Even though Americans tend to be friendly toward strangers, it does not mean they are interested in having a deeper relationship with those strangers. For example, if a person greets someone of the opposite sex, it does not automatically mean they want to have a relationship. Also, when a person is dressed immodestly, it does not signal that they are interested in sexual advances.
It is socially acceptable for either a man or a woman to ask the other out on a date. A date is usually a planned event, such as going out for dinner, coffee, or a movie. Dating can be casual; however, if stranger asks someone out on a date, it is advisable to meet in a public area where there are many people around for safety. No one should feel pressured to go out on a date with someone they are not interested in seeing. It is fine to turn down an invitation. In addition, couples can decide to be friends and not romantic partners after a single date or months of dating.
Although it is common for couples in the United States to have a sexual relationship, it is not obligatory. If a couple is in a dating relationship and one says “no” to an intimate physical interaction, it means “no” and if the other person ignores that response, they could be prosecuted for rape, especially if the person violated was intoxicated or in an unstable condition.
Sexual harassment is also an increasingly serious issue in the United States and there are laws that punish those who verbally or physically harass, make unwelcome advances, or request sexual favors. In addition, discrimination against others because of their gender or sexual orientation is also prohibited under most universities’ nondiscrimination and equal opportunity policies.
In general, American dress is casual, especially on university campuses. Some students might even attend class in their pajamas or sweatpants. However, in certain situations, such as formal dinners or interviews, business appropriate or formal wear could be required. It is acceptable for women from Islamic cultures to wear scarves on and off university campuses. On the other hand, it is also acceptable for students to wear shorts and clothing that might be considered immodest in more conservative cultures.
Americans enjoy pets and many own dogs, cats, fish, or hamsters. In most parts of the United States there are animal protection laws to prevent animal cruelty. There are also regulations for owners to follow when they have their pets in public places. These vary by state, but could include when a leash is required.