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Gender Roles in Online Dating

About the Author: Alex Dang

Alex Dang is a sophomore pursuing a double major in Computer Engineering and Economics at the University of Maryland. He would like to thank his parents for their support, his instructor Justin Lohr for convincing him to submit this digital forum, and the Interpolations staff for putting this online journal together. He credits his initial interest in the topic to his own experiences with relationships, and he hopes his research might spark more students to understand how gender roles are constructed.

By Alex Dang | Digital Forum

"If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain," Rupert Holmes could be a good match. Bonnie Tyler, on the other hand, is "holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night." We all have certain characteristics in mind when we're looking for a date. Thanks to the development of online dating sites like Match and OkCupid, we could very well be able to find the kind of partner that we want. Just enter a few personal details about yourself, then get looking for potential dates. Even if you are unsure of what kind of person you’re looking for, some sites offer a service that takes the personal details entered by the user and finds potential matches based on that information.

More and more initial romantic interactions are taking place online instead of face-to-face. As a result, the traditional gender roles of men actively courting women are beginning to be challenged, as women are now able to begin taking dating matters into their own hands. Technology offers a woman the chance to pursue a man and avoid the harsh social stigma against that behavior. And that may be only one of the many ways that online dating shakes up the traditional gender roles of the man actively pursuing the woman, who then decides whether the relationship shall continue...


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