NIH project studied ‘arousal’ of gay men when using Grindr
Then, the American second coder double-coded the 40 American profiles and the Chinese second coder double-coded the 40 Chinese profile independently of the principal researcher. The inter-coder reliabilities for visuals, personal details, and relational goals were acceptable: The research team discussed potential reasons for the poor reliability and found that the initial protocol for this section, while being intentionally loose to apply the self-presentation typology to as many profiles as possible, was too vague for a precise coding. For intimidation strategy, the research team concluded that the coding should consider the whole bio rather than individual words or phrases because intimidation was usually expressed as a sentence or a paragraph.
Two other coders a straight-identified Chinese graduate student and a gay-identified American Ph.
Based on this revised coding protocol, the principal researcher coded the remaining profiles. Results Descriptive Statistics In the American sample, No one reported himself as Pacific Islander. Only 0. Users can also leave all three photos blank i.
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It was found that Although some people reported an age, height, or weight that apparently fell outside of a reasonable range e. Given that there was no objective way to determine the authenticity of the information, the information was retained. To avoid the influence of extreme values, medians but not means were reported.
Each of the three photos was examined separately. Particular attention was paid to face photos, shirtless torso photos, and blank photos. As Table 2 shows, in the first photo, most MSM Only 5.
Around In the second photo, the number of profiles that had a recognizable face decreased to However, roughly half of the MSM In the third photo, even fewer photos showed a recognizable face The majority of the profiles Looking at the profiles as a whole, One final note on visual presentations that was not presented in Table 2: The numbers of American and Chinese profiles that had at least one photo showing a face were compared. In the American sample, H1 was supported. An index of relational goals was computed by summing the eight goal variables.
H2 was supported. This result is suggestive of the effect of culture on mentioning relational goals. Further probing was conducted into the appearance of each goal in the profiles.
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H3 was therefore not supported. In China, supplication was used most often 9. No profiles in the Chinese sample adopted the ingratiation strategy. Chi- square tests showed that significantly more American MSM used competence and ingratiation, while more Chinese used supplication, although the difference was only marginally significant. Scholars have analyzed personal ads posted by gay men and lesbians in magazines or on the Internet as self-presentations. The recent research by Fitzpatrick et al. However, these studies focused on platforms in the U. Face, Torso, or Neither Mobile dating apps are visual-driven Birnholtz et al.
When a user logs onto an app, he can immediately see a series of photos. Therefore, photos are critical in this space. While some MSM choose to show off their handsome face or their fit torso to attract eyeballs, some prefer remaining completely anonymous, posting non-human photos or leaving the space blank. On Grindr, the first gay networking app, users have to choose between showing their face or their torso because only one photo can be uploaded. MSM who want to upload their face photo can also show their torso. The architecture creates no tradeoff between showing a face and showing a torso.
However, among these profiles, only In other words, most of the people who put at least one face photo chose to put more face photos or to leave the other photo spaces blank. Fitzpatrick et al.
This percentage was higher than what this study found. The discrepancy is probably due to the mixed sample in this study. Separating the American sample and Chinese sample, The percentage in the American profiles was closer to what Fitzpatrick et al. This study explores how cultural differences affect the kinds of goals that are expressed on the dating profiles.
China, a high-context culture, is characterized by subtlety and implicitness in communication.
A look at China’s Kunlun, operator of gay dating app Grindr
In contrast, the U. The results show that the average number of relational goals mentioned by Chinese MSM was smaller than that mentioned by American MSM, supporting this contexting hypothesis Cardon, Probably, Chinese MSM believe their relational goals can be communicated through the photos they post and through conversations later. Expecting to know you the kind and nice you [sic.
Therefore, when it comes to seeking relationships, Chinese users have to make their goals clear and explicit. Birnholtz et al. They found that fewer profiles from college towns mentioned sex-related goals than profiles from cities. If their explanation is correct, given that homosexual behavior is more stigmatized in China than in the U.
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No differences, however, were found. In fact, MSM in both countries on average mentioned less than one piece of information about their favorites and less than 0. Two interpretations are offered to explain this disinterest in disclosing personal information. People evaluate the costs and benefits of each stage of disclosure.
Further studies can examine whether American MSM disclose more than Chinese do during online interactions. Moreover, more American MSM were found to employ the ingratiation strategy, which was not adopted in any Chinese profiles. This finding is consistent with Chu and Choi , who studied social networking site users. They speculated that the reason for the dominance of the ingratiation strategy among American users was because they used social networking sites mainly to cultivate friendship, making ingratiating presentations more appropriate.
This study found that making friends was the goal mentioned most frequently in the American sample; therefore, it makes sense that the ingratiation strategy was used.
This study suggests that the ingratiation strategy is more aligned with the individualistic culture than the collectivist culture. Showing humor, warmth, understanding, and familiarity help a user stand out from the crowd. These two strategies were employed most frequently by American MSM. Looking at the Chinese sample, apart from supplication, the second most popular strategy was intimidation. Many of the Chinese profiles warned other users not to maliciously complain to the system.
The traditional Chinese culture stresses harmony, but empirical research shows that people from the same culture behave differently offline and online. Schiller and Cui found that compared to their American respondents, Chinese respondents were more likely to avoid confrontation in face-to-face communications, but online, Chinese were found to be far more open to communicating with bosses, peers, or subordinates than Americans. In this case, the app environment provides a space where negative emotions can be expressed.
Limitations and Future Research This study has several limitations. First, while this study captured profiles from various cities in China and the U.
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In particular, profiles from small cities were ignored. Given that people from rural China are more conservative about homosexuality Koo et al. Second, as Livingstone points out that cross-national research struggles between adopting a universal measurement and contextualizing meanings, this study is not perfect in making a cross-national comparison.