attention from young men, and learn about sexuality", according to one report by sociologists. [155] The term hookup can describe a wide variety of behavior ranging from kissing to non-genital touching according to one report, only about one third of people had sexual intercourse. [155] A contrary report, however, suggested there has been no "sea change" in sexual behavior regarding college students from 1988 onwards, and that the term hookup itself continued to be used to describe a variety of relationships, including merely socializing or passionate kissing as well as sexual intercourse. [156]

Muslims living in the United States can choose whether to use traditional Islamic methods, or date American-style Muslims choosing to stick to Islamic tradition can "only marry another Muslim", according to one Malaysian account. Mosques have been known to try to bring people together––one in California has a dating service for Muslims. [157]

Oceania Edit

Australia Edit

A recent study revealed that 50% of Australians agreed it was permissible to request a date via a text message but not acceptable to break up with them this way. [14] Flirting while texting, dubbed flirtext, was more likely to be done by girls after a relationship was started. [14] A survey of newspaper readers suggested it was time to abandon the "old fashioned rule" of men paying for the first date, based on women's greater earning capacity. [158] A dating show on TV features three couples who live under one roof, but who can only have contact in a "specially created dark room", and the show is scheduled to be hosted by Miss Australia model Laura Dundovic. [159]

South America Edit

Brazil Edit

In Brazil there is a longer time interval before children move out of the house, which affects dating. [160] As a result, parents offer advice about dating although it may not be heeded. [160]

A report in Psychology Today found that homosexual men were attracted to men in their late teens and early twenties and did not care much about the status of a prospective partner rather, physical attractiveness was the key. [161] Gay men, on average, tend to have more sexual partners, while lesbians tended to form steadier one-on-one relationships, and tend to be less promiscuous than heterosexual women. [161] [ dubious – discuss ]

In India, transgender individuals and eunuchs have used Internet dating to help them find partners, but there continue to be strong societal pressures which marginalize these groups. [114]

People can meet other people on their own or the get-together can be arranged by someone else. Matchmaking is an art based entirely on hunches, since it is impossible to predict with certainty whether two people will like each other or not. "All you should ever try and do is make two people be in the same room at the same time," advised matchmaker Sarah Beeny in 2009, and the only rule is to make sure the people involved want to be set up. [162] One matchmaker advised it was good to match "brains as well as beauty" and try to find people with similar religious and political viewpoints and thinks that like-minded people result in more matches, although acknowledging that opposites sometimes attract. [163] It is easier to put several people together at the same time, so there are other candidates possible if one doesn't work out. [163] And, after introducing people, don't meddle. [163]

Friends as matchmakers Edit

Friends remain a common way for people to meet. [164] However, the Internet promises to overtake friends in the future, if present trends continue. [41] [164] A friend can introduce two people who do not know each other, and the friend may play matchmaker and send them on a blind date. In The Guardian, British writer Hannah Pool was cynical about being set up on a blind date she was told "basically he's you but in a male form" by the mutual friend. [165] She googled her blind date's name along with the words "wife" and "girlfriend" and "partner" and "boyfriend" to see whether her prospective date was in any kind of relationship or gay he wasn't any of these things. [165] She met him for coffee in London and she now lives with him, sharing a home and business. [165] When friends introduce two people who do not know each other, it is often called a blind date.

Family as matchmakers Edit

Parents, via their contacts with associates or neighbors or friends, can introduce their children to each other. In India, parents often place matrimonial ads in newspapers or online, and may post the resumes of the prospective bride or groom. [166]

Matchmaking systems and services Edit

Dating systems can be systematic and organized ways to improve matchmaking by using rules or technology. The meeting can be in-person or live as well as separated by time or space such as by telephone or email or chat-based. The purpose of the meeting is for the two persons to decide whether to go on a date in the future.

  • Speed dating consists of organized matchmaking events that have multiple single persons meet one-on-one in brief timed sessions so that singles can assess further whether to have subsequent dates. An example is meeting perhaps twenty potential partners in a bar with brief interviews between each possible couple, perhaps lasting three minutes in length, and shuffling partners. In Shanghai, one event featured eight-minute one-on-one meetings in which participants were pre-screened by age and education and career, and which costs 50 yuan ($6 USD) per participant participants are asked not to reveal contact information during the brief meeting with the other person, but rather place names in cards for organizers to arrange subsequent dates. [94] Advantages of speed dating: efficiency "avoids an embarrassing disaster date" cost-effective way to make friends. [94] Disadvantages: it can turn into a beauty contest with only a few good-looking participants getting most offers, while less attractive peers received few or no offers critics suggest that the format prevents factors such as personality and intelligence from emerging, particularly in large groups with extra-brief meeting times. [167]

(Speed dating is) a fast and comfortable way to meet people. It helps enlarge my social contacts. I don't care if I can't find a girlfriend there. I just want to try my luck, and if she is there, then that will be a big bonus.

  • Video dating systems of the 1980s and 1990s especially, where customers gave a performance on (typically VHS) video, which was viewable by other customers, usually in private, in the same facility. Some services would record and play back videos for men and women on alternate days to minimize the chance that customers would meet each other on the street.
  • Phone dating systems of about the same vintage, where customers call a common voice mail or phone-chat server at a common local phone number, and are connected with other (reputed) singles, and typically charged by the minute as if it were a long-distance call (often a very expensive one). A key problem of such systems was that they were hard to differentiate from a phone porn service or "phone sex" where female operators are paid to arouse male customers and have no intention of ever dating them.
  • Online dating systems use websites or mobile phone apps to connect possible romantic or sexual partners.

Computers as matchmakers Edit

Computer dating systems of the later 20th century, especially popular in the 1960s and 1970s, before the rise of sophisticated phone and computer systems, gave customers forms that they filled out with important tolerances and preferences, which were "matched by computer" to determine "compatibility" of the two customers. The history of dating systems is closely tied to the history of technologies that support them, although a statistics-based dating service that used data from forms filled out by customers opened in Newark, New Jersey in 1941. [168]

The first large-scale computer dating system, The Scientific Marriage Foundation, was established in 1957 by Dr. George W. Crane. [169] In this system, forms that applicants filled out were processed by an IBM card sorting machine. The earliest commercially successfully computerized dating service in either the US or UK was Com-Pat, started by Joan Ball in 1964. [170] Operation Match, started by Harvard University students a year later is often erroneously claimed to be the "first computerized dating service." [171] In actuality, both Com-Pat and Operation Match were preceded by other computerized dating services in Europe—the founders of Operation Match and Joan Ball of Com-Pat both stated they had heard about these European computer dating services and that those served as the inspiration for their respective ideas to create computer dating businesses. [170] [172]

The longest running and most successful early computer dating business, both in terms of numbers of users and in terms of profits, was Dateline, which was started in the UK in 1965 by John Patterson. Patterson's business model was not fully legal, however. He was charged with fraud on several occasions for selling lists of the women who signed up for his service to men who were looking for prostitutes. [170] Dateline existed until Patterson's death from alcoholism in 1997, and during the early 1990s it was reported to be the most profitable computer dating company in the world. [170]

In the early 1980s in New York City, software developers wrote algorithms to match singles romantically, sometimes using collaborative filtering technologies. [173]

Compatibility algorithms and matching software are becoming increasingly sophisticated. [23]

Using the Internet Edit

Online dating services charge a fee to user to post a profile of himself or herself, perhaps using video or still images as well as descriptive data and personal preferences for dating, such as age range, hobbies, and so forth.

Online dating was a $2 billion per year industry, as of 2014 [update] , with an annual growth rate of 5%. The industry is dominated by a few large companies, such as EHarmony, Zoosk and InterActiveCorp, or IAC, which owns several brands including and OkCupid, and new entrants continue to emerge. [171] In 2019, Taimi, previously targeted to gay men, was re-introduced as a dating service for all LGBTQI+ people.

Online dating businesses are thriving financially, with growth in members, service offerings, and membership fees and with many users renewing their accounts, although the overall share of Internet traffic using online dating services in the U.S. has declined from 2003 (21% of all Internet users) to 2006 (10%).

While online dating has become more accepted, it retains a slight negative stigma. [174] After controversies such as the 2015 hacking of Ashley Madison user data, dating sites must work to convince users that they're safe places having quality members. [175]

There is widespread evidence that online dating has increased rapidly and is becoming "mainstream" with new websites appearing regularly. [176] One study suggested that 18% of single persons had used the Internet for dating purposes. [177]

Reports vary about the effectiveness of dating web sites to result in marriages or long–term relationships. Pew Research, based on a 2005 survey of 3,215 adults, estimated that three million Americans had entered into long-term relationships or marriage as a result of meeting on a dating web site. [178] While sites have touted marriage rates from 10% to 25%, sociologists and marriage researchers are highly skeptical that valid statistics underlie any such claims. [178]

The Pew study (see table) suggested the Internet was becoming increasingly prominent and accepted as a way to meet people for dates, although there were cautions about deception, the risk of violence, [39] and some concerns about stigmas. [39] The report suggested most people had positive experiences with online dating websites and felt they were excellent ways to meet more people. [39] The report also said that online daters tend to have more liberal social attitudes compared to the general population. [39]

In India, parents sometimes participate in websites designed to match couples. [166] Some online dating sites can organize double dates or group dates. [179]

Research from Berkeley suggests there's a dropoff in interest after online daters meet face–to–face. [23] It's a lean medium not offering standard cues such as tone of voice, gestures, and facial expressions. [23] There is substantial data about online dating habits for example, researchers believe that "the likelihood of a reply to a message sent by one online dater to another drops roughly 0.7 percent with every day that goes by". [23] Psychologist Lindsay Shaw Taylor found that even though people said they'd be willing to date someone of a different race, that people tend to choose dates similar to themselves. [23]

Internet "QQ" chat rooms, cheaper than traditional websites and agencies, are gaining popularity in China. [92]

Online website usage survey [39]
Estimate %
Internet users who've used it romantically 74%
Know somebody who found long-term partner via Internet 15%
Know someone who's used a dating website 31%
Know someone who's gone on a date after visiting a website 26%
Agree online dating can be dangerous 66%
Don't think online dating is dangerous 25%
Believe online dating is for those in "dire straits" 29%
Gone on a dating website 10%

There are dating applications or apps on mobile phones. [180]

Virtual dating incorporates elements of video-game play and dating. Users create avatars and spend time in virtual worlds in an attempt to meet other avatars with the purpose of meeting for potential dates.

Mobile dating or cellphone dating refers to exchanging text messages to express interest in others on the system. These may be web-based or online as well, depending on the company.

At a singles event, a group of singles are brought together to take part in various activities for the purposes of meeting new people. Events might include parties, workshops, and games. Many events are aimed at singles of particular affiliations, interests, or religions. [181] A weekend flirting course in Britain advised daters to "love the inner you" and understand the difference between arrogance from insecurity and "true self-confidence" it featured exercises in which students were told to imagine that they were "great big beautiful gods and goddesses" and treat others similarly. [136]

Board games Edit

Mystery Date is a board game from the Milton Bradley Company, originally released in 1965 and reissued in 1970, 1999, and in 2005, whose object is to be ready for a date by acquiring three matching color-coded cards to assemble an outfit. The outfit must then match the outfit of the date at the "mystery door". If the player's outfit does not match the date behind the door, the door is closed and play continues. The game has been mentioned, featured, or parodied in several popular films and television shows.

Television Edit

Numerous television reality and game shows, past and current, address dating. For example, the dating game shows The Dating Game first aired in 1965, while more modern shows in that genre include The Manhattan Dating Project (US Movie about Dating in New York City), Blind Date, The 5th Wheel, and The Bachelor and its spinoff series, in which a high degree of support and aids are provided to individuals seeking dates. These are described more fully here and in the related article on "reality game shows" that often include or motivate romantic episodes between players. Another category of dating-oriented reality TV shows involves matchmaking, such as Millionaire Matchmaker and Tough Love. A popular dating-themed TV show in the UK is Take Me Out.

Dating can happen for people in most age groups with the possible exception of young children. Teenagers and tweens have been described as dating according to the CDC, three-quarters of eighth and ninth graders in the United States described themselves as "dating", although it is unclear what is exactly meant by this term. [182] A 2018 study in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence found that serious dating among teenagers can have negative affects on a teenager's mood. This is most likely due to the incomplete cognitive and emotional development of teenagers that cause a lack of ability to handle the challenging aspects of romantic relationships. [183] [184]

Young persons are exposed to many in their high schools or secondary schools or college or universities. [185] There is anecdotal evidence that traditional dating—one-on-one public outings—has declined rapidly among the younger generation in the United States in favor of less intimate sexual encounters sometimes known as hookups (slang), described as brief sexual experiences with "no strings attached", although exactly what is meant by the term hookup varies considerably. [186] Dating is being bypassed and is seen as archaic, and relationships are sometimes seen as "greedy" by taking time away from other activities, [187] although exclusive relationships form later. [188] Some college newspapers have decried the lack of dating on campuses after a 2001 study was published, and conservative groups have promoted "traditional" dating. [189] When young people are in school, they have a lot of access to people their own age, and do not need tools such as online websites or dating services. [190] Chinese writer Lao Wai, writing to homeland Chinese about America, considered that the college years were the "golden age of dating" for Americans, when Americans dated more than at any other time in their life. [1] [185] There are indications people in their twenties are less focused on marriage but on careers. [191]

People over thirty, lacking the recency of a college experience, have better luck online finding partners. [185] Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett in 2002 found that 55% of 35-year-old career women were childless, while 19% of male corporate executives were, and concluded that "the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child." [192]

While people tend to date others close to their own age, it's possible for older men to date younger women. In many countries, the older-man-younger-woman arrangement is seen as permissible, sometimes with benefits. It's looked on more positively in the U.S. than in China older men are described as more knowledgeable sexually and intellectually, supportive, skilled in the ways of women, and financially more secure so there's "no more going Dutch." [193] In China, older men with younger women are more likely to be described as "weird uncles" rather than "silver foxes." [193] One Beijing professor reportedly advised his male students to delay dating:

Research shows that successful men are, on average, older than their spouses by 12 years exceptional men, by 17 years and Nobel laureates, well, they can be 54 years older than their mates. Why date now when your ideal wives are still in kindergarten!

A notable example of the older-woman-younger-man is Demi Moore pairing with 15-years-her-junior Ashton Kutcher. Older women in such relations have recently been described as "cougars", and formerly such relationships were often kept secret or discreet, but there is a report that such relationships are becoming more accepted and increasing. [194]

Since divorce is increasing in many areas, sometimes celebrated with "divorce parties", [195] there is dating advice for the freshly divorced as well, which includes not talking about your ex or your divorce, but focusing on "activities that bring joy to your life." [34] Adviser Claire Rayner in The Guardian suggests calling people from your address book with whom you haven't been in touch for years and say "I'd love to get back in contact." [196] Do activities you like doing with like-minded people if someone seems interesting to you, tell them. [196] It's more acceptable for this group for women to ask men out. [196]

14 Kurisu Makise (42,666 Votes)

SteinsGate was a pivotal and influential anime in more ways than one, but the area that really counts is in crafting one of the most famous tsunderes in anime. Kurisu "Christina" Makise is the reluctant partner in crime and science to the series' lead (more on him later). Her biting tongue made for some great rapport, and her sweet side helped compliment the famous endearing quality of the series main cast.

While good on their own, these qualities gave some weight to the twist in the beginning that she may very well die in the series. Grabbing the viewers tighter as the series gone on, fans began to love and worry more and more for their beloved Christina.

Spanking the Monkey: The most controversial self-pleasure scenes

Bollywood comedy Veere Di Wedding sparked controversy in India and Pakistan after it featured &ndash and we hope you&rsquore sitting down for this &ndash women drinking, having casual relations, and masturbating . In the West this would obviously not be seen as a big issue.

In fact, you&rsquoll be pushed to find grown up material that doesn&rsquot feature at least one if not all of those sordid lady activities &ndash and hallelujah for that. Claim what&rsquos yours, ladies! However, that&rsquos not to say that Hollywood hasn&rsquot had its own controversies with movie scenes of people having some &ldquo me&rdquo time. Brace yourself, because here&rsquos our ranking of the ten most controversial in cinema history.

10. Psycho

In 1998, Gus Van Sant made a shot for shot, color remake of Alfred Hitchcock &lsquos classic horror film Psycho . No one can remember why he did this and we&rsquore not sure he ever really explained &ndash or maybe it&rsquos more that we just never cared to find out.

Either way, the one shot that isn&rsquot in the original is the completely pointless edition of a scene in which Norman Bates ( Vince Vaughn ) yanks one out while watching Marion Crane ( Anne Heche ) through a peephole. Why Van Sant did this &ndash much like the making of the whole film &ndash is a total freakin&rsquo mystery to everyone.

9. The Doom Generation

The Doom Generation ends with a dude&rsquos manhood being cut off, so of course there&rsquos also a scene in which a hot young hustler ( Johnathon Schaech ) sneakily watches a couple ( James Duval and Rose McGowan ) have sex while he quickly and excitedly pleasures himself before swallowing his own fluids. Of course! Thanks for memories, Gregg Araki ( Kaboom ) .

8. The Neon Demon

One of those films that seemed to aim for controversy instead of just causing it, Nicolas Winding Refn &rsquos The Neon Demon , features a scene in which Jesse ( Elle Fanning ) &ndash after not being able to have sex with Ruby &ndash goes to her day job at a mortuary and rubs herself on the body of a recently deceased woman. In between this scene, it also cuts back to Ruby who is just casually rubbing one out on her couch. It&rsquos a happy ending all around.

7. The Exorcist

There&rsquos still some debate about whether poor possessed Regan ( Linda Blair ) was actually pleasuring herself with a crucifix or &ndash actually we&rsquore not entirely sure what else you could argue she was doing with that thing down there. The point is audiences were horrified by the scene, perhaps failing to realize that was the entire point.

6. There&rsquos Something About Mary

This fairly light-hearted goofball comedy about a group of men who all fall in love with and then mercilessly stalk the same young woman features a scene where Ben Stiller ( Zoolander ) lets off some steam down there before going on a date with Cameron Diaz ( Gangs of New York ) &ndash a ll because his buddy &ndash who&rsquos also stalking her because it was the 90s and totally cool &ndash told him to.

Naturally, Diaz&rsquos character mistakes his resulting gelatinous love goop for hair gel and gives herself a weird hairstyle with it. Again &ndash it was the 90s. But even at the time people where surely asking the question: &ldquoIf you really wanted hair gel that bad, would you literally take it off someone else&rsquos ear and put it into your own hair?&rdquo

5 . Mulholland Drive

David Lynch &rsquos ( Blue Velvet ) modern masterpiece contains many extraordinary scenes, but one of the lesser spoken-about features Betty ( Naomi Watts ) having a savage cry-wank. The scene is only a minute long and the act becomes more an act of self-hatred &ndash like the crucifix scene from The Exorcist &ndash than any kind of actual pleasure, summing up perfectly Betty&rsquos loneliness & frustration.

4. Midnight Express

Alan Parker &rsquos ( Evita ) cautionary true story of Billy Hayes ( Brad Davis ) who was caught trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey is famous for its harrowing scenes, most notably the scene in which Hayes&rsquos girlfriend Susan ( Irene Miracle ) visits him in the prison. In the knowledge he&rsquos probably going to be in for a long time and maybe never see her again, Billy asks her to press herself against the prison glass while he pumps out his passion for her. It&rsquos as grim as it sounds.

3. Happiness

Todd Solondz &rsquos ( Wiener-Dog ) dark comedy is pitch black. So pitch black, it&rsquos practically an abyss. It&rsquos also very, very funny and rightfully revered as a masterpiece.

Happiness also happens to feature not one, but two controversial scenes: one in which Allen ( Philip Seymour Hoffman ) sticks a picture to the wall with his own issue and another in which the anguished son of a pedophile Billy (Rufus Read) finally pulls one out before a dog eats his fresh load. We told you it was pitch black.

2 . Being There

Hal Ashby &rsquos ( Coming Home ) satirical masterpiece about the machinations of power is rightly remembered for its iconic final scene in which Chance The Gardener ( Peter Sellers ) walks on water to the sound of a voiceover that declares &ldquolife is a state of mind&rdquo.

Earlier on in the film sees a brave scene featuring Shirley MacLaine (playing Eve Rand) as she pleasures herself for what is quite some time in film terms while in the company of Gardener in a hotel room. Gardener in his innocence and naivety doesn&rsquot really have a clue what&rsquos going on but seems happy to have made her happy.

1. Spanking the Monkey

David O. Russell&rsquos 1994 feature film&rsquos title says it all . The controversy is mostly in that its lead character Raymond Aibelli ( Jeremy Davies ), who is looking after his injured mother, is always trying to find time to relieve himself (which is constantly interrupted by things like the dog barking) before he ends up just sleeping with her. Yes &ndash his own mother. Doesn&rsquot get much more controversial than that!

If all these got you excited, here&rsquos where you can find the best sex toys.

A Brief History of Rococo Art

Roccoco art: its history, as well as key figures in the movement.

Pair of Louis XV chairs, sold at Koller Auktionen Zürich on Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rococo painting, which originated in early 18th century Paris, is characterized by soft colors and curvy lines, and depicts scenes of love, nature, amorous encounters, light-hearted entertainment, and youth. The word “rococo” derives from rocaille, which is French for rubble or rock. Rocaille refers to the shell-work in garden grottoes and is used as a descriptive word for the serpentine patterns seen in the Decorative Arts of the Rococo period.

Pair of Louis XV chairs, sold at Koller Auktionen Zürich on Thursday, March 21, 2013

After the death of Louis XIV, the French court moved from Versailles back to their old Parisian mansions, redecorating their homes using softer designs and more modest materials than that of the King’s grand baroque style. Instead of surrounding themselves with precious metals and rich colors, the French aristocracy now lived in intimate interiors made with stucco adornments, boiserie, and mirrored glass. This new style is characterized by its asymmetry, graceful curves, elegance, and the delightful new paintings of daily life and courtly love, which decorated the walls within these spaces.

Jean Antoine Watteau, La Surprise – A couple embracing while a figure dressed as Mezzetin tunes a guitar, sold at Christie’s London on Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The father of Rococo painting was Jean Antoine Watteau (French, 1684–1721), who invented a new genre called fêtes galantes, which were scenes of courtship parties. Born close to the Flemish border, Watteau was influenced by genre scenes of everyday life that were quite popular in Flanders and the Netherlands. He is best known for his depictions of elegantly dressed figures gathered in outdoor spaces, exchanging pleasantries and enjoying music.

Though educated thought was cultivated throughout the 18th century, a new kind of intellectual exchange began to develop, which became known as the Enlightenment. Out of this new cultural movement, ideas about art changed, and Rococo ideals of frivolity and elegant eroticism became less and less relevant. Art critics like Diderot sought for a “nobler art,” and enlightened philosophers like Voltaire criticized its triviality. While some Rococo artists continued to paint in their own provocative style, others developed a new kind of art, known as Neoclassicism, which appealed to the art critics of the time.

Jean Honoré Fragonard, La coquette fixée (The Fascinated Coquette), sold at Christie’s New York on Thursday, April 6, 2006

Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732–1806) was one such painter who attempted to adapt his style to the artistic changes of the period unlike Watteau, Fragonard’s skill wasn’t recognized until well after his death. Today, Fragonard is best known for his Rococo-style paintings like La coquette fixée (The Fascinated Coquette), which depicts an amorous encounter between a female and two males. The lustful male gazes establish the female figure as the focal point of the painting. As a work of light-hearted entertainment, there is no complex meaning or story behind the piece. It is a bright, cheerful scene meant for amusement and delight.

10 Biggest Product Recalls of All Time

If there’s one thing consumers, investors and companies can agree on, they hate recalls. In the least of cases, faulty products or contaminated foods are an inconvenience for the unlucky buyers. At worst, recalled products are linked to injuries, illnesses and even deaths. For manufacturers, recalls batter brand reputations, bottom lines and share prices.

It’s a nightmare for all involved.

“Defective products not only pose a serious safety risk to the public but can also cause significant financial and reputational damage to the companies concerned,” say analysts at global insurance company Allianz. “We are now seeing and experiencing recalls on a scale not seen before, bringing record levels of activity and costs.”

To put the scope of food and product recalls in perspective, we will look at some of the biggest recalls in history by cost. It should come as no surprise that the list is dominated by the automotive industry. Allianz notes that the sector accounts for more than 70% of the value of all recall-related insurance losses in a given year. The pharmaceutical industry also has the dubious distinction of making multiple appearances on the list.

Recalls are listed in order of total estimated costs according to company reports, news reports and data from Statista.

#10: Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol Recall

True, many recalls have since eclipsed Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ, $125.10) 1982 Tylenol recall in both scope and cost. Adjusted for inflation, the recall cost roughly $250 million.

But as the seminal event in the history of recalls, arguably none other has had a bigger impact.

Known as “the recall that started them all,” J&J set the standard for the way corporations are supposed to handle such events. In a case of product tampering, seven people in the Chicago area died after ingesting Extra-Strength Tylenol laced with cyanide. J&J spent more than $100 million to recall 31 million bottles of its best-selling product.

J&J’s swift and decisive action is credited with saving the Tylenol brand, which at the time accounted for 17% of the company’s profits. Although the stock priced swooned initially, it recovered within two months.

#9: Peanut Corp. of America Salmonella Outbreak

A decade ago, Peanut Corp. of America was an obscure, privately held peanut processor in Georgia. Then a massive salmonella outbreak changed everything. A wave of food-borne illness killed nine people and sickened hundreds. More than 3,913 different products from roughly 361 different companies had to be recalled. Major brands such as J.M. Smucker’s (SJM) Jif and ConAgra’s (CAG) Peter Pan were unaffected by the recall, but it didn’t matter. Wary consumer shunned peanut butter, driving down industrywide sales by 25%.

Peanut Corp. declared bankruptcy and went out of business. A former top executive was sentenced to 28 years prison for his role in the outbreak. Meanwhile, the Georgia Peanut Commission estimated at the time that America’s peanut producers would lose about $1 billion between sales and lost production as a result of the recall.

#8: Toyota’s Floor Mat Recall

  • Year: 2010
  • Cost: $3.2 billion
  • Toyota (TM, $124.50) car owners and shareholders suffered through one of the costliest recalls in history at the start of the new decade. The car giant was forced to recall 8.1 million vehicles because of the potential for gas pedals to get stuck in floor mats, as well as other concerns.

In the midst of the recall, the government said that unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles may have been involved in the deaths of 89 people over the past decade.

In 2010, Toyota pegged costs related to the recall at $2 billion. Four years later, the company paid a $1.2 billion fine to avoid prosecution from the Justice Department for covering up what it knew about ill-fitting floor mats and other safety problems.

Toyota’s stock has been a market laggard since the recalls began. Shares are up 60% since Nov. 2, 2009. However, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index – which admittedly also was recovering from its massive 2007-09 plunge – has gained 155% over the same span.

#7: Pfizer’s Bextra Recall

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (PFE, $34.49) was floored in 2005 when the Food and Drug Administration forced it to pull Bextra, an arthritis painkiller, off the market because of possible heart risks and “life-threatening” skin reactions. At the time, Bextra was one of Pfizer’s best-selling products, with annual sales of $1.3 billion in 2004.

But that was only the beginning of Pfizer’s woes.

In 2009, Pfizer settled civil and criminal allegations that it had illegally marketed Bextra. Its $2.3 billion payout was the largest health-care fraud settlement and the largest criminal fine of any kind at the time. Between lost sales, fines, settlement and other costs, Pfizer took a hit of at least $3.3 billion on the Bextra recall, according to Statista.

Long-term investors who bought the dip after the September 2009 settlement didn’t make out so well either. Shares in Pfizer trail the S&P 500 by about 50 percentage points since then.

#6: General Motors’ Ignition Switch Recall

It was a year that anyone who owned a General Motors (GM, $35.17) vehicle or GM stock would like to forget. Faulty ignition switches that could shut down the engine without warning, thus disabling power steering, brakes and air bags, were linked to at least 124 deaths and more than twice as many injuries. The defect impelled GM to recall 30.4 million cars worldwide.

General Motors said the recall cost $4.1 billion in 2014. Among its expenses, it spent $2.8 billion to repair recall vehicles, $870 million to settle death and injury claims, and $900 million in a settlement with the Department of Justice. It also took a charge of $874 million to account for the costs of future recalls.

GM stock lost about 15% in 2014 – a year in which the broader stock market gained more than 11%. And it wasn’t exactly an opportunity to buy low. Shares have essentially been dead money ever since.

#5: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Recall

  • Year: 2016
  • Cost: $5.3 billion
  • Samsung had high hopes for the high-end Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, but they went up in smoke.

The world’s largest smartphone maker was forced to discontinue and recall the pricey gadget after some of them started bursting into flames. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission received 96 reports of overheating batteries and fires within the first two months of its August 2016 launch. Samsung was forced to recall 2.5 million of the devices, which were some of the priciest smartphones on the market.

Although the recall set Samsung back by several billion dollars, the diversified electronics giant was more than able to withstand the blow. The handset maker unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 the following year to strong reviews – and sales.

#4: Firestone Tires and Ford

  • Year: 2000
  • Cost: $5.6 billion
  • Bridgestone’s (BRDCY, $20.72) Firestone Tire and Rubber Company suffered a near-death blow when allegedly defective tires installed on Ford (F, $10.76) SUVs and pickup trucks were linked to 271 deaths and more than 800 injuries in the U.S. alone.

Firestone and Ford blamed each other for the tire failures, but ultimately both companies were on the hook. Firestone recalled 6.5 million tires, while Ford recalled and replaced 13 million.

The tire recall and corporate fallout cost Firestone-parent Bridgestone $2 billion. Ford told shareholders in 2001 that its recall of 13 million tires on its SUVs and pickup trucks would cost the company $3 billion. The company also faced $600 million in lawsuits. The Firestone brand survived the scandal but its 100-year relationship with Ford was severed.

#3: Merck’s Vioxx Recall

When Merck’s (MRK, $53.41) Vioxx first hit the market in 1999, it was hyped as a revolutionary breakthrough medication for arthritis pain. And like Pfizer’s Bextra, it soon became a blockbuster hit.

Five years later, in September 2004, Merck was forced to pull the drug from the market after studies revealed that Vioxx greatly increased the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes. By that point, 20 million Americans had already taken the drug. Later research estimated that 140,000 Americans had heart attacks from taking Vioxx, resulting in 88,000 deaths.

The costs in dollar terms were also staggering. The pharmaceutical giant settled a class-action lawsuit for $4.85 billion in 2007 and agreed to a $950 million settlement with the DoJ in 2011. In 2016, shareholders settled a class-action lawsuit with Merck for $830 million. Statista estimates that when all other expenses are included, the Vioxx recall cost the company $8.9 billion.

Shares in Merck initially tumbled 27% on the news and languished for two years before recovering to their pre-recall levels.

#2: Volkswagen’s Diesel Engine Recall

Customers and shareholders alike were stunned when redoubtable German car giant Volkswagen (VLKAY, $37.87) was caught cheating on diesel emissions tests. Known as “Diesel-gate,” it emerged that the company had for years employed software that allowed its turbocharged diesel engines to cut their emissions to meet regulatory standards when being tested. Under real-world conditions, the engines emitted pollutants up to 40 times above levels allowed under U.S. standards.

The fallout was massive. VW recalled 11 million around the world and was forced to set aside more than $18 billion to cover recall costs, legal claims and other related expenses. Shares in VW, which trade over the counter in the U.S., tumbled on the news and took two years to recover.

However, VW stock also proved to be rewarding bet for investors who could stomach the risk. Shares are up about 67% since hitting a scandal-related low of $22.73 on Oct. 2, 2015.

#1: Takata Air Bag Recall

Call it the recall from hell. What started quietly almost a decade ago has since ballooned into the biggest recall in history. Faulty air-bag inflators made by now-bankrupt Takata were used by virtually every major automaker on the planet. The issue: The inflators can explode and eject a shrapnel-like material that has been linked to at least 20 deaths.

The National Highway Safety Transportation Board expects the recall to include more than 37 million vehicles involving 49.5 million inflators in the U.S. alone. Globally, 100 million inflators are under recall. Regulators say it could take until 2023 to recall and fix every vehicle with a faulty Takata air bag.

In 2016, Takata estimated total recall costs of $24 billion. But that figure still could change in the years ahead.

A year later, UAE govt grants birth certificate to interfaith couple’s child

When 39-year-old Regulavalasala Tirumala Kalyan Chakravarthy and his 35-year-old wife Javeria Masood were blessed with a girl child in Abu Dhabi in January last year, they felt they were the most fortunate couple on the earth.

But little did they realise then that their troubles had just begun. Chakravarthy and Javeria applied for a birth certificate for their daughter, whom they named Suhakshita, from the department of health, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in the first week of February.

As per the laws of the United Arab Emirates, obtaining a visa for a new-born child of an immigrant is mandatory within four months of the delivery of the baby. Chakravarthy got a passport for his daughter from the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi, but he was shocked when his application for a birth certificate required for obtaining the visa was rejected by the health department. “The authorities told me that according to the marriage rules for expatriates in the UAE, a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman but a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, and so, the child born to them cannot be acknowledged as per the law of the land,” Chakravarthy said, on phone from Abu Dhabi.

Chakravarthy, a Hindu, and a graduate in science from Vishakapatnam, met, fell in love and married Javeria, a Muslim and a graduate in physiotherapy. Their families approved. “We got married in 2008 with the blessings of elders from both sides. We were blessed with a son in 2011. After working for a few years in private companies, we moved to Abu Dhabi in 2018 for a better life,” he said. “We were blessed with a daughter on January 28, 2020 and we named her Suhakshita,” he said.

The couple pleaded with the UAE authorities to grant a birth certificate to their daughter, saying that they were not aware of the local rules.

Chakravarthy and Javeria sought help. “We requested local Indian associations and Indian embassy to come to our rescue. We even consulted not less than 15 lawyers and as a last resort, filed a petition in the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department in the last week of February,” he said.

According to Raja Srinivas, community welfare secretary of Indian social and cultural centre, Abu Dhabi, a person without valid visa will be treated as an illegal migrant and be penalised heavily for the period of stay in the country. “In Chakravarthy’s case, too, his child would be liable to be penalised for not having a valid visa, for the period four months after her birth. That was his concern,” Srinivas said.

As the judicial department was looking into his petition, a lockdown was imposed in the country due to coronavirus pandemic. And there was no way the issue could be settled within four months. After the lockdown rules were relaxed gradually, the couple intensified their efforts. “Luckily, we got help from good Samaritans like Raja Srinivas who took up the matter with the Ministry of Interior, UAE through the Indian embassy and continued to pursue the matter,” he said.

On February 2 this year, Chakravarthy and Javeria got a call from the judicial department to present themselves along with the daughter. “The councillor at the department heard our case patiently and asked us to come back on February 7, when he gave the order in our favour,” he said. Within hours, the couple got a call from the health department.

“On February 8, we were handed over the birth certificate for my daughter and it was a big relief for us,” Chakravarthy said.

The couple has applied for the visa for Suhakshita and is hopeful of receiving it soon. “We are grateful to the UAE government for respecting our rights,” Chakravarthy said.

Replicate and donate

To celebrate their record, the family shared and ate the entire mango which was “very delicious and healthy inside,” states German. To commemorate the record-holding fruit, they also made a replica of it and donated it to the municipality to record the history-making in Guayata. Mangoes are generally cultivated on a large scale in Asia. In Guayata, they are usually grown for domestic consumption.

"It was very delicious and healthy inside, but before that, we made a mold out of it to make a replica and donate it to the municipality to be recorded in history."

For Americans of Color, Is Norway a Racism-Free Utopia?

It’s cold, with really short days in the winter. Like, sunset is at 3 p.m. And it’s white. Like, really white—as in the descendants of Vikings. But in the city center of Oslo, Norway, black American expats are living what seems to be the dream of Martin Luther King Jr.: being judged by the content of their character and whatnot.

It’s so good at times that instead of worrying about random police stops when he leaves his house for work, Washington, D.C., native Anthony Durham is cheered with the nickname “Obama” when he walks inside his barbershop, which is operated by a Somali-and-Nigerian duo. He’s praised because he’s an American. White women don’t clutch their purses in his presence instead, he says, most days he blends in with his new community. At most, he may get a glance out of curiosity when he and his wife speak English with an American accent.

“They’re like, ‘Are they tourists?’” he says. “In Norway it’s like I’m American first and black second.”

Oslo is the capital of Norway, a place you likely never think about unless you have to. History buffs may geek out over tales from the Vikings era, or be aware of the amicable U.S.-Norwegian relationship. Newsies may have read the headlines when Norway’s oil fund made all Norwegian citizens “technically” millionaires , or when there’s a cool Nobel Peace Prize laureate, like Malala Yousafzai . But it’s likely that most Americans don’t often think about Norway. Especially as a place to live.

It’s Durham’s third year living there, and that’s because he met his ethnically Norwegian wife while in college in Belgium. Their friendship led to dating, which led to marriage and a journey to a new life in Norway “because she had the better job.” Chicago native Joneien Johnson’s story is similar to Durham’s.

“My husband is Norwegian and we actually met at Iowa State University,” Johnson says.

Johnson’s husband got a job in Norway, and two years later, she joined him.

“When people meet me and hear me, they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re American,’” she says. “I don’t have to put anything in front of it or explain why I look the way I look. Here, I’m just an American girl. It’s always ‘African American’ in the U.S.”

When Johnson’s husband asked his parents, “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” Johnson says it wasn’t a problem.

“In fact, my mother-in-law was more concerned about how it will be for us in the States as an interracial couple. She’s well aware of the racism in our country,” Johnson says.

Those are the first impressions that even visitors to Oslo will experience. The city center bustles with an international community that’s embedded, from the schools to the corporations. But that’s just Oslo. Durham explains, “Up until the ’70s, this was a largely homogeneous society. Even still now. If you go outside of Oslo, I think 86 percent of the population is ethnically Norwegian in Norway.”

But even if you leave the city limits, you shouldn’t expect to experience a change in the way people treat you.

“The history is just different than America’s,” Durham says.

Meaning, racism isn’t a deeply embedded systemic problem.

“Their Viking history lends to them being explorers—they’ve traveled and have been seeing, conquering and bringing new people back home for ages,” he says.

It makes sense when you compare it with colonialism, where the system is to conquer, rape, kill and stay.

Durham says it's not utopia for everyone, though. He’s observed that Africans still have a problem.

“So many times, these people will talk about blacks or Africans, and they’ll say, ‘Oh, not you, Anthony. You’re American,” he says.

Speaking up so others can hear his American accent has either spared him from poor treatment or granted him access.

“I was eating lunch, and there were some white people who needed help,” he recalls. “I was on the phone talking. They walked past a table of Eastern Europeans, other white people, to get to me!”

So it’s good in Oslo to be American, no matter your color. It’s still tough (it seems everywhere) to be African.

For this reason, Durham says, even though he’s not sure if he will ever live in the U.S. again, he is sure that he’ll never give up his passport.

“Never. That’s a definite ‘no.’ There’s nothing like going through an airport and sliding that blue passport. The conversation is a lot shorter. I’ve been on a flight from Nigeria to France, and the passengers were getting a two-minute discussion on their way out. I went straight through!” he says.

Durham’s wife just birthed his first son. That’s a black son. The baby will be American and Norwegian until age 18, when he’ll have to choose his citizenship. But would Durham ever consider moving back home to raise his black son?

“Before, when it was just hypothetical, you think … it will be OK. I grew up there and I’m OK. But now, I would definitely be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind that this is a better place,” Durham says.

Johnson is currently going through the process to become a permanent resident, but agrees that she’ll never give up her U.S. citizenship. “I just can’t do that,” she says.

It’s a question for those thinking about moving to Norway, because the country doesn’t allow dual citizenship. But it’s a fairly simple process to become a permanent resident. It requires a number of easily obtainable documents, including a copy of your current passport and a test on the Norwegian language.

“Before I moved here, I taught myself some Norwegian, using CDs. That wasn’t enough, though,” says Johnson, who is currently taking language classes full time, and it’s fully paid for by the Norwegian government.

Norwegians start learning English in the first or second grade, so upon arrival you’ll be able to survive. But Durham admits, “To truly become a part of the community, you should really learn enough Norwegian to have a conversation.”

The benefits of permanent residency is one of the reasons Cuban-Peruvian Alyssa Rivera, who was raised in Albuquerque, N.M., moved from Berlin to Oslo. Rivera has been living abroad since college but found Oslo appealing because of the lifestyle.

“A lot of companies only allow people to work an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily schedule. You leave early because there’s a big focus on work-life balance. You also get a lot of holidays—about five to six weeks of paid vacations for entry-level jobs,” Rivera says.

Johnson has lived in Norway for just six months, “and I’m already in the health care system, without ever having a job here. If I need to go to the doctor, I just pay a small co-pay. I’ve never paid for any kind of insurance or anything here.”

The wages tend to be higher, the unemployment benefits will keep you fed and in your own bed, and if you decide to have a baby, the woman gets one year of paid leave, guaranteeing her job when she returns. Her male partner gets a minimum of 10 weeks’ paternity. The benefits of permanent residency mean that you can live and work in the country indefinitely.

Rivera warns, though, “We are taxed very, very high. It also costs a lot to live here, which would counter the high pay rates.”

The dollar is strong, but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap to live there. The average one-bedroom flat in the city center is about $1,500, a combo meal at McDonald’s is $11, a soda is $3 and beer at a pub will cost you about $10.

There are plenty of bars and nightclubs to fill up your social calendar. Single ladies may find delight in the stature of the tall Nordic men. They have good genes. But the Norwegian lifestyle is all about playing outside. Durham says, “It’s a different sporting culture. If you go to [a] bar, you’re not going to see a TV there, and if you do, it won’t have sports on unless there’s a skiing competition.”

It’s all about the outdoor life. The summer days are endless and winters are short. There are Northern lights, outdoor Christmas markets, scenic fjords and wide-open spaces. There’s a Norwegian saying: “There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.” That’s because Norwegians are outside all year long. Says Durham, “I’ve only seen one month where snow hasn’t fallen here, and that’s July.” They have their coffee outside, they’ll cook, boat and even have ceremonies outside during the winter. Johnson adds, “Their babies … they take naps outside in their strollers!”

But for our Americans, it’s the food that is probably the biggest culture shock (besides not having the burden of being black). Last Christmas, Rivera was invited for a Christmas dinner at a local’s house, “and I was given a head of sheep, bones and all, on my plate!” It’s not uncommon to buy moose or reindeer sausage at the grocery store. (Yes, reindeer, like Rudolph, which is different from deer. They eat that, too.) Durham says, “I’m lucky, in that my wife is a good cook. But there are some nights that I could kill for some Taco Bell.”

With black people in the U.S. dying violently every day and the possibility of Donald Trump as the head of state, the conversation of “Where will I live?” has intensified among Americans of color. Maybe it’s Oslo, Norway, but don’t forget your winter coat.

Dayvee Sutton is a two-time Emmy Award-winning sports journalist, entertainment and lifestyle reporter, social commentator and entrepreneur. You can learn more about her at her website.

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