Want to impress on your Tinder profile? Keep your top ON! Men who pose topless are seen as less competent and more promiscuous, study reveals
- 567 participants were shown Tinder profiles for a white, adult man called Noah
- Profile varied in relationship motivation, muscularity and sexualised appearance
- When Noah was topless, participants rated him as less competent and more promiscuous than when he had his top on
While dating apps were once seen as taboo, they’re now one of the main ways that singletons find love around the world.
But if you have a profile on a dating app, a new study may encourage you to reassess which pictures you include.
Researchers from the University of Colorado have revealed that men who pose topless on Tinder are seen as less competent and more promiscuous
The rise of online dating
The first dating app can be traced back to 1995 when Match.com was first launched. The website allowed single people to upload a profile, a picture and chat to people online.
eHarmony was then developed in 2000 and two years later Ashley Madison, a site dedicated to infidelity and cheating, was first launched.
A plethora of other dating sites with a unique target demographic were set up in the next 10-15 years including OKCupid (2004), Plenty of Fish (2006), Grindr (2009) and Happn (2013).
In 2012, Tinder was launched and was the first ‘swipe’ based dating platform. After its initial launch its usage snowballed and by March 2014 there were one billion matches a day.
Bumble, a dating app designed to empower women, was launched in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, Tinder co-founder.
Tinder is an online dating app that matches singletons based on their physical attraction to one another.
The app encourages users to upload photos without friends, but doesn’t give much advice on what to wear.
‘Upload photos to Tinder that feature who everyone came to see: you! Ditch your friends, because this isn’t about them, and remove the sunglasses, because they hide your face,’ the app advises on its website.
‘The best pics are in-focus, and some say a smile goes a long way here.’
In the study, the researchers set out to test how sexualised images of males on the app affect viewers’ perceptions of them.
A sample of 567 participants were shown mock Tinder profiles for a young, white, adult man called Noah.
The pictures varied along three dimensions – relationship motivation, muscularity, and sexualised appearance.
For example, Noah was described as interested in either casual sex or a committed relationship, either had a muscular body or a non-muscular physique, and either wore a white t-shirt or was topless.
The participants were asked to rate Noah’s profile across a range of factors, including his sexual behaviours, physical attraction, and personality.
The results revealed that all three dimensions (relationship motivation, muscularity and sexualised appearance) affected the participants’ ratings of Noah’s profile – although the results varied between male and female participants.
In the study, the researchers set out to test how sexualised images of males on the app affect viewers’ perceptions of them (stock image)
Women judged the shirtless man as higher in risky sexual behaviour, lower in social appeal and lower in competence.
Men also judged the shirtless man as higher in risky sexual behaviour and lower in social appeal, but not lower in competence.
When Noah’s profile indicated he was interested in casual sex, both men and women judged him as higher in risky sexual behaviour and lower in competence.
Women also judged this profile as having lower social appeal.
Finally, both men and women rated the muscular man as more attractive than the non-muscular man, while only men rated him as higher in risky sexual behaviour.
‘The present findings indicate that a man’s sexualized self-presentation on a dating profile, even on an app known as a site for hook-ups, elicits diminished perceptions of his competence and greater perceptions that he engages in risky sexual behavior,’ the researchers wrote.
Based on the findings, the researchers are encouraging men looking for serious relationships to think twice before posting topless photos to their profiles.
‘A sexualized self-presentation on a Tinder profile is perhaps not the best self-presentational choice for men wanting to make a positive impression on women,’ they concluded.
HOW CAN YOU CHECK IF YOU ARE BEING CATFISHED?
Dating apps and online websites are plagued with fraudulent profiles, known as ‘catfishes’.
‘Catfishing’ originated as a term for the process of luring people into false relationships, however, it has also come to encompass people giving out false information about themselves more generally.
These profiles often use images of another person to allow users to pretend to be someone else in order to get a date, or scam money from a lonelyheart.
Fortunately, there are certain ways to check if these profiles are real people or if they are bogus accounts —
1. Google reverse image search
This is probably the most valuable tool for catching out a catfish and can be done via Google.
To kickstart the process, people need only right-click the photos that are arousing their suspcions, copy the URL and paste it into images.google.com.
The search engine will search to see if the image has been used elsewhere.
If you find the picture associated with a different person to the one you’re speaking to on your dating app, it’s likely you’ve met a catfish!
2. Use an app called Veracity
It is useful for dating sites such as Tinder, Bumble and Grindr as it allows images from Dropbox or Camera roll (or similar) to be cross-referenced against any matching results.
Load the app, then select a screenshot of the suspicious dating app profile from your camera roll to launch the search.
The app will tell you if the picture belongs to somebody else.
3. Check their Facebook
Almost everyone who has a profile on a dating site will have a Facebook account (most dating apps require users to have one, after all!) so it is always advisable to track down your potential suitor on other forms of social media.
4. Google them
Google and other search engines have an extensive repertoire and most people will crop up in a search.
In this day and age, it’s unusual for someone to have nothing on Google.
Have a search through for them or their relatives, things they’ve said or posted in the past. If there’s nothing, that should raise alarm bells.
5. Skype/Facetime/Video Chat
For prospective romantic engagements, seeing the face of someone you are virtually talking to is essential.
Anyone that asks for money online or via an app is likely to be a fraud.
This is probably a scam and should provide immediate red flags.