Tinder users are having no more casual sex than other horny people

There’s a general assumption that ‘hook-up’ apps like Tinder and Bumble are the gateway to no-strings sexual encounters because they bypass some of the dating dance. The clue to that resides within the unofficial name. 

However, millennials on dating apps not partaking in casual sex more often than counterparts going about it in a more conventional manner, researchers have claimed.

A study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) found no disparity between the number of sexual partners of users and non-users of picture-based dating apps.

The researchers interviewed 641 students aged between 19-29 and quizzed them about their sociosexual orientation, exploring their willingness to engage in short-term encounters.

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Although dating app users tended to express a greater willingness to engage in casual sex, they weren’t necessarily acting upon it.

“Dating app users don’t have more casual sexual partners than others with the same short-term preference,” said Mons Bendixen, associate professor at NTNU’s Department of Psychology (via Gizmodo).

Professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair at NTNU’s Department of Psychology added: “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.”

Men are eager, women are discerning

The researchers also offered some insight into how men and women use dating apps differently.

According to the study, women spent more time use on dating apps than men. The researchers theorise this is because women are more discerning than men when making their choices.

“Men more often start conversations and contact matches, and they’re more willing to meet partners through dating apps in private settings,” says Bendixen.

“Women are more discerning. Men are more eager. This has clear evolutionary reasons. Women have more to lose by engaging with low-quality sexual partners than men do. That’s why men swipe right more often than women do,” says Kennair.

“Women use dating apps to feel better about themselves more than men do,” Bendixen added.

Despite the impression, these apps are rarely used by people perusing hook-ups outside their relationships.

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