"If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain," Rupert Holmes could be a good match. Bonnie Tyler, on the other hand, is "holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night." We all have certain characteristics in mind when we're looking for a date. Thanks to the development of online dating sites like Match and OkCupid, we could very well be able to find the kind of partner that we want. Just enter a few personal details about yourself, then get looking for potential dates. Even if you are unsure of what kind of person you’re looking for, some sites offer a service that takes the personal details entered by the user and finds potential matches based on that information.
More and more initial romantic interactions are taking place online instead of face-to-face. As a result, the traditional gender roles of men actively courting women are beginning to be challenged, as women are now able to begin taking dating matters into their own hands. Technology offers a woman the chance to pursue a man and avoid the harsh social stigma against that behavior. And that may be only one of the many ways that online dating shakes up the traditional gender roles of the man actively pursuing the woman, who then decides whether the relationship shall continue.
Given the complexities of measuring the effect of the online medium on the gender roles exhibited in romantic encounters, more research is needed before any type of consensus can be reached. For now, I will simply introduce three sides of popular discussion on the issue. The first says that online dating reinforces gender stereotypes, while the second argues that online dating actively breaks down traditional gender roles. The third serves as more of a bridge between the perspectives by contending that, while online dating largely maintains gender roles, this actually works to the advantage of those willing to break away from such roles. The three links in the left column will direct to these different perspectives, while the "Scholarship" link will point to what some scholars are saying.