Online dating is now the number one way people find their marriage partner in developed economies (Australia, USA, UK, France, Germany, to name a few). Pioneers of mate choice behavioural Science such as in economics (Becker in the 1970’s and 1980’s), in evolutionary biology (Trivers in the 1970’s), and in social psychology (Kenrick & Buss in the 1980’s) propose that marriage markets find equilibrium in heterosexual complementary production based on men and women’s reproductive investment and cost. Such theories have been repeatedly tested and shown to be replicable for heterosexual populations. But little is known about how minority sexualities engage online dating and the mechanisms that drive mate search behaviour and choice, particularly in a cyber-settings.
Utilising a novel data set collected as part of a QUT 2016 online dating survey, with a participant pool (gay n=342; lesbian n=110; asexual n=106), coupled with ABS & HILDA data, our study proposes to explore economic, personality, and socio-cultural factors impacting both preference and behaviour for minority sexualities in the Australian online dating market.
Research activities during this project may include:
- a literature review
- quantitative research
- participating in writing a scholarly paper.
This project is expected to run for 10 weeks.
Skills and experience
This project would suit an application from a current motivated undergraduate student that was interested in behavioural economics research exploring human behaviour in large scale decisions relating to gender, sex and sexuality. The current VRES research proposal and data could easily be extrapolated into an Honours or Master's thesis should the student wish to continue on into a HDR course in the future.