A study has found that users of Tinder or any other mobile dating apps do not acquire more casual sex partners than their nonuser counterparts.
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that while Tinder users may be more open to short-term sex than the average people, this does not mean that they end up with more number of sexual partners than non-Tinder users who, just the same, prefer casual sex.
Essentially, Tinder users can end up with the same number of hookups with those who search for one-night stands using any other known interaction, like waiting at a bar or club.
Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, a professor at NTNU's Department of Psychology, explains that mobile dating apps simply evolved to become a new public arena for dating, like an alternative to finding a partner at work and through other recreational activities. The result with regard to acquiring partners is just the same.
The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, surveyed the social media activity and sexual behavior of more than 600 students ranging from ages 19 to 29. Out of those surveyed, nearly 50 percent said they used picture-based mobile dating apps at one point, while there are one in five who have remained active users.
The study noted that users of dating apps showed higher levels of sociosexual orientation. The term refers to how one unequivocally accepts short-term sexual relationships without the assumption or goal of ending up in a committed relationship.
Those who are more accepting and open to casual sex are more inclined to use mobile dating apps, the study found.
The study also revealed that the reasons why women used Tinder are different from why men used the platform.
Men And Women Using Tinder
Women are more inclined to use Tinder or other dating apps to feel better about themselves, the study said. They also spend more time examining potential matches than their male counterparts.
Men, on the other hand, use dating apps to solely find sex. They are also quick in choosing potential dates and are quick to invite women out in a private setting.
"But it should be noted that the myth that men on dating apps are only looking for casual sex isn't accurate. Men who use these apps also seek long-term partners, but to a lesser extent than short-term partners," said Ernst Olav Botnen, first author of the study and a clinical psychologist.
Kennair adds that women tend to be more discerning while men are more eager due to clear evolutionary reasons.
"Women have more to lose by engaging with low-quality sexual partners than men do," Kennair explained.
Nevertheless, men and women both use Tinder for recreational purposes, particularly when they feel bored and had nothing to do, the study stated.