For the article, Sales conducted “interviews with more than 50 young women in New York, Indiana, and Delaware, aged 19 to 29,” as well as many men, and it adds up to a series of sleazy, depressing stories.And she’s hardly the first journalist to raise this alarm: Over the last few years, reports on “hookup culture” — some focusing on alcohol and campus culture, some on technology, and some on both — have become a thriving genre.journalist Nancy Jo Sales, who recently argued, in her feature “Tinder and the ‘Dating Apocalypse,’” that dating apps are causing changes in human mating rituals of a magnitude comparable to those that occurred after the establishment of marriage.
Online dating clearly is changing how many people meet other people and date and have sex.
But it’s probably changing their behavior in all sorts of different, sometimes conflicting ways.
Although Sales pins her case on online dating in general, she’s mostly focused on Tinder, whose “swipe” function she sees as the epitome of quick and easy shopping for sex.
Tinder did not like this, and 30 ill-advised tweets ensued, first questioning Sales’ reporting, escalating to claiming that Tinder is bringing people in China and North Korea together, and culminating in the grand pronouncement that “Generation Tinder” is changing theworld.
But Sales addressed this study solely to brush it aside in a parenthetical paragraph noting that the authors told her “their analysis was based partly on projections derived from a statistical model, not entirely from direct side-by-side comparisons of numbers of sex partners reported by respondents.” Well, no — there are plenty of side-by-side comparisons in Twenge and Sherman’s research, since the study is based on a survey in which the same question is asked in the same way over the years.
As for the “projections,” that just refers to the fact that the authors can’t provide lifetime numbers of sexual partners for millennials who are still very much alive, so they projected that one category.
If anyone is equipped to answer these questions about dating and sexual mores in a more rigorous way, it’s the social scientists who use national surveys to study attitudes and behavior change over time.
In her piece, Sales cites the research of Jean Twenge, a professor at San Diego State University and the author of Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable Than Ever Before.
Where are the men and women who find lifetime partners from these apps?