Right-swipes and warning flags – how young adults negotiate sex and security on dating apps


Professor of Media and correspondence, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of order mail bride tech

Associate professor in Media and Communications, Swinburne University of tech

Disclosure statement

Kath Albury receives funding through the Australian Research Council together with Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. The Safety danger and health on Dating Apps task can be an ARC Linkage partnership with ACON health insurance and Family preparing NSW.

Anthony McCosker currently gets financing through the Australian Research Council, Department of personal Services, Department of Premier and Cabinet (VIC), Paul Ramsay Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.


Swinburne University of Technology provides capital as a known member for the discussion AU.

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Popular commentary on dating apps frequently associates their usage with “risky” intercourse, harassment and bad psychological state. But whoever has utilized a dating application understands there’s a lot more to it than that.

Our brand new studies have shown dating apps can enhance young people’s social connections, friendships and intimate relationships. Nonetheless they may also be a supply of frustration, exclusion and rejection.

Our research may be the very very first to ask app users of diverse genders and sexualities to fairly share their experiences of application usage, well-being and safety. The project combined a online survey with interviews and imaginative workshops in metropolitan and local brand New Southern Wales with 18 to 35 12 months olds.

While dating apps were used to meet up with individuals for intercourse and long-lasting relationships, these were more widely used to “relieve boredom” as well as “chat”.

The most famous apps used had been Tinder (among LGBTQ+ females, right gents and ladies), Grindr (LGBTQ+ males), okay Cupid (for non-binary individuals), and Bumble (right females).

Dating apps can be used to alleviate monotony as well as talk. Oleg Ivanov/Unsplash

We unearthed that while software users recognised the potential risks of dating apps, additionally they had a variety of techniques to simply help them feel safer and handle their well-being – including negotiating permission and sex that is safe.

Safe intercourse and permission

Nearly all survey individuals frequently employed condoms for safe intercourse. Over 90% of straight gents and ladies frequently employed condoms.

Simply over one-third of homosexual, bisexual and queer males frequently employed PreP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to avoid HIV transmission.

Half (50.8%) of right people stated they never ever or seldom talked about safe intercourse with possible lovers on dating/hook-up apps. Around 70% of LGBTQ+ participants had those conversations to some degree.

Amber (22, bisexual, feminine, local) stated she ended up being “always one that needs to start an intercourse talk over messages”. She used chat to talk about exactly exactly what she liked, to say her need for condom usage, to offer a free account of her very own health that is sexual and also to feel “safer”.

Some homosexual and men’s that are bisexual – such as Grindr and Scruff – provide for some settlement around intimate health insurance and intimate techniques in the profile. Users can share HIV status, therapy regimes, and “date last tested”, along with saying their favored intimate activities.

Warning flags

Numerous individuals talked about their techniques of reading a profile for “red flags”, or indicators that their real or psychological security might be in danger. Warning flags included not enough information, ambiguous pictures, and profile text that suggested sexism, racism, along with other unwanted characteristics.

Not clear pictures could be a flag that is red dating apps. Daria Nepriakhina/Unsplash

Apps that want a mutual match before messaging (where both events swipe right) had been sensed to filter a lot out of undesirable relationship.

Numerous individuals felt that warning flag had been prone to come in talk in the place of in individual pages. These included possessiveness and pushiness, or communications and photos that have been too intimate, too early.

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