by Dan Kopf
It is one of the most profound changes in life in the US, and in much of the rich world. Instead of meeting our partners in school, at work, or through friends and family, many of us now meet them online.
Some 39% of heterosexual couples that got together in the US in 2017 met online, according to a recently released study (pdf) by sociologists Michael Rosenfeld and Sonia Hausen of Stanford University and Reuben Thomas of University of New Mexico. This was also the case for more than 60% of same-sex couples that year.
…The study by Thomas, Rosenfeld, and Hausen finds that the share of couples meeting online has just about doubled since 2009. Since the technology hasn’t improved that much since the 1990s and 2000s, says Thomas, he thinks the explanations is that online dating has finally become culturally acceptable.
There is no longer much a stigma about meeting a partner online, and few now view online dating as unsafe. “People used to make up stories about how they met, so they wouldn’t have to admit that they met online, but now many people embrace it,” says Thomas.
He and fellow researchers present several other notable findings about the rise in online dating. They explain that it is not phone apps, but rather websites accessed via computers, that account for most of the online relationships created in 2017, though that may be changing…