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Women Often Go On Tinder To Confirm Their Attractiveness, While Most Men Use It For Casual Sex: Study

May 21, 2018 12:43 AM EDT
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Dating applications represent a new frontier in dating and casual sex, but a new study shows men and women go online for different reasons.

From reasons for going on Tinder to the time spent on the app, this new study demonstrates how different men and women are in dating.

Men, Women Use Tinder For Different Reasons

The study, which included 641 student participants from NTNU, reveals that men cite casual sex as the reason behind using Tinder and other similar apps.

"Men tend to report a desire for casual sex and short-term relationships as a reason for using dating apps," first author and clinical psychologist Ernst Olav Botnen says in a statement. "But it should be noted that the myth that men on dating apps are only looking for casual sex isn't accurate. Men who use these apps also seek long-term partners, but to a lesser extent than short-term partners."

On the other hand, he adds, women go on dating apps to seek confirmation of their attractiveness or feel better about themselves.

Both sexes also report that they're mostly on Tinder when they're bored or there's nothing else to do.

There's also a marked difference on how the different sexes use these picture-based dating apps. While women take more time to discern each person before making a decision to swipe left or right, men make much quicker choices and are more likely to start the conversation than their female counterparts. Male users are also more willing to meet up in more private settings.

"Women are more discerning. Men are more eager," Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, professor at the NTNU Department of Psychology, says. "This has clear evolutionary reasons. Women have more to lose by engaging with low-quality sexual partners than men do. That's why men swipe right more often than women do."

Casual Sex Not Guaranteed

The researchers found that dating app users don't necessarily have more casual sex than other people who have a "sociosexual orientation," which refers to the preference for short-term sexual relationships that don't lead to long-term commitments. Although the most open ones tend to use picture-based apps like Tinder, the end result is usually the same.

"Apps have become the new public arena for dating," Kennair explains. "But to a large extent, the people using them are the same ones you find dating other ways."

The apps, the researchers explain, are simply a new way of meeting people, another alternative to meeting potential partners in coffee shops, bars, work or other activities.

Furthermore, using online apps say nothing about the attractiveness of a person as a sexual partner, says Trond Viggo Grøntvedt of NTNU's Department of Public Health and Nursing.

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