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These courtship rituals are not simply a showy way of expressing interest. Our courtship rituals are marked by certain familiar activities, which we think of more modestly as dating.

They are integral to the whole process of mating and parenting a new generation. In order for dating to be successful, it has to proceed through stages.

They do this by showing off their plumage, or their antlers, or by strutting back and forth in a complicated dance—or in any of a number of other subtle tests of strength and courage.

Embedded in the idea of survival of the fittest is survival of their children.

Researchers who solicited responses to an online survey of almost 100,000 people from around the world, including 23,000 in the USA, get at that question and more than 1,000 others in a new book called The Normal Bar, out Feb. Among their findings, based on responses from individuals 18 and older who are in relationships (both heterosexual and same-sex):-- 40% say they have sex three to four times a week.-- 48% of men and 28% of women report having fallen in love at first sight.-- 43% of men and 33% of women say they are keeping a major secret from their partner."This 'normal' is different from most normals," says co-author Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

"Most normals look at the average — if a big clump of people do it, they call it 'normal.' What we want to know is which normal is correlated with happiness."Even among the happiest couples, the survey found 27% were keeping some secrets. respondents, Witte says 62% were in the "happiest" category and 14% were "extremely happy.""If they're really unhappy, they would have ended that relationship," he says. Otherwise, they would have split up."Still, Schwartz says, it appears many couples are "somewhat romance starved."In the USA, the survey found that of 1,218 respondents answering a question about romance, almost 29% of women and 44% of men say it bothers them "a lot" that their partner is not more romantic."We make a big deal of Valentine's Day because I think people are doing catch-up," she says. That whole package of romance that some couples preserve — that shows how important it is."In the USA, 44% of Americans report that they "hardly ever" or "never" go out on a date — but that's still better than 53% in Italy, 54% in England and 55% in France.

"The computer within the ultrasound machine is capable of taking all the size measurements of the head, abdomen and femur, to give an estimate of size based on weeks of pregnancy," says Dr. "For example, if a woman who is 28 weeks pregnant goes in for an ultrasound, most of her baby's measurements should be equal to 28 weeks, as determined by the machine."As long as your baby's measurements are progressing along a normal growth curve, you have no reason to worry.

"A cause for concern arises when measurements are either much larger or much smaller than anticipated," Dr. "A smaller baby in the second and third trimesters, particularly a baby whose abdomen is measuring smaller, may not be getting everything he or she needs from its placenta.

What's "normal" and what's not when it comes to human behavior, sexuality and relationships?

It would be alarming if people got too overly concerned with where they stack up in terms of frequency."The U. survey sample, which is not nationally representative nor randomly selected, is 89% white, 68% women, and 56% ages 35 and older."Probably at best, it tells us something about the white, probably better-educated, somewhat higher-income population in the U.

Throughout the animal kingdom—from mammals and birds down to insects—there are complicated mating rituals, behaviors we refer to archly as “courtship” rituals.

The overall sex category had more than 2,200 respondents.

Psychologist David Buss of the University of Texas-Austin studies sex differences and urges people not to think of this survey as a benchmark of sexual frequency.

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