Of course, sexual assaults related to online dating may be on the rise just because online dating itself is on the rise.But here’s one telling, albeit only suggestive, comparison: The Pew Research Center found that between 20 the proportion of American adults using dating services tripled."These data suggest that the Internet may be altering the dynamics and outcomes of marriage itself," said Cacioppo.
His research showed about 35 percent of relationships now start online.
"The overreach occurs when the authors conclude that meeting a partner online is better than meeting a partner through offline avenues," Finkel said.
"Nobody's surprised when a minuscule effect reaches statistical significance with a sample of 20,000 people, but it's important that we don't misunderstand 'statistical significance' to mean 'practical significance.'" Finkel also took issue with e Harmony's involvement in the study.
"I'm always a bit wary when a project is entirely funded by a private organization that clearly has a vested interest in the results," he said.
Online dating has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry and the Internet "may be altering the dynamics and outcome of marriage itself," said the study by U. researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
However, some experts took issue with the findings because the survey was commissioned by e Harmony.com, the dating site that attracted one quarter of all online marriages according to the research.
Eli Finkel, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University, led an extensive review of the science published about online dating last year.
He told AFP he agreed with the proportions found in the PNAS study.
"I find that younger people who use online dating seem to use it more as a playground, especially guys looking at profiles of young women.
Often on multiple apps at once, users can swipe through dozens of profiles every minute and plan multiple dates, whether in hopes of a love match or a hook-up.
Dating companies are being pushed to better protect users, but some seem reluctant to do more— or even to talk about whether there’s a problem.