12:35am Thursday 14 December 2017

Online dating about quantity or quality?

A new study reveals different motivations between the sexes for online dating and that women find online dating less safe than men.

Researchers at Victoria University’s Centre for Cultural Diversity & Wellbeing surveyed 120 university graduate students for the research project with Relationships Australia Victoria.

Lead researcher Professor John Zeleznikow said men were more interested in using online dating as a shortcut to save time when compared with women, who were more prepared to invest the time and effort in online dating to find their ‘life partner’.

“Men appeared to see online dating as a way to skip the pick-up lines and first-date nerves and cut to the chase, whereas women still saw those early stages of dating as a crucial part of the vetting process and were interesting in knowing whether they had found the right match before pursuing physical encounters,” Professor Zeleznikow said.

He said the women also tended to be more selective in their choices of who to communicate with on the online dating sites.

“It would suggest that there is a gender difference in the way in which men and women utilise online dating services to pursue potential partners,” Professor Zeleznikow said. “Men tend to adhere to the theory of quantity, whereas women prefer quality.”  

The study also revealed women felt less safe in using online dating compared with men. Professor Zeleznikow suggested doubts about the authenticity of online profiles were a driving force behind this. 

“Women don’t want to be deceived when choosing who to communicate with: they want to know their man is authentic, yet many still had doubts,” he said.

Professor Zeleznikow said the study raised questions of whether these men who saw online dating as a short-cut were putting enough time into judging whether the person they were going to meet was compatible.

The study is part of a wider project being conducted by the Victoria University Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing, in conjunction with Relationships Australia Victoria (external link), seeking to explore how the use of social media is changing the way in which Australians engage in human relationships.

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