A courtship may be an informal and private matter between two people or may be a public affair, or a formal arrangement with family approval.
Traditionally, in the case of a formal engagement, it has been perceived that it is the role of a male to actively "court" or "woo" a female, thus encouraging her to understand him and her receptiveness to a proposal of marriage.
Courtship in Australia is generally reserved to those with religious affiliation.
As a standard rule, dating is widely accepted; along with inter-racial relationships, gay/lesbian relationships, pre-marital sex and abortion.
Unlike what is regularly seen in other societies, it takes a far more subdued and indirect approach.
It is complex in that it involves stages, and it is considered normal for courtship to last a year or longer.
Forbidding experimental and serial courtship and sanctioning only arranged matches is partly a means of guarding the chastity of young people and partly a matter of furthering family interests, which in such cultures may be considered more important than individual romantic preferences.