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There are substantial gender differences in the amount of attention online daters say they received on dating sites or apps. The survey also asked online daters about their experiences with getting messages from people they were interested in. And while gender differences remain, they are far less pronounced. Online daters widely believe that dishonesty is a pervasive issue on these platforms.

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By contrast, online daters are less likely to think harassment or bullying, and privacy violations, such as data breaches or identify theft, are very common occurrences on these platforms. Some experts contend that the open nature of online dating — that is, the fact that many users are strangers to one another — has created a less civil dating environment and therefore makes it difficult to hold people accountable for their behavior.

This survey finds that a notable share of online daters have been subjected to some form of harassment measured in this survey. Fewer online daters say someone via a dating site or app has threatened to physically harm them. Younger women are particularly likely to encounter each of these behaviors. The likelihood of encountering these kinds of behaviors on dating platforms also varies by sexual orientation.

LGB users are also more likely than straight users to say someone on a dating site or app continued to contact them after they told them they were not interested, called them an offensive name or threatened to physically harm them.

The creators of online dating sites and apps have at times struggled with the perception that these sites could facilitate troubling — or even dangerous — encounters. And although there is some evidence that much of the stigma surrounding these sites has diminished over time, close to half of Americans still find the prospect of meeting someone through a dating site unsafe. Americans who have never used a dating site or app are particularly skeptical about the safety of online dating. There are some groups who are particularly wary of the idea of meeting someone through dating platforms.

Age and education are also linked to differing attitudes about the topic. Americans — regardless of whether they have personally used online dating services or not — also weighed in on the virtues and pitfalls of online dating. These users also believe dating sites and apps generally make the process of dating easier. On the other hand, people who said online dating has had a mostly negative effect most commonly cite dishonesty and the idea that users misrepresent themselves. Pluralities also believe that whether a couple met online or in person has little effect on the success of their relationship.

Public attitudes about the impact or success of online dating differ between those who have used dating platforms and those who have not. People who have ever used a dating site or app also have a more positive assessment of relationships forged online. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Home U. Main More. Next: 1. In addition, there were some changes in question wording between these surveys.

Please read the Methodology section for full details on how the survey was conducted.


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For more details, see the Methodology section of the report. Popular on pew research. What the electorate looks like by party, race and ethnicity, age, education and religion. In past elections, U. The ratings online daters give their overall experience do not vary statistically by gender or race and ethnicity. Other sentiments are more evenly balanced between positive and negative feelings. Many online daters say they could find people on these platforms who they were physically attracted to, shared their hobbies and interests, seemed like someone they would want to meet in person or were looking for the same kind of relationship as them.

At the same time, there are some gender differences in how hard or easy users say it was to find compatible partners.

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Other gender differences — such as the importance of users including their hobbies and interests, their racial or ethnic background or their political affiliation — are more modest. These rates are even higher among younger women. Public perceptions about the safety of online dating vary substantially by personal experience. Views on this question also vary substantially by age, educational attainment and race and ethnicity.

A smaller share of U. At the same time, half of Americans say online dating has had neither a positive nor negative effect on dating and relationships.

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Note: Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

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It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Home U. Main More. Lesbian, gay or bisexual adults are roughly twice as likely as those who are straight to say they have ever used a dating site or app.

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FatCamera via Getty Images In the more than two decades since the launch of commercial dating sites such as Match. Share this link:. Emily A.

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