The purpose of this study was to investigate gender differences in the construction of self-presentations in online dating profiles. 200 personal ads and 1006 photographs of men and women profiles were collected in Portugal from the dating site Meetic.pt. The data was analyzed following a methodology strategy based on content analysis and grounded theory. The findings revealed that, by means of a selective self-presentation, online daters try to please and attract potential partners. Men emphasize their rational and practical attributes and their cultural, professional, and economic status, whereas women value their emotional, and affective facets, and their inclination to dream. Women also emphasize their physical attributes more than men. Although it is possible to detect certain clues pointing toward modern gender roles, gender stereotypes persist. The results of the study corroborate and extend previous findings, providing compelling evidence for gender differences in online dating self-presentations. Furthermore, the research led to an unexpected result: besides the attributes deemed most valuable, online daters also reveal individual characteristics that are not so positive or are even negative. The paper concludes by presenting some limitations and considerations for future research.
Online dating, Self-presentation, Gender differences, Portugal