By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new study presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting found men far more likely to pick up the tab on the first few dates.

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The researchers were hoping to understand why many people still hold onto some traditional gender roles when women have made huge strides in the workforce over the past 30 years.

“I think it’s just chivalry, a romantic notion,” Ashlee Davidhizar said.

According to the study, 82 percent of men say they end up paying for most of the dating expenses. Seventy-six percent of men also say they feel guilty when they don’t pick up the tab.

“Some traditions just die hard,” said Dr. David Frederick, a psychologist at Chapman University. He was one of the co-authors of the study.

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“When roles start to change, people embrace the changes that make their lives easier, and they reject the changes that make their life harder,” he said.

For example, he says men and women like the fact that women now make more money, but some women don’t necessarily want to pay more. At the same turn, Dr. Frederick says men “don’t pick up the slack in childcare and housework.”

Forty percent of women say they’re bothered when a man won’t accept their money, but 44 percent of women say they’re bothered when a man expects them to pay.

“I’d offer, but as I’m reaching out, the rejection should come immediately,” Davidhizar said.

Over time, the spending patterns start to even out. By the first month, the researchers found about a quarter of the couples split the cost. By six months, three-quarters are splitting the bills.

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When asked whether men expect sexual activity in return for buying dinner, 16 percent responded yes. Among the 18-25yo crowd, it was 21 percent.

Heather Brown