I have noticed that several people from my entourage have turned to online dating as a new hope of finding a partner. I did not notice any secrecy about it, but I did notice women sharing different experiences of online dating then men. Most of my female friends have complained about having the feeling of being on the ’sex market’. In spite of taking precautions and carefully selecting the dating websites, they still complained about ‘intruders’ (as opposed to people interested in a long-term, serious partnership). I’ve also heard women complaining about the different communication approaches of men (which seems to be consistent with previous research on online communication and gender differences).
It seems to me that location and position also play an important role in the decision of engaging in online dating. Canada seems to be one such prominent location, especially among immigrants.
I’d be really interested in reading more about how the online dating world may affect women’s sexuality. Together with a colleague, I’m doing some research on gender constructions in virtual environments.
Comment from: [Member]
Same here in Norway. Everybody visits these dating sites and I didn’t notice any secrecy about this new form of arranged partnerships either. According to my experience with Norwegian dating sites, the gender roles are much more conservative online than offline. The men’s job is to take contact while the women’s job is to filter (as they receive so many more messages than men).
Comment from: James Harmison [Visitor]
Thank you such an interesting post…
Comment from: Benni H. [Visitor]
A new book by a German anthropologist is soon to come out on the same topic. An interview on her research @ Zeit.de (in German):