Tinder Study: Men Feel Entitled to “Use Women as They See Fit” If Date Is Less Attractive in Person

April 13, 2016 | Kelly Tatera

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They believe they deserve casual intercourse to compensate for this “breach of trust.”

Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom decided to investigate the psychology behind the use of Tinder among men and how the dating app affected the nature of their relationships and intimacies.

Presenting their findings at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference on April 7, the scientists revealed that men believed they had a “license to use women as they see fit” if their date’s appearance was less attractive than it seemed in her profile photograph on the dating app.

Further, the men felt entitled to have casual sex to compensate for this “breach of trust.”

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Dr. Jenny van Hooff, a senior lecturer in sociology at the University, told the conference that many of the male respondents felt let down when they met a woman and felt her visual representation on Tinder hadn’t been accurate.

"Some of our respondents felt that this breaking of trust was a licence to use their date as they saw fit, thereby speeding up intimacy and undermining it at the same time,” van Hooff said.

A press release on the research reveals some of the statements made by men in the study:

A 29-year-old man told van Hooff: "I've been very misled by very selective pictures, angles when the person isn't as attractive or as slim or sporty as they make out on pictures. I try to swerve if possible, or get something out of it."

One 36-year-old man said: "It's Tinder — I would say your chances of getting sex go up if a girl's lied on her profile."

One 37-year-old man said: "'I am looking for a long term relationship, but you know within seconds of meeting someone whether that's going to happen. So now, I think if there's a chance of a shag I'll take it. Lots of girls put 'no one-night stands' on their profiles, but they still end up having them. Tinder has really toughened me up."

A 34-year-old told her: "What I will say is that it is natural for human beings to take advantage of each other, and Tinder hasn't changed this, but it has made it easier."

Based on these statements, you may be wide-eyed and feeling like chivalry is officially dead, but it’s important to keep in mind that online dating is a totally different ballpark than traditional dating.

According to van Hooff, people may see themselves as being honest while also presenting a “best possible branded version of themselves,” but others may feel tricked. One respondent even reported meeting a date who appeared to be about 20 years older than her online self.

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"Computer communication enhances the ability to selectively self-present through an increased ability to control the signs given off, allowing the presentation of a carefully crafted, edited impression,” van Hooff explains. “Men interviewed feel betrayed, although of course they engage in this as well.”

The researchers also explored whether online dating has led to new kinds of freedoms and equalities in the dating sphere, and they report that “traditionally gendered scripts” can still be seen to dominate interactions between men and women, both on and offline.

Dating app users also report that the ready access of potential matches serves to intensify feelings, because a connection and attraction is already established upon meeting a match in person. However, they also say that this makes relationships more disposable, with little or no explanation. One participant said that intimacy is “speeded up” with Tinder.

In conclusion, the researchers say they “found that in many respects dating apps appear to accentuate traditionally gendered norms, rather than providing a space that's removed from wider gender inequalities."

All of the research presented is part of a larger ongoing study about the use of Tinder, so stay tuned — there may be even more outrageous statements to come.

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