Swiping Right into Infidelity

Among young adults nearly 50% of men and 31% of women have engaged in sexual infidelity. How people meet, date, and commit has changed dramatically in recent years with the widespread usage of dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble. These apps work by using GPS to show eligible partners in the vicinity. When users like someone they anonymously swipe right and if that individual also swipes right a match is made.

Since this is a relatively new phenomenon, there are many unknowns about who, and how these services are being used. The current study, led by Dana A. Weiser “explores how often individuals use Tinder to engage in infidelity.” Additionally the authors “examine individuals’ perceptions about the utility of using Tinder to engage in infidelity and whether individuals are knowledgeable of others’ use of Tinder while in an exclusive romantic relationship.”

The researchers found nearly 1 in 5 participants reported that they had messaged a person through Tinder while in an exclusive romantic relationship. Additionally, while participants reported sexual infidelity activities as low, the “majority of participants indicated that they had seen somebody on Tinder who they knew to be in an exclusive romantic relationship.” Further, most participants indicated they had friends who used Tinder while in an exclusive relationship.

It appears from this early research into the usage of Tinder, that many young adults are using this service to engage in infidelity. As the authors conclude “this finding suggests that individual difference variables that predict offline infidelity also help to describe individuals who use Tinder to engage in infidelity.”

The study, Swiping right: Sociosexuality, intentions to engage in infidelity, and infidelity experiences on Tinder, was co-authored by Sylvia Niehuis, Jeanne Flora, Narissra M. Punyanunt-Carter, Vladimir S. Arias, R. Hannah Baird.

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