Dating app provides platform for racism, makes men unhappy

ANI | Updated: Oct 03, 2017 18:20 IST

London [UK], Oct. 3 (ANI): According to a recent research, it is found that men, who regularly use the app, have more body image concerns and lower self-esteem.

The study found Tinder users reported lower levels of satisfaction with their faces and higher levels of shame about their bodies.

And users were also more likely to view their bodies as sexual objects.

This is hardly surprising given that Tinder's "evaluative factors" have the potential to intensify pre-existing cultural beauty ideals.

The app's "swipe right to dismiss" facility, along with the limited number of words a user can write on their profile means appearance take centre stage.

But whether men use Tinder or not, most will report dissatisfaction with some aspect of their appearance. This could be anything from height, body hair, muscularity, skin tautness, shoe size, penis size, facial symmetry, head hair amount and more.

Sadly, there are few areas of the body men do not find fault with.

Over the last few decades boys' and men's appearances have come under increasing scrutiny. This is largely because in the 1980s businesses finally started exploiting a relatively untapped market: the appearance insecurities of men.

But beyond appearance pressures, dating apps are doubly damaging because they often operate in a sphere where sexual racism is commonplace.

The dating app OKCupid recently analysed sexual racism among 1m of its male site users. The company found that compared to black, Asian or minority ethnic users, white users got more messages.

White users were also found to be less likely to reply or match with users of a different race to themselves, and more likely to question interracial marriage.

Recent research from Australia also found that 15 per cent of gay men on the dating app Grindr included sexual racism on their profiles.

Of course apps aren't the cause of racism around sexual preferences. Instead like appearance pressures, users are influenced by what's going on in wider society.

By not tackling those problems in society, however, apps can act as enablers for racism and insecurity.

So while in some ways, these apps have brought our dating lives into the 21st century, in other ways, they also remind me of the 1950s, a time when shops would hang "No Blacks" signs in their doorways and when magazines like Playboy relentlessly objectified women's appearances. (ANI)

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