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This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
New types of relationships formed; it was possible for people to live together without marrying and without children.
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.
Information about human sexuality grew, and with it an acceptance of all types of 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.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.