Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Serge Desmarais

Advisor Role

Thesis Co-Supervisor

Second Advisor

Eileen Wood

Advisor Role

Thesis Co-Supervisor


This study was an initial attempt to understand how people evaluate their dating experiences. The primary objective was to determine whether males and females have different views about the behaviours that constitute positive, negative and typical dating experiences. Undergraduate students (50 males, 70 females) were asked to rate the likelihood of different sexual and nonsexual events in "good", "bad" and "typical" date contexts as well as to provide written descriptions of their own best, worst and typical dates. For good and typical dates, many of the same events were identified as likely to occur by both men and women. However, sexual events were more salient for men in these contexts, as shown by the higher mean likelihood ratings men gave to sexual items and the more frequent references they made to sex in date narratives. Women were more inclined to locus on nonsexual issues in their best and typical date narratives. For bad dates, there was a striking gender difference in the behaviours judged likely to occur. Women incorporated sexually charged events in their schemata whereas men did not. Women also gave higher mean likelihood ratings to sexual events in bad dates and mentioned them more often in their narratives. In addition, individual difference variables such as number of sexual partners, amount of sexual experience and experience with sexual coercion also influenced men's and women's reporting of sexual events.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season