Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Global Honors

First Advisor

Tanya Velasquez, M.A.


This research looks at the relationship between gender roles and dating scripts among emerging adults (18-25) in the United States and Japan. If a relationship exists, how does it function? Research data was conducted from a variety of academic journals: Journal of Social Psychology, Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Sex Research, and others. This research deals with emerging adults within the U.S. and Japan to provide a cultural analysis of two unique cultures. A brief history of dating and intimate relationships is given for both cultures to show a change over time. Due to prior research in psychology, the terms dating scripts, proactive scripts, and reactive scripts are emphasized for American culture. The term Amae is used because of the cultural attachment for all types of relationships in Japan. This research finds that the dating scripts are reinforced on television in the U.S. In looking at gender differences, this research finds that men follow the proactive script, while women follow the reactive script within American culture. Within Japanese culture, Amae is essential for everyday relationships and particularly important in regards to dating. While dating is gendered in the United States, it is not in Japan. Understanding dating among emerging adults within both cultures can lead to further understanding of gender roles, as well as ways in which people interact.