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Please read and accept the terms and conditions and check the box to generate a sharing link. Mobile dating is more common with an increasing of smartphone applications coming to market that aim to facilitate dating. In the current study, we investigated how dating app use and motivations related to demographic identity variables i.
Nearly half of the sample used dating apps regularly, with Tinder being the most popular. Non-users Mobile adult dating more likely to be heterosexual, high in dating anxiety, and low in sexual permissiveness than dating app users. Among app users, dating app motivations, that is, relational goal motivations love, casual sexintrapersonal goal motivations self-worth validation, ease of communicationand entertainment goal motivations thrill of excitement, trendinesswere meaningfully related to identity features, for example, sexual permissiveness was related to the casual sex motive.
However, more research is needed to study how sexual orientation influences mobile dating. One of the primary goals of young adulthood is to establish a committed romantic relationship e. Arnett, The process of building and maintaining a committed romantic relationship is characterized by trial-and-error Stinson, and can be preceded by an explorative phase that involves casual sex adventures Claxton and Van Dulmen, During the last decade, the Internet has become an important platform to initiate contact with potential romantic or sexual partners e.
Rosenfeld and Thomas, With the rise of smartphone use, dating websites have made way for dating applications specially deed for the smartphone, that is, mobile dating. Following the success of the highly popular dating apps Tinder and Grindrvarious new dating apps, such as Happn and Bumbleemerged. In addition, several traditional dating websites also developed their own apps e.
The primary users of these dating apps are young adults. Approximately one-third of young adults i. The unique features of dating apps set mobile dating apart from online dating in general. The geolocation functionality Mobile adult dating dating apps also allows users to search for someone in close proximity, which may facilitate actual offline meetings with matches and sexual encounters with these matches as found in the study of Van De Wiele and Tong, While our understanding of mobile dating is growing, this body of research has at least three limitations.
First, with the exception of the study of the Pew Internet Research Center Smith, among US adults, the studies in this area have used convenience samples. Second, the majority of studies has not specifically looked at young adulthood as a key developmental stage to understand the appeal of dating apps e. Ranzini and Lutz, ; Sevi et al. This may actually be an interesting age group to study, as dating apps can fulfill several needs e.
However, the literature has neglected a developmental perspective to understand the use of dating apps by young adults. Third, existing studies largely focused on explaining the use of dating technology and often ignored the fact that people can differ in their reasons for using dating apps e. Chan, ; Peter and Valkenburg, For these reasons, we aim to investigate the relationships between dating app use and identity features including demographic and personality-related variables among a representative sample of young adults.
Interestingly, few studies have considered the level of association between identity characteristics and the use of and motivations for using dating apps among young adults. From an MPM perspective, media use is believed to enable individuals to express and shape their identity Shafer et al. The MPM expects that users adopt, select, and use entertainment, but recently also social media in a way that it is congruent with their identity Shafer et al.
The MPM thus assumes that identity features Mobile adult dating predict and explain why and how users interact with social media, including dating apps. As the MPM does not explain which identity features are relevant, additional literature needs to be consulted to inform us which identity features could potentially influence dating app Mobile adult dating Shafer et al.
Prior research has, for instance, successfully combined the MPM with gender literature to predict how a hyper gender identity interacts with social media profiles e. Van Oosten et Mobile adult dating. For instance, adolescents with a hypergender identity i. Because of the centrality of sexual relationships during young adulthood Claxton and Van Dulmen,it is not surprising that a substantial proportion of young adults uses dating apps.
However, it is clear that not all young adults opt for mobile dating and those who do engage in mobile dating, do so for different reasons Smith, Research has linked the use of dating apps to a variety of gratifications ranging from fostering a sense of community e. Blackwell et al. A recent study identified six motivations for using the dating app Tinder Sumter et al. These motivations included two relational goals, that is, engaging in a loving relationship Love and engaging in an uncommitted sexual relationship Casual Sex ; two intrapersonal goals, that is, feeling more comfortable communicating online than offline Ease of Communication and using the dating app to feel better about oneself and less lonely Self-Worth Validation ; and two entertainment goals, that is, being excited by the prospect of using a dating app Thrill of Excitement and using the dating app mainly because it is new and many people are using the app Trendiness.
Although the MPM Shafer et al. The MPM Shafer et Mobile adult dating. Gobrogge et al. We consider each below. Men are generally socialized toward valuing, being involved in multiple sexual relationships, and playing an active role in sexual encounters, while women are expected to value a more passive sexual role and to invest in committed relationships Tolman et al. In line with these identity differences, some prior studies showed that men use dating websites more often than women Valkenburg and Peter, and are also more active in approaching women online Kreager et al.
Other research reported limited or no gender differences Smith and Duggan, However, most research in this area did not specifically focus on young adults or dating apps. As such, it remains unclear whether gender differences observed for online dating can be generalized to mobile dating. The conceptual congruency between gender-related characteristics and motivations may thus be stronger than with general use. With regard to the relational goals, at least three studies found that adult men reported a higher motivation to use Tinder for casual sex compared to women i.
The findings for the Love motivation are less clear. Although Ranzini and Lutz found that men were more motivated to use Tinder for relationship seeking purposes than women, Sevi et al. With regard to intrapersonal goals, research has shown that women engage Mobile adult dating often in offline dating to validate their self-worth compared to men e. Such a need for validation is in line with Mobile adult dating gendered nature of uncertainty, that is, women experience more uncertainty than men Tolman et al.
However, research on self-worth validation on Tinder did not find any gender differences see studies of Sevi et al. Sumter et al. Potentially, the societal pressure on men to take up an active role in heterosexual dating situations Tolman et al. Again, it should be noted that sample limitations and the focus on Tinder in the study of Sumter et al.
With regard to entertainment goals, Sumter et al. This reflects the general finding that men report a higher need for sensation compared to women e. Shulman et al. Also, no gender differences emerged regarding Trendiness in the Sumter et al. Again sample limitations and the limited focus on Tinder need to be taken into when interpreting these findings.
Together, the literature seems to suggest that at least the casual sex, ease of communication, and thrill-seeking motivations differ between men and women. For the other motivations, no gender differences are suggested, though caution is warranted as systematic research among young adults is lacking. Such sexual orientation differences especially become clear in young adulthood as most lesbian, gay, and bisexual LGB Mobile adult dating embrace their sexual orientation during this period Mobile adult dating and Stein, Interestingly, several studies have shown that Internet use rates, especially of social media, are ificantly higher among people in LGB communities than among heterosexuals e.
Seidenberg et al. Being able to communicate online may be particularly appealing to LGB adults who are not open about their sexual orientation or who struggle to locate potential romantic partners e. Korchmaros et al. For example, Lever et al. Using a national representative American sample, Rosenfeld and Thomas found that LGB adults have a three times higher chance to have met online than heterosexual couples. Thus, we would expect higher dating app adoption rates among LGB young adults. Sexual orientation may affect not only dating app use but also motivations.
Lever et al. With regard to the intrapersonal goals, heterosexual adolescents seem to be less in need of self-validation compared to non-heterosexual adolescents Galliher et al. Research further suggests that it is harder to communicate with potential romantic partners for LGB young adults, as they are not always sure whether their romantic interests are homosexual Savin-Williams and Cohen, As such, LGB young adults may be more motivated to use dating apps to validate their self-worth and capitalize on the initial anonymity that mobile dating offers Ease of Communication than heterosexual youth do.
Finally, regarding entertainment goals, research on how sexual orientation influences sensation seeking or the susceptibility to trendiness is lacking and thus no expectations can be formulated based on the existing literature. Together, the literature hints at various relationships Mobile adult dating gender, sexual orientation, and dating app usage and motivations: however, for several relationships, empirical evidence is missing. Thus, we asked. How do gender and sexual orientation relate to the usage and motivations of using dating apps?
Next to gender and sexual orientation, personality-based antecedents may also drive media selection processes Steele and Brown, ; Vandenbosch and Peter, In particular, the literature points at dating anxiety, sexual permissiveness, and sensation seeking. Early research explored whether online dating was particularly attractive for people who suffer from offline dating anxiety, because the Internet may be considered as a safer, less threatening environment for dating than Mobile adult dating, face-to-face situations.
However, this expectation has been discredited by a of studies e. Notably, research has found the opposite to be true, such as Mobile adult dating work of Valkenburg and Peterwho showed that individuals who visited dating websites actually reported lower levels of offline dating anxiety. Consequently, we expect that offline dating anxiety will negatively predict dating app usage. Regarding relational goals, empirical research has not supported a relationship between dating anxiety and using the Internet for casual sex Peter and Valkenburg,nor with attitudes toward using the Internet to find a romantic partner e.
Poley and Luo, As for intrapersonal goals, individuals with high levels of dating anxiety are typically Mobile adult dating by a need for validation as well as increased shyness in social situations Chorney and Morris, These identity features suggest that such dating-anxious individuals may show more Self-Worth Validation and Ease of Communication motivations for using dating apps than individuals low in anxiety.
With regard to entertainment goals, no research yet examined differences in individuals according to dating anxiety and their levels of adaptation of new technology trends or thrill-seeking. The Internet allows people to more easily lie about who they are and what they look like. Thus, the resulting uncertainty of Internet matches has been described as risky Buchanan and Whitty, Some apps are coupled with existing social media profiles e. Tinder and Facebook and the prospect of a face-to-face interaction may prevent users from lying about personal information e.
However, users still note being disappointed during face-to-face meetings because different expectations were developed based on the online information.
Therefore, the risk of deceptive information seems to remain present Ward, Furthermore, high sensation seekers are more positive toward casual sex and engage more often in sexually oriented online behavior e. Hendrick and Hendrick, ; Peter and Valkenburg, ; Roberti, However, a recent study Chan, suggests that both motives may be stronger among high sensation seekers. Chan showed that sensation seeking among young adults was positively related to both the intention to use a dating app to find a romantic partner as well as to the intention to use a dating app to arrange a Mobile adult dating appointment.
Sensation seekers are also generally more open to new experiences Arnett, ; Zuckerman,which may potentially relate to the Trendiness motivation and thus the relative novelty of dating apps. Sexual permissiveness is generally described as a liberal attitude toward sexual activities Peter and Valkenburg, Such activities may include casual sex adventures and also the dating of multiple partners at the same time; both activities particularly occur during young adulthood Claxton and Van Dulmen, People who score high on sexual permissiveness use the Internet more frequently to communicate with others about sex Peter and Valkenburg, Potentially, Mobile adult dating more liberal attitude toward sexual issues makes them also more willing to try out dating apps.
In addition, individuals scoring high on sexual permissiveness may use dating apps more because of the Casual Sex motive and less because of the Love motive i. No research has yet related sexual permissiveness with intrapersonal goals for dating apps. Finally, less is known about sexual permissiveness in relation to entertainment goals. We expect that sexual permissiveness relates to the Thrill of Excitement motivation, as we know that sexual permissiveness and sensation seeking are related constructs Fielder et al.
Together, the literature suggests several relationships exist between personality-based factors and the use and motivations of dating apps. As such, we examined the following research question Mobile adult dating :.Mobile adult dating
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