A new university study into Tinder and relationships claims that the popular hookup app has not led to more casual sex in society, or at least it doesn’t lead to already open-minded casual sex seekers having more sex than likeminded non users of the app.
“Apps have become the new public arena for dating. But to a large extent, the people using them are the same ones you find dating other ways,” says professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair at NTNU’s Department of Psychology.
Same number of casual sex partners
So-called “sociosexual orientation” refers to how open you are to short-term sexual relationships that don’t lead to a committed relationship. The most open, or unrestricted, users tend to use picture-based dating apps more often than most people do.
“But dating app users don’t have more casual sexual partners than others with the same short-term preference,” says Mons Bendixen, an associate professor at NTNU’s Department of Psychology.
I haven’t read the original study, but the conclusion explained in the quoted article above seems unconvincing to me. Perhaps the casual sex seekers using Tinder are less attractive than those not using it, and that is why they need to use it, rather than say a more traditional but arguably harder method of chatting up the opposite sex in nightclubs etc.?
It also seems to contradict claims from other professionals that Tinder and similar dating apps are likely the cause of a spike in STDs.
In 2015, health officials in Rhode Island released data showing a dramatic spike in cases of syphilis (79 percent), gonorrhea (30 percent), and HIV (33 percent) in the previous year. The uptick, they said, wasn’t an outlier — it was part of a national trend. And while some of the new cases could be attributed to better testing, officials for the first time said STD rates were rising because of certain high-risk behaviors, including using online dating sites “to arrange casual and often anonymous sexual encounters.”