Research on dating websites

We hope you understand, and consider subscribing for unlimited online access. Not so long ago, nobody met a partner online. Then, in the s, came the first dating websites.

Online Dating Research: Statistics, Scams, Pros and Cons | Kaspersky Lab official blog

A new wave of dating websites, such as OKCupid, emerged in the early s. And the arrival of Tinder changed dating even further. Today, more than one-third of marriages start online. Clearly, these sites have had a huge impact on dating behavior. But now the first evidence is emerging that their effect is much more profound. For more than 50 years, researchers have studied the nature of the networks that link people to each other.

These social networks turn out to have a peculiar property.

Couples, the Internet, and Social Media

One obvious type of network links each node with its nearest neighbors, in a pattern like a chess board or chicken wire. Another obvious kind of network links nodes at random. But real social networks are not like either of these. Instead, people are strongly connected to a relatively small group of neighbors and loosely connected to much more distant people.

Online Dating & Relationships

These loose connections turn out to be extremely important. Loose ties have traditionally played a key role in meeting partners. While most people were unlikely to date one of their best friends, they were highly likely to date people who were linked with their group of friends; a friend of a friend, for example.

Indeed, this has long been reflected in surveys of the way people meet their partners: Online dating has changed that. Today, online dating is the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet.

For homosexual couples, it is far and away the most popular. That has significant implications. And when people meet in this way, it sets up social links that were previously nonexistent. The question that Ortega and Hergovich investigate is how this changes the racial diversity of society. The researchers start by simulating what happens when extra links are introduced into a social network.

Their network consists of men and women from different races who are randomly distributed.


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In this model, everyone wants to marry a person of the opposite sex but can only marry someone with whom a connection exists. This leads to a society with a relatively low level of interracial marriage. But if the researchers add random links between people from different ethnic groups, the level of interracial marriage changes dramatically.

And there is another surprising effect. The team measure the strength of marriages by measuring the average distance between partners before and after the introduction of online dating. Next, the researchers compare the results of their models to the observed rates of interracial marriage in the U. But the rate of increase changed at about the time that online dating become popular.

The increase became steeper in the s, when online dating became even more popular. Then, in , the proportion of interracial marriages jumped again.


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But it is consistent with the hypothesis that it does. Meanwhile, research into the strength of marriage has found some evidence that married couples who meet online have lower rates of marital breakup than those who meet traditionally. That has the potential to significantly benefit society. Aaron Smith is an associate director for research at Pew Research Center. Monica Anderson is a senior researcher focusing on internet and technology at Pew Research Center. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.


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Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Introduction

Fact Tank - Our Lives in Numbers. Here are five facts about online dating: This post was originally published on April 20, , and has been updated. Online Dating Share this link:. Recent Posts Americans view this shutdown much as they did past ones — negatively and with much anxiety Americans divided over decision to withdraw from Syria Blacks have made gains in U. Muslims, and about half are converts to Islam.