Online dating: instead of using a traditional matchmaker, online dating uses specifically targeted websites to meet new people. Speed dating: where a group of people get together for several hours in public; you are given a set amount of time to sit and talk to each person before you move on to the next person. Mobile dating/cell phone dating: where text messages to and from a mobile/cell phone carrier are used to show interest in others on the system. Can be web-based or online dating as well depending on the company. Virtual dating: a combination of video game playing and dating, where users create avatars and spend time in virtual worlds in an attempt to meet other avatars with the purpose of meeting for potential dates. Singles events: where a group of singles are brought together to take part in various events for the purposes of meeting new people, such cougars or cougar, or also dating older women.
Dating is an integral part of courtship, now used by theorists to underpin broader social theory. Scientific research into dating began in the 1980s. Both Moore and Perper found that, countrary to popular beliefs, dating behaviour is normally led and controlled by women, through non-verbal behaviours that men respond to subliminally. These are drawn together in Attraction Theory developed by Dr Ridley-Duff who argues that dating norms contribute to the social construction of gender roles both inside and outside the home.
This view is generally supported by theorists who specialise in the study of body language, but not by feminist scholars who regard heterosexual dating as a socially constructed (and male-led) process that subjugates women.