Gender affects dating done through the internet since interaction in cyberspace is strictly limited to information being made known to users. Relay of information may come in the form of voice and video chat and personal profiles and web pages for social networking sites to name a few. Since dating through the internet usually involves interaction, whether delayed or real-time, by means of typed texts, images and sounds, the tendency of a male user looking for a female date, for instance, is to look-up a list of possible dates based on the matches between his preference and the ones sorted out in the list in terms of profile. Personal profiles usually include photos and text descriptions. The male user then selects possible female dates from the list and eliminates the others. In effect, the male user filters out other male users looking for a date in the internet, especially male users who have a homosexual tendency. The same can also be said among female users browsing the internet for possible male dates as they tend to screen out other female users who may likewise have a homosexual tendency.
Moreover, gender is a factor which plays a role in the personal preference of a user in choosing and using a specific dating site. For instance, a female user may tend to frequent dating sites which feature web graphics with a feminine touch, so to speak. On the other hand, a male user may tend to frequent dating sites that have a masculine interface, from videos of the latest male gadgets along with female models to photo captions that directly relate to the experiences of most males.
In essence, it can be said that the tendency of a person to select a dating site and stay loyal to it depends on the personal preferences influenced by the person’s gender. There are countless combinations of factors which can be correlated with the gender of the internet user. Nevertheless, gender can never be devoid of any function and influence in the behaviors of users of internet dating sites.
Merkle, E. R. & Richardson, R. A. (2000). Digital Dating and Virtual Relating: Conceptualizing Computer Mediated Romantic Relationships. Family Relations, 49(2), 187-192.