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Are men and women really innately different when it comes to sex and dating?What if evolution wants women to try out as many potential mates as possible in order to select the fittest one?Future research will have to replicate or refute these findings and further investigate important factors, including gender identity, shifting sexual norms, and in-person dating motivations.Other questions spring to mind: What if men have a higher rate of unrestricted sociosexual orientation underlying greater motivations for casual sex?Perhaps many of the observed differences in mating are due to cultural factors and just assumed to be principally genetic?Other factors may be programmed into the genome, but we are only beginning to sort out what is what — and sex isn't either/or anymore. In order to look more deeply at an under-recognized yet crucial dimension of modern mating which may shape our increasingly online dating preferences, Hallam and colleagues repeated prior studies with an important twist.As conventional, binary notions of sex and gender morph, becoming fluid and multidimensional, looking only at biological sex to understand why we seek the relationships we seek is ever more misleading and inaccurate. Sociosexual Orientation as a Dominant Predictor in Online Dating Strategies.Looking at factors like sociosexuality, which cuts across gender and biological sex, will help us better understand our motives for dating and mating. Evolutionary Psychological Science, published online 16 May.
According to Hallam, De Backer, Fisher, and Walrave (2018), the data from prior research is clear.
In addition to teasing apart the nuances of online dating the way earlier research has, they added “sociosexuality” to the usual suspects, like sex, age, reported motivations for online dating, and so on.
"Sociosexual orientation" (Simpson and Gangestad, 1991) is a concept developed which extends the work of Kinsey, referring to "individuals’ tendency to have sexual encounters with or without commitment, feelings and intimacy." Sociosexuality is measured using the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI), which boils down sexual attitudes and behavioral tendencies into a single dimension ranging from (leaning toward having sexual relationships with less commitment and emotional intimacy).
Researchers wondered if sociosexuality determines motivations for online dating, and if so, how much of a role these sexual attitudes and behaviors play above and beyond biological sex.
The current study In the current study, Hallam and colleagues surveyed a group of 254 people — 57.9 percent women, heterosexual, average age of 30 years.
Moreover, with increasing age came increasing motivation to use online dating for both love and casual sex, bolstered by the ease of communication, but less driven by excitement and self-validation.