Are Dating Applications Making Gay Guys Unpleasant?

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  • Are Dating Applications Making Gay Guys Unpleasant?
  • Are Dating Applications Making Gay Guys Unpleasant?

    Uploaded December 31, 2019 | Evaluated by Devon Frye

    A new study of gay guys's use of dating apps raises questions about whether the technology meant to make our (love) lives simpler might be hindering of joy. In a recent research study released in Psychology & Sexuality, researchers from the U.K. checked out the inspirations as well as end results connected with using various gay dating apps amongst a sample of 191 gay and also bisexual guys .1 The researchers were interested in much better recognizing the conflicting study to day that points to both the favorable as well as negative repercussions of using gay dating apps, such as Grindr.

    It had not been long ago that individuals within the LGBTQ neighborhood were at the center of on-line dating, adopting it earlier as well as extra frequently than their heterosexual equivalents. To many in the LGBTQ area, the possibility to find dates online supplied boosted security by recognizing a potential day's sexual identity prior to inquiring out, permitted customers to link beyond bench scene, and made it possible to connect with people throughout geographical boundaries. While online dating may have started with a concentrate on seeking romantic partnerships, several have shared worry that the development of mobile phone dating applications that permit individuals to see others based on distance has actually put a greater focus on more superficial sexual partnerships.

    While there is nothing wrong with such partnerships, the dominance of applications accommodating sex-related connections may be making it a lot more challenging for individuals seeking longterm relationships or relationships within the LGBT neighborhood. Consequently, researchers have actually begun examining how an individual's particular objectives as well as factors for using gay dating apps might play a critical role in figuring out whether making use of gay dating applications has positive or adverse effects for their total health and wellbeing.

    A lot of the men in the study were single at the time of participating (60.2 percent), while 21 percent reported that they were in an open partnership as well as 18.8 percent reported that they were in an special partnership. Individuals completed an online survey in which they addressed inquiries about their feeling of belonging within the LGBT neighborhood, their self-esteem, loneliness, life complete satisfaction, and also their overall frequency and also strength of using numerous gay dating apps. For instance, they were asked exactly how commonly they logged into gay dating apps and their main inspiration for doing so, where they can select the adhering to alternatives: to make new friends, to meet people to have sex with, to find someone to date, to kill time, or to connect with the gay community. Participants could also enter their own reason for using gay dating apps if none of the provided responses were suitable.

    The participants in the study reported logging into gay dating apps frequently, with 71.2 percent logging in at least once per day, with the majority of participants logging in 2 to 4 times per day. Just under half of the sample indicated that their primary use for the apps was to meet people for sex. The second most frequently cited reason was to find someone to date, however, this was only selected as a primary reason by 18.9 percent of the participants in the study. The least frequently cited reason for using gay dating apps was to build a sense of connection with the LGBT community.

    When looking at all the participants in the sample together, the frequency with which men logged onto the gay dating apps was associated with greater loneliness, reduced life satisfaction, and a reduced sense of connection to the LGBT community. However, given the varied reasons for using gay dating apps, the researchers wanted to see if these associations were the same for individuals who wanted to use the apps primarily to find sexual partners compared to those using the apps for other reasons.

    Men in the study reporting that they use gay dating apps primarily to find sexual partners reported higher levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction, as well as lower levels of loneliness when compared to men who indicated their primary use for gay dating apps was any of the other reasons unrelated to seeking a sexual partner (e.g., to make friends, find a relationship, connect with the gay community, etc).

    Thus, the question of whether using gay dating apps has negative or positive associations with the well-being of their users really appears to depend on the users' goals and motivations for using the apps in the first place. This makes sense-- if the apps are primarily designed to connect users for brief sexual encounters, then those using the apps to find sex partners will likely be the most satisfied with the outcomes. On the other hand, men seeking relationships, friendships, or community may not be best served through such apps and therefore may experience frustration upon using gay dating apps, which may contribute to reduced well-being. Of course, the findings could also suggest that individuals with lower self-esteem and overall satisfaction with life tend to use the apps differently, perhaps being more likely to seek out relationships rather than casual sex encounters. Additional research would be needed to determine the precise direction of the associations found in this study.

    However, the research still tells us something important. There's nothing wrong with the gay dating apps in so far as they provide the service that they are most often used for: connecting individuals looking for sexual encounters. However, this study also points to a need for more apps to enter the market targeted at gay men who are seeking other types of relationships, including friendships, long term romantic partners, and community building. Building apps and platforms specifically for this purpose may create a more balanced experience for gay and bisexual men seeking different types of relationships. Indeed, many men may opt to use both types of apps, one to satisfy their desire for sexual encounters and another to seek out long-term partners and friends.

    1 The study did not use terms like gay/straight/bisexual, but rather asked men about their attractions and included male participants who were either sexually attracted to men only (90.1 percent) or sexually attracted to both men and women (9.9 percent).

    Zervoulis, K., Smith, D. S., Reed, R., & Dinos, S. (2019 ). Use of 'gay dating apps' and its relationship with individual well-being and sense of community in men who have sex with men. Psychology & Sexuality, 1-15.

    Custer, L., Holmberg, D., Blair, K.L., & Orbuch, T. (2008 ). "So how did you two meet?" Narratives of relationship initiation. In Susan Sprecher, Amy Wenzel & John Harvey (Eds.), Handbook of Relationship Initiation. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

    . Karen Blair, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of psychology at Trent University. Her research examines the social determinants of health throughout the lifespan within the context of social relationships.

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