Men believe that they are entitled to “use” women the way they want to if their Tinder date is less attractive than her profile picture, according to a sociologist from the Manchester Metropolitan University. It turns out that sex makes up for disappointed men.

“Many of our respondents felt let down on meeting a woman and on feeling a visual representation hadn’t been accurate,” explains sociologist Jenny van Hooff, whose study was presented on April 7 at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in Birmingham. “Some of our respondents felt that this breaking of trust was a licence to use their date as they saw fit, thereby speeding up intimacy and undermining it at the same time.”

The study involved investigating the Tinder use of men from Manchester and Cheshire in England. The sociologist found that the participants were disappointed with their experiences on Tinder many times.


Dating couple. Photo from Wikimedia/Joe Mabel

Some women try to mislead men by taking a photo from an angle that make them look slimmer when in fact they are not. Some pose to look younger, way younger than their biological age.

However, Van Hooff points out that dating app users such as Tinder users believe that they are not doing anything wrong in these instances because for them, they are just showing the best version of themselves to their potential Tinder date. Although men do this as well, men are more likely to think that their chances of getting sex increases if a girl lied on her profile.

While the study found that casualisation of relationships has become common, it also reveals that traditional gender norms are still predominant despite the freedom and equality online dating has resulted to. Online dating has also made establishing relationships more possible but at the same time, it also made them last shorter.

“The ready access of potential matches intensified feelings, so that on meeting a connection is already established, however this also makes it more disposable, with relationships being ended quickly with little or no explanation,” Van Hooff says. “The research found that in many respects dating apps appear to accentuate traditionally gendered norms, rather than providing a space that’s removed from wider gender inequalities.”