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Fitzpatrick, Birnholtz, and Brubaker studied the relationship between personal disclosure—whether a user shows his face— and social disclosure—whether he shares his personal information—on Grindr. The team collected 25, profiles mechanically from the app. Their logistic analysis showed that users who were younger, had a higher body mass index, did not disclose their race, and were looking for friends or relationships were more likely to show their face.
The researchers argued that youth is an important asset in determining attractiveness on this platform. Finally, the researchers suggested that app users looking for more lasting relationships, such as friendships and romance, prefer to individualize themselves by showing a face photo. App users who noted their masculine traits or fitness tended not to post photos including their face. Therefore, there was a tradeoff between posting shirtless photos and photos with a face.
He argued that these profiles were mainly collected from Asian countries where homosexuality is illegal, such as Singapore.
Thus, to protect themselves, app users in these countries may choose not to include sexual elements on their profiles. Following Fitzpatrick et al.
Researchers: Redesign dating apps to overcome racial bias | EurekAlert! Science News
The first research question asks: Cross-Cultural Differences The stigma of homosexuality. He attributed this phenomenon to a stronger stigma associated with homosexuality in rural areas than in urban regions. In China, although homosexuality was decriminalized and removed from the latest edition of the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders Kong, , unlike the U.
This social stigma may make MSM in China less comfortable with disclosing their faces on gay networking apps. Therefore, this study hypothesizes: Low-context culture versus high-context culture. This contexting model is not without critiques, but has been shown to still be relevant in the context of international communication Cardon, In a low-context culture such as the U. In contrast, in a high-context culture such as China, a stable social hierarchy from which people can derive meanings exists; therefore, people are more likely to communicate in an implicit and simplified manner.
In terms of emotional expressions, Caldwell-Harris, Kronrod, and Yang found that Chinese students were less likely to express the feeling of love than American students. Extrapolating this implicitness to the scenario of networking apps, Chinese MSM may be less likely to explicitly identify particular relational goals, assuming their goals are implied in the context of the apps.
Individualist culture versus collectivist culture. Cultural psychologists have suggested that the U. In contrast, in a collectivist culture, people are integrated into strongly cohesive groups. This cultural difference was found to influence the disclosure of information. In a survey of American students and Chinese students, Chen found that for five out of six topics opinion, work, finance, body, and personality , American students consistently disclosed significantly more than their Chinese counterparts.
In the scenario of mobile dating apps, this suggests that MSM in China may disclose less about themselves. This study hypothesizes: Culture also affects self-presentation. According to Jones , there are five strategies for self-presentation: Exemplification strategy entails expressing self-discipline, self-sacrifice, and devotion to others to appear morally superior. Finally, intimidation strategy entails making threats by showing anger and unpleasantness.
Because a collectivistic culture stresses self-criticism, self-discipline, and harmonious relationships with the group, they asked whether more Chinese social networking sites users adopted supplication, exemplification, and ingratiation strategies and fewer used competence strategy than American users.
Their results showed that more Chinese users used competence and supplication strategies but fewer used ingratiation strategies than their American counterparts. This means that Chinese users were more likely to show off their abilities and accomplishments and to disclose their weaknesses but less likely to express friendliness. No exemplification strategy was found in either the American or Chinese samples.
The only finding that was in line with the cultural argument was the difference in using the supplication strategy. Contradictory results have been found in other research. Chen analyzed some of the most popular blogs written by Taiwanese and American bloggers. She found that Taiwanese bloggers used more ingratiation and competence strategies than American bloggers.
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There were no differences in exemplification and supplication strategies between the bloggers from the two cultures, and no blog demonstrated any intimidation strategy. Chen argued that in a collectivistic culture, people tended to stress harmony and that therefore, more Taiwanese bloggers used the ingratiation strategy. She also suggested that Taiwanese bloggers needed to demonstrate their ability to drive readership; however, she did not explain why this did not apply to American users.
On mobile dating apps, users craft their profiles to appeal to others. There may be a difference in self-presentation strategies between American and Chinese MSM due to culture differences. Therefore, the study asks: First, it is a popular app in both the U. This function enabled the research team to gather geographically diverse samples from the U.
Geographically diverse samples of profiles from the U. In the case of China, following the same procedure, six profiles were collected from the most populated city in each of the 27 provinces and autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing , two Special Administrative Regions Hong Kong and Macau , and the largest city in Taiwan.
These profiles were screen-captured and used as data for analysis.
The mediation of gay men's lives: A review on gay dating app studies
Therefore, only three profiles were randomly selected from this city. Coding Protocol A content analysis was conducted in this study.
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A content analysis is a systematic technique for identifying the characteristics of a message. Following Berelson , the profiles were coded for their manifest content but not their latent meanings.
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Each profile was coded according to the following variables. The unit of analysis was each profile. Personal details. These four pieces of information were coded. Profiles were coded as either disclosing or not disclosing each of these five favorites. When a user wrote that he did not have any of these favorites, this was considered a disclosure of information thus coded as disclosing , in contrast to someone who did not write anything in these spaces coded as not disclosing. In addition, when a user wrote something other than activities, interests, music, movies, or books e.
Profiles were also coded as disclosing or not disclosing the following sensitive information: Relational goals. Profiles were coded as either mentioning or not mentioning each of the following five definite relational goals: Apart from these five definite goals, three additional relational goals were coded: Presentation strategies. Profiles were coded as either demonstrating or not demonstrating each of these five strategies. Only text was taken into account.
Minor modifications of the definitions of these strategies were made for the app scenario. Exemplification strategy expresses self-discipline or devotion to others; this extends to profiles that stress the importance of work or school. Ingratiation strategy shows any one of four likable qualities: Finally, intimidating strategy appears to be aggressive by posing threats, expressing anger, and using pejorative labels to address others e.
Examples of each strategy are provided in Table 1.
Procedure and Inter-Coder Reliability To ensure cultural sensitivity and coding reliability, a bicultural coding team was employed. The principal researcher of this study gay-identified, culturally Chinese, and living in the U.
He trained an American male colleague straight-identified but familiar with HIV research among the gay population, and a Ph. Then, the American second coder double-coded the 40 American profiles and the Chinese second coder double-coded the 40 Chinese profile independently of the principal researcher.
The inter-coder reliabilities for visuals, personal details, and relational goals were acceptable: The research team discussed potential reasons for the poor reliability and found that the initial protocol for this section, while being intentionally loose to apply the self-presentation typology to as many profiles as possible, was too vague for a precise coding.
For intimidation strategy, the research team concluded that the coding should consider the whole bio rather than individual words or phrases because intimidation was usually expressed as a sentence or a paragraph. Two other coders a straight-identified Chinese graduate student and a gay-identified American Ph. Based on this revised coding protocol, the principal researcher coded the remaining profiles. Results Descriptive Statistics In the American sample, No one reported himself as Pacific Islander. Only 0. Users can also leave all three photos blank i.
It was found that Although some people reported an age, height, or weight that apparently fell outside of a reasonable range e. Given that there was no objective way to determine the authenticity of the information, the information was retained. To avoid the influence of extreme values, medians but not means were reported. Each of the three photos was examined separately. Particular attention was paid to face photos, shirtless torso photos, and blank photos. As Table 2 shows, in the first photo, most MSM Only 5.
Around In the second photo, the number of profiles that had a recognizable face decreased to However, roughly half of the MSM In the third photo, even fewer photos showed a recognizable face The majority of the profiles Looking at the profiles as a whole, One final note on visual presentations that was not presented in Table 2: The numbers of American and Chinese profiles that had at least one photo showing a face were compared. In the American sample, H1 was supported. An index of relational goals was computed by summing the eight goal variables.
H2 was supported. This result is suggestive of the effect of culture on mentioning relational goals. Further probing was conducted into the appearance of each goal in the profiles. H3 was therefore not supported. In China, supplication was used most often 9. No profiles in the Chinese sample adopted the ingratiation strategy. And users were also more likely to view their bodies as sexual objects.
In other words, the more conventionally attractive your photos are , the more likely you are to be clicked, swiped or hit upon by other users. But whether men use Tinder or not, most will report dissatisfaction with some aspect of their appearance.