Cupid's arrow falls short of its target

February 13, 1998

AMERICAN university and college students are more focused on their studies this Valentine's Day than on marriage or romance, a survey has found.

Nearly half of men and 65 per cent of women on campuses think students now are less romantic than in earlier generations.

Nancy McLaren, an education professor at Boston University who conducted the survey of 250 students, said: "Unlike previous eras, today's students tend to be more focused on their studies and future careers than on finding a life partner." When students date today most tend to go in groups rather than in pairs, to "reduce the risk of being emotionally hurt".

On the other hand, nine out of ten described themselves as romantic. This Valentine's Day, 92 per cent of the women students polled said they would send cards to their romantic partners, 63 per cent to friends and half to family members. Two per cent said they even would send affectionate greetings to a pet.

Of the men, 83 per cent said they would send cards.

Rejecting the commercialisation of the holiday, however, many planned to give hand-made cards, poems, home-cooked dinners and baked goods as Valentine's Day gifts, rather than store-bought candy, jewellery or flowers.

The most romantic movie for women was Titanic and for men When Harry Met Sally. For women the most romantic music was Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" from the Titanic soundtrack and for men Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes". Both men and women also picked Pachelbel's Canon and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata for second and third place. Men also designated that old standby, Ravel's Bolero, as the fifth most romantic music.

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