The days of online dating being seen as a way for the lonely and the desperate are almost far behind us. Dating applications are now starting to be accepted and getting established, especially for the younger generation, with nearly a quarter of American teens ages 18 to 24 years old reported to having used online dating application at some point of their lives.
The big question is, what motivates people to look for the love of their life on these dating apps? It is an interesting question that we need to consider because although some of the stigma associated with online dating application has started to diminish, there are still perceptions that these applications are used primarily to facilitate hookups or they are geared towards people with a promiscuous and short-term dating strategy.
In 2015, the hacking of Ashley Madison, an online dating website aimed at people looking for an affair, revealed that a lot of female users were minuscule: the site is considered a small company compared to Bumble or Tinder, but is there a stereotypical and short-term male strategy that helps drive dating application use?
To know more about online dating applications, read more here.
Most, if not all, evolutionary psychologists always emphasize that sex differences when it comes to the study of human mating behavior. It is because if the very influential theory that was first proposed during the mid-70s: the parental investment theory of Robert Trivers.
The philosophy is pretty straightforward; when one sex is required to invest more in producing a son or a daughter, people belonging to the same sex needs to choose more when it comes to finding the right mate. When it comes to humans, women are the one who is obliged to invest more.
To begin with, the egg cell is bigger than the sperm cell. It is the only cell in our body that can be seen without the help of a microscope. It is then stacked up in their uterus for nine months through pregnancy, followed by a very long period of lactation. Compared it to men’s investment in producing a son or a daughter, it is quite huge.
Parental investment theory tells you that men need to be choosier compared to women. They need to be more motivated to increase their reproductive output like the number of children, by mating at least two to three partners, multiple partners.
On the other hand, women cannot increase the number of children by sleeping a lot of men. Once you are pregnant, you will be pregnant for nine months, not to mention the time that you will be lactating. A lot of studies over the years confirmed that men are more interested in a short-term and uncommitted relationships.
On the other hand, women are more interested in a long-term and committed relationships. But that is not always the case. We all know that being loyal to your partner has no specific gender. If you are promiscuous, you are promiscuous, whether you are male or female.
There may be a difference in sex between the two genders, but there is also a big difference between people with the same gender. These differences are captured by the theory of sociosexuality that is measured by SOI, or Sociosexuality Orientation Index. People have unrestricted sexuality if they approve of, desire or have short-term relationships. And of course, both genders can have a restricted and unrestricted sociosexuality, whether it is okay or not to sleep around.
Sex versus sociosexuality
Expert psychologists tested whether sociosexuality or sex are better predicted with the use of online dating applications. According to studies, there are at least six distinct reasons why people use these dating applications – to look for casual sex and love, they use these apps because it is a lot easier to communicate with the opposite sex, to validate the person’s self-worth, to get their excitement fix and because these applications are trendy or popular.
Males are more likely to mention accessible communication, excitement and casual sex as the primary motivation in using online dating application compared to their female counterpart. According to studies, people that areconsidered short-termist or people with the unrestricted mating strategy used to use an online dating application to look for sex.
A lot of restricted people said that they are using these applications to look for love. And according to experts that excluded sociosexuality, the gender of the volunteer affects the reasons why they use online dating apps. But including sociosexuality into the mix, eradicated the gender effects.
In short, any previous impact of gender is a lot better explained by sociosexuality differences. It is more important than gender when we are trying to look for an explanation of why people use Tinder or Bumble. Scientists pointed out that we are now living in a time where gender and sex roles are starting to get challenged or questioned, and documenting the difference between sex can cause a massive debate.
Scientists need to start taking responsibilities by not only focusing on sex alone as the explanatory variable. They also need to incorporate other essential variables like sociosexuality.
To know more about sociosexuality, visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4987073.
It is very complicated
These researches show that sexual strategies on the Internet are as complicated as the real-world love life. The studies also caution against taking a more simplistic approach in what gender is seen as more important when predicting a behavior. As online dating becomes a lot more popular by the minute, experts will have a significant opportunity to gain more comprehensive insights into the sexual aspects of our lives.
Questions regarding the importance of gender when it comes to finding a mate will continue to gain exciting answers, but we must not forget to look at other ways in which people can differ from or become similar with one another. Dating is already difficult as it was, and using online dating applications can make it more difficult. You need to have all the knowledge in the world when it comes to this subject.