ON THE WEB
Human Sexuality 3210H
The first big online dating website was Match.com
• Launched in 1995
• Now the world’s largest online dating site
BY THE NUMBERS:
54 million – the total number of single people in the United States
25 million – the number of people who used dating sites in April 2011
Over $1 billion – annual revenue from the online dating industry
52.4% – male users
47.6% – female users
Currently, there are thousands of online dating websites
in existence, and some are very niche-oriented.
Individuals who face a small dating market are
particularly able to benefit from niche dating services
• Gays, lesbians, middle-aged people are groups
most likely to rely on the Internet for finding a
At 26, women have more online pursuers than men. But by age 48, men
have twice as many as women.
In their online profiles…
• Women lie most about weight, physical build, and age.
• Men lie most about age, height and income.
A different kind of online dating has chosen the mobile route – social media
apps geared toward dating and connecting with members of the opposite
sex (or same sex, in the case of Grindr) have become increasingly
popular, especially with teens and college students.
• Mobile, location-based services that match based on physical
As with any type of online activity, dating on the web comes with safety
• Risks include theft of personal information/identity, dangerous
situations as a result of meeting up with someone you met
In 2011, a woman filed a lawsuit against Match.com in California state
court after allegedly being raped by a man she met through the
website, who turned out to be a convicted sex offender.
• Match.com now screens
members for being registered
A “catfish” is someone who makes a fake online profile and starts
relationships with other people based on the fake entity they have
created for themselves.
Last year, catfishing gained national attention when it was revealed
that Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o was the victim of an
elaborate catfishing scheme.
Recently, MTV created a show called “Catfish,” in which they find unsuspecting people
who are in online catfishing relationships and set up a face-to-face meeting with their
• Now in its 2nd season, the show has revealed all sorts of reasons why catfish
use their deceptive techniques, including “embarrassment about a weight
problem, discomfort with emerging sexual identity, [and] outright malice.”
Online vs. Offline Dating
The advent of Internet dating has lead to a shift in the way people interact.
Difference: Face-to-face communication.
• Traditional ways of getting to know another person are discarded when the
computer becomes a main barrier.
• Rather than learning about that person through body language, behavior, and
appearance, people are forced to instead interpret solely through text.
Although trusting a stranger online is a common and valid concern, more individuals are
turning to online dating websites as invaluable resources for their love lives
• According to some researchers, they “may even experience greater
interpersonal and romantic connections online than in their offline lives”
Love at First Click
Finding love has now become integrated with modern technology, and
some say it has never been easier to develop a relationship.
• “Love at first click” has been made possible by the thousands of
online dating websites and services that target both broad and
extremely narrow populations, and the stigma associated with
online dating has essentially been erased.
Online dating has proven to be quite successful. In a modern world that
relies heavily on technology, online dating is certain to be a viable option
for interpersonal romantic connections for years to come.