Love is a battlefield

Surprise! Dating apps make men more shallow and depressed, study reveals

Man crying into his phone

Dating got you down? It could the dating apps themselves, not actual dating, that’s depressing you.

According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of North Texas, men who regularly use the dating app Tinder reported more body image issues and lower levels of self-esteem than guys who don’t use it at all.

Related: Dating apps are causing people to lower their standards, study finds

A total of 234 men (31 of whom were regular Tinder users and 203 of whom did not use the app) and 913 women (69 of whom were regular Tinder uses and 844 of whom did not use the app) participated in the anonymous online survey.

Here’s what researchers found about men, specifically: Male Tinder users demonstrated higher levels of shame about their bodies, including feelings of inadequacy when it comes to their height, amount of body hair, shoe size, and–surprise, surprise–penis size.

They were also more likely to view their bodies as sexual objects rather than just, well, bodies. They also reported an increased level of body surveillance and increased pressure to maintain a specific physique. And they were more judgmental of other people’s physiques.

Related: Study Reveals The 50 Biggest Turns-Offs When It Comes To Dating

So what’s the takeaway from all this?

Researchers conclude:

Our results suggest that Tinder represents a contemporary medium for appearance pressures, and its use is associated with a variety of negative perceptions about body and self and with increases in individuals’ likelihood to internalize appearance ideals and make comparisons to others.

In other words: Dating apps make people more shallow… Or maybe people who more shallow have a higher tendency to use dating apps. Which do you think it is?

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  • Creamsicle

    The population (n) values for this survey are ridiculous. You’re not comparing like populations, and there are way too many variables to pin this specifically on tinder.

    For all we know the participants who said they were regular tinder users are also at risk of poor self image because of their increased social media consumption and presence. And without any of the actual charts and criteria used to determine a statistical correlation this claim is less than meaningless. People will believe or disbelieve this study based more on their personal experience than on what this survey actually says.

  • Paco

    It’s really no surprise that people feel inadequate and depressed when they treat themselves like a product to be sold in a highly competitive market where the ideal gets pushed further to the extreme and no one is willing to accept anything less than perfection.

    If you aren’t willing to settle for less than ideal in others, then you can’t really expect it of others towards yourself. It’s a hell of your own creation. Enjoy.

  • Frank

    They are NOT dating apps…they are apps for hooking up for sex..

    Stop this nonsense that Grindr, Jack’D, Growlr, A4A, Scruff, oh the list goes on and on are NOT dating apps; they are for sex and when you are constantly LOOKING for anything and that includes sex you find yourself in a maze of despair much like the ending of “The Shining”.

    Not slut shaming but rather calling a spade a spade and water is always wet!!

    • leobaga

      You mean Social Media. Not dating apps. Facebook is the worst.

    • Frank

      No I mean “hook up apps” that the gay media LOVES to call “dating apps”…

      THEY ARE NOT DATING APPS…also Facebook should be less stressful as these people are “your friends” if you are accepting people for the sake of higher numbers but a whack or superficial connection…then that is YOUR FAULT

    • Heywood Jablowme

      This article is specifically about Tinder, which I think has a mostly hetero audience, so it may really be more of a dating app.

      You’re right though about Queerty, and seemingly everything it links to, always referring to Grindr / Scruff /A4A etc. as “dating apps” instead of hookup apps. Or they even use the two terms interchangeably, sometimes within a single paragraph! I don’t know why they insist on doing that. Or maybe they seriously don’t know the difference?

    • ChrisK

      They could be called dating apps. Men are visual and the sex usually comes first. If they like that then dating is a possibility.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      @ChrisK: Well, okay, it CAN happen that way. I guess I make a similar point to the Monogamy Brigade here. So I don’t disagree with you.

      Just like how in the days before apps, someone might hookup with someone in (say) a sleazy place like the cruisy area of a park… and they MIGHT discover that, hey, they’re quite compatible so they become bf’s. Even monogamous bf’s, sometimes. It’s certainly possible and happens all the time. It’s just not the original intention.

  • Ari Gold

    Of course dating apps are depressing. Who hasn’t gone onto one of these apps to “meet” someone only to be rejected or had his messages ignored? Imagine a person with already low self-esteem going through that on a daily basis.

  • DCguy

    There was no definition or proper descriptions of the two groups. Were all of the people not using Tinder single? Why weren’t they using them, are they trying to date or not?

    None of that was made clear, so not sure how good the study actually is.

  • Bradsman

    I have never met anyone on an ap. Face to face is the only way. I met my current boyfriend on a bus. I just said hi.

  • tghost54

    Lots of predators from Africa on these gay dating sites.
    If some guy fighting in Afghanistan tries to pick you up its a scam.
    I would love to find an app that has ordinary people looking to find a companion.
    You can get sex anywhere. I want someone who gives a damn

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