Racial and Ethnic Influence in Online Dating Perceptions

Abstract

This study determines the racial and ethnic differences associated with the perceptions and intentions of online dating amongst emerging adults through a framework guided by symbolic interaction and sexual scripts to understand how perceptions and intentions of online dating are influenced by cultural and interpersonally crafted scripts of appropriate dating, romantic, and sexual behavior. 451 emerging adults, between 18 and 30 years old were sampled. Several differences were found based on race/ethnicity, pertaining to perceptions of dating sites and online dating users. The intention of casual, sexual relationships was found to have the most varied perception based on race/ethnicity and site. Perceptions of online daters was overall similar amongst racial/ethnic groups; only two of thirteen characteristics showed differences: being anti-social and difficulty cultivating in-person relationships. As technology continues to grow and online dating acceptability expands, varied online dating sites are likely to arise. Further research is needed to examine the effects of race/ethnicity on individuals’ engagement with online dating and the effects of their perceptions.

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Correspondence to Lindsey Almond.

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Almond, L., Rodriguez-Vongsavanh, Y. & Taylor, A. Racial and Ethnic Influence in Online Dating Perceptions. Sexuality & Culture (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-020-09763-z

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Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Relationship
  • Technology
  • Dating