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Research Article Open Access

E-Commerce and Internet Dating Websites: Differences in Match Options Between African-Americans and Whites

Abstract

Internet technology has offered many options for online dating. We studied online dating website capabilities and the relationship between African-Americans and White college students (n=101) regarding their preferences for receiving a weekly list of potential matches via e-mail, receiving free assistance in enhancing the written portion of their profile, the ability to sort matches by ethnicity or religion, and the ability to sort matches based on similar interests. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant difference between African-Americans and Whites regarding the ability to receive weekly lists of potential matches via e-mail, where African-Americans had greater means indicative of their preference for this feature (p<0.05). These data for African-Americans and whites were stratified by gender, and these results remained significant for men (p<0.05) but not women (p>0.05). Traditional dating approaches typically involve a man initiating contact with a woman. African-American men may have unique psychological concerns with regard to online dating. They may prefer to wait for automated information about prospective matches rather than initially searching online for prospective matches. An understanding of the gender differences among African-Americans can help understand if it is necessary to advocate a change in this behavioral pattern among African-American men.

Joshua Fogel, Nancy Sardella

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