Photo illustration by Cari Hicken, Deseret News archive
A recent survey of Mormon students at Utah Valley University showed that women wanted to be treated with respect while on dates.
A women's concern for being physically mistreated was mentioned seven times more than any other dating concern by women in the study.

Women want to be treated with respect by their dates, a survey of Mormon students at Utah Valley University in February 2011 found.

A sample of 257 single and 85 newly married UVU females answered this question: “What are the three worst things your date could do while on a date with you?”

The most common theme of the 1,790 typed comments women provided was to treat women with respect on physical affection matters. A women’s concern for being physically mistreated was mentioned seven times more than any other dating concern by women in the study. It was not mentioned as a concern by the men. For women, there are always risks associated with dating.

One young woman said, “Don’t disrespect my physical boundaries.” Another said, “Be my friend first, get to know me before any kissing happens.” Finally, one young woman said, “The worst date I ever went on was with a young man who was so pushy and kept trying to get me to relax my physical boundaries. He was a jerk!”

It is an issue of respect for young women. One woman said, “Don’t try to hold my hand or try to kiss me on the first date. This shows an extreme lack of respect and tells me that the person doesn't care about getting to know me.”

Other questions answered by women provided further insight into why this is such an important issue for women who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Women were twice as likely as men to express concern for being mistreated on a date. They expressed more fear of having their hearts broken, more fear of any form of dating violence and a much higher prevalence of having been “mistreated” to some degree while on a date.

The evidence from this study strongly suggests that LDS women don’t want to be treated as sensual objects or playthings on their dates. Fun, friendship and experience were repeatedly mentioned in their comments. Finally, as one woman said, “Have fun, don't get too serious too fast. A kiss isn't required 'payment' for a good date.”

For an introduction to the LDS Young Women’s values, go to LDS.org.

Ron J. Hammond has a Ph.D. in family studies from BYU. He is a senior professor in the UVU family studies department. He and his wife are co-researchers on a number of family-related studies. Their website is http://ldsfree99.com/products-page-2/