Eleven year olds dating
“We call it group dating, and we believe it can be really healthy and protective,” says Jennifer Connolly, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto who specializes in teen relationships.Connolly, who has two adolescent daughters of her own, says that group dating is growing in popularity everywhere, including China and India.Eleven-year-old Charles, a bright, sociable, engaging sixth-grader in the Toronto area, was shocked to hear last spring that a buddy’s school in a nearby town would be hosting a grade-five dance.“I think that’s just ridiculous,” says Charles, who doesn’t feel ready for that kind of intimacy with girls.“If I get bored [on a date], my friends keep things interesting,” Katie says.
You usually don’t go out one-on-one.” And there are some other interesting developments in this brave new world, including the fact that teens feel freer to put off sex, and they see love, marriage and kids as best left for the (fairly) distant future.Having supportive friends around can exert a powerful moderating influence.But by the same token, a tough, aggressive peer group can have a negative influence, such as tolerating dating violence.The peer group provides checks and balances, along with feedback about what’s OK and what’s not, so kids are less likely to get out of their depth — especially in terms of conflict, expectations for behaviour and sex.With traditional one-to-one relationships, Connolly says, things tend to escalate much more quickly, simply because the couple is spending a lot of time alone.
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Group dating is also a way for kids to circumvent a parental ban on dating.