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Swipe Right: Harms Associated With Using and Meeting People via Dating Apps

Bates, R, Butler, N and Quigg, Z (2023) Swipe Right: Harms Associated With Using and Meeting People via Dating Apps. Partner Abuse, 14 (1). pp. 114-132. ISSN 1946-6560

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Across many countries, the use of dating applications and websites (DAWs) has become increasingly popular over recent years; however, research examining the relationship between DAWs use and experience of dating violence and/or other harms is limited. This study aims to explore the use, motivations, and experiences of harm associated with using DAWs and meeting people in person via DAWs. An online convenience sample pilot survey was completed by adults (n = 217) aged 18+ years, living in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, who had used a DAW in the past two years. Differences were found in usage, motivations, and experiences of using DAWs in age and gender. Nearly half, 46.5% of respondents reported having been a victim of at least one harm as a result of meeting someone in person via DAWs in their lifetime; 33.2% reported experiencing sexual violence, 27.2% verbal abuse, 8.3% sexual activity in exchange for goods and 6.5% physical assault. Further to this, 41.9% of respondents reported being “Catfished” in the past two years (i.e., the other person looking different in person compared to their DAWs profile). In multivariate analysis, experiencing at least one harm was significantly associated with female gender (Adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 4.0; p < .001), being aged 40+ years (AOR 3.1; p < .01; reference category, 18–29 years) and being “Catfished” (AOR 3.3; p < .001). In multivariate analysis, sexual violence was significantly associated with being female (AOR 6.9; p < .001), being aged 40+ years (AOR 2.9; p = .013; reference category, 18–29 years) and being “Catfished” (AOR 2.9; p = .001). The study reinforces the importance of understanding the use of DAWs, exposure to harms on and offline, and risks associated with “Catfishing.”

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Violence; Dating violence; Sexual violence; Sexual harassement; Catfishing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: Springer
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2023 11:54
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2024 00:50
DOI or ID number: 10.1891/PA-2021-0055
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18546
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