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      The demography of swiping right. An overview of couples who met through dating apps in Switzerland

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      PLoS ONE

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          Abstract

          Within the span of almost ten years, phone dating apps have transformed the dating scene by normalizing and, according to some voices, gamifying the digital quest for a partner. Despite amplified discussion on how swipe-based apps damage the fabric of intimate ties, scientific accounts on whether they have led to different relationship patterns are missing. Using 2018 survey data from Switzerland, this study provides a rich overview of couples who met through dating apps by addressing three main themes: 1) family formation intentions, 2) relationship satisfaction and individual well-being, and 3) assortative mating. The data indicate that in Switzerland, dating apps have recently taken over as main online dating context. Results further show that couples formed through mobile dating have stronger cohabiting intentions than those formed in non-digital settings. Women who found their partner through a dating app also have stronger fertility desires and intentions than those who found their partner offline. Generally, there are no differences between couples initiated through dating apps and those initiated elsewhere regarding relationship and life satisfaction. Though more data are needed to capture the full range of users’ romantic and sexual experiences, current results mitigate some of the concerns regarding the short-term orientation or the poor quality of relationships formed through mobile dating. Findings finally suggest that dating apps play an important role in altering couple composition by allowing for more educationally diverse and geographically distant couples.

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          Most cited references 89

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          Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science

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            A New Approach to Explaining Fertility Patterns: Preference Theory

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              Religiosity and Fertility in the United States: The Role of Fertility Intentions.

              Using data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), we show that women who report that religion is "very important" in their everyday life have both higher fertility and higher intended fertility than those saying religion is "somewhat important" or "not important." Factors such as unwanted fertility, age at childbearing, or degree of fertility postponement seem not to contribute to religiosity differentials in fertility. This answer prompts more fundamental questions: what is the nature of this greater "religiosity"? And why do the more religious want more children? We show that those saying religion is more important have more traditional gender and family attitudes and that these attitudinal differences account for a substantial part of the fertility differential. We speculate regarding other contributing causes.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                30 December 2020
                2020
                : 15
                : 12
                Affiliations
                NCCR LIVES, Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
                University of Salamanca, SPAIN
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-20-24450
                10.1371/journal.pone.0243733
                7773176
                33378386
                © 2020 Gina Potarca

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Pages: 22
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001711, Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung;
                Award ID: PZ00P1_174197
                Award Recipient :
                The author benefited from the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation ( http://www.snf.ch/en/Pages/default.aspx) (Ambizione grant number: PZ00P1_174197). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Computer and Information Sciences
                Software Engineering
                Computer Software
                Apps
                Engineering and Technology
                Software Engineering
                Computer Software
                Apps
                Computer and Information Sciences
                Computer Networks
                Internet
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Human Families
                Social Sciences
                Anthropology
                Cultural Anthropology
                Religion
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Religion
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Design
                Survey Research
                Surveys
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Europe
                Switzerland
                Computer and Information Sciences
                Network Analysis
                Social Networks
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Social Networks
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Psychology
                Collective Human Behavior
                Interpersonal Relationships
                Social Sciences
                Psychology
                Collective Human Behavior
                Interpersonal Relationships
                Custom metadata
                The first data set, i.e., Enquête sur les familles et les générations 2018, is freely available from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO). The FSO will hand over the anonymized individual data only after signature of a data protection agreement. The data may only be transmitted for the following purposes: statistics, research and planning. Data requests for researchers who meet the criteria for access can be directed to: andrea.mosimann@ 123456bfs.admin.ch . The second data set, i.e., Swiss Household Panel (SHP), is freely available through FORSbase. Users must sign a user agreement to get access to the data. Access to the SHP data is only granted for non-commercial purposes. It is strictly forbidden to attempt to identify particular households or individuals and to make parts or all of the data available to a third party. In a research team, all users have to sign the contract individually. Data requests for researchers who meet the criteria for access can be directed to: swisspanel@ 123456fors.unil.ch .

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