Today, nearly half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or who has met a spouse or partner via online dating – and attitudes toward online dating have grown progressively more positive.
To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.
Online dating is also relatively popular among the college-educated, as well as among urban and suburban residents.
And 38% of Americans who are single and actively looking for a partner have used online dating at one point or another.
These are among the key findings of a national survey of dating and relationships in the digital era, the first dedicated study of this subject by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project since 2005.
One in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or a mobile dating app.
Some 22% of 25-34 year olds and 17% of 35-44 year olds are online daters.27.2% of women and 11.7% of men have experienced unwanted sexual contact (by any perpetrator).[vii]One in 6 women (16.2%) and 1 in 19 men (5.2%) in the United States have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed (by any perpetrator).[i]Repeatedly receiving unwanted telephone calls, voice, or text messages was the most commonly experienced stalking tactic for both female and male victims of stalking (78.8% for women and 75.9% for men).[iv]About 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.[ii]Most female and male victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner (69% of female victims, 53% of male victims) experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before 25 years of age.[vii]A survey of American employees found that 44% of full-time employed adults personally experienced domestic violence’s effect in their workplaces, and 21% identified themselves as victims of intimate partner violence.[iii]64% of the respondents in a 2005 survey who identified themselves as victims of domestic violence indicated that their ability to work was affected by the violence.More than half of domestic violence victims (57%) said they were distracted, almost half (45%) feared getting discovered, and two in five were afraid of their intimate partner’s unexpected visit (either by phone or in person).[iv]Nine in ten employees (91%) say that domestic violence has a negative impact on their company’s bottom line. But it still means that one-third of online daters have not yet met up in real life with someone they initially found on an online dating site.One-in-five online daters have asked someone else to help them with their profile.