October 6, 2009
In a study of the relationship between online dating and mating, Couch and Liamputtong (2008) performed a study on the use of the internet to meet sexual partners. It was noted that the internet is the most commonly used tool used to find friends, romantic and sexual partners. Participants for this study were found online dating websites, such as RSVP, Adult Play and Date and Find a Date. For inclusion in the study the potential participant had to have used online dating at one of the online dating websites. The questions provided were text based and real time interviews that were conducted as a private chat.
In these private chat interviews, participants were asked why they used online websites for dating and were told that because it was an easy way to people. They found “that both men and women use the Internet to the same degree in looking for love contacts, flirting, reading erotica, chatting with people with the same interest, and buying sex products.” Also, that it didn’t matter if they met via skyping, chatting or just plan email, the internet was still more widely used than the traditional blind date.
One significant point noted in this research was that online dating negotiates identity. The process of interpretation and self-construction filters their identity. It was suggested in their study that identity, including appearance, personality, sexual tastes and preferences could not always be compared to face to face meetings. Basically, that these particular chat rooms were used to pick up dates – men on men, women on women, or the traditional heterosexual couples and that the participants were not always honest about their identity. They further noted that the reason given mostly by participants for using online dating websites was that it gave them the leisure of searching a potential mate and that the rejection at first contact was not personal.
Couch, D., Liamputtong, P... [continues]
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