2017 research published in the Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness has considered how lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals make use of online dating services.
The authors note that a lot of previous research has focused on the goals, attitudes and preferences of singles using online dating, as well as how they choose to present themselves in profiles.
Much of the research was on heterosexual singles, however, and there may be important differences in how LGBTQ singles use the platforms.
Regarding preferences, for example, the idea that men prefer to ‘date younger’ can only be applicable 50% of the time in gay relationships.
Literature on LGBTQ apps is also considered, and dissatisfaction with apps like Gindr is highlighted. Some singles feel they would struggle to meet a partner on the site, past research has suggested.
The study proposed the following hypotheses:
“H1: Online flirtation is significantly more likely among LGB adults than among heterosexual adults.
“H2: The use of online dating services is significantly more likely among LGB adults than among heterosexual adults.”
The researchers used US Pew data from 2013, collected via telephone interview. The survey was titled: “Internet and American Life Project Tracking Survey”.
The study found “online flirtation is significantly more likely among LGB adults than among heterosexual adults”, and “the use of online dating services is significantly more likely among LGB adults than among heterosexual adults.”
This results are consistent with data showing a high proportion of LGBTQ relationships starting online. The authors suggest marketers should consider LGBTQ-specific advertising to target the wealthy and engaged demographic.
Read more here.