Partner preference and age: User's mating behavior in online dating

Keywords: online dating, age homogamy, partner preference, Czechia

Abstract

Objective: We test whether real online-user mating behavior corresponds with expectations from both the sociobiological and social perspectives and explore the age differentials that individuals opt for when searching for a mate and how this evolves relative to the user’s age and gender.

Background: Age plays a vital role in partner choice. Previous studies have focused primarily on age differences between couples and their self-reported preferences for partners of a certain age. However, little is known about how age affects behavior in the online dating market.

Method: We use behavioral data from a Czech online dating app, Pinkilin and analyze 197,519 invitations that users sent to each other in July 2017.

Results: Men strongly prefer young women, and women prefer partners of their age or slightly older. At older ages, men’s preference for younger women widens, while women's preferences become more diverse. Homogamous tendencies are stronger among younger users and women.

Conclusion: Overall, our results corroborate those of previous research on online dating, but we extend this research in terms of age differences in the Czech context.

Published
2021-03-29
How to Cite
Šetinová, M., & Topinková, R. (2021). Partner preference and age: User’s mating behavior in online dating. Journal of Family Research. https://doi.org/10.20377/jfr-540
Section
Articles