Just when you thought the world might be getting a little more progressive in how it treats women—the wage gap has been slooowly closing over the past several years (despite a dip in 2015); a woman might be elected president before the year is out; more attention is being paid to the rampant issue of sexual assault—we get another blow.
Steel yourselves, ladies: Men on Tinder think that they have the right to “use women as they see fit” if their date isn’t as hot as she looked in her photos, according to a new study by Manchester Metropolitan University. That’s right. If a guy you meet happens to judge that your in-person looks don’t live up to your pics, he might just view you as easy sex that he’s actually entitled to, because you broke his “trust.”
“Some of our respondents felt that this breaking of trust was a license to use their date as they saw fit, thereby speeding up intimacy and undermining it at the same time,” says study author Dr. Jenny van Hooff, in the department of sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University.
One 29-year-old guy said that if a woman isn’t as attractive, slim, or sporty as he expected, he’ll “try to swerve if possible, or get something out of it.” Another, age 34, said, “It is natural for human beings to take advantage of each other… [and Tinder] has made it easier.” And one more gem from this 36-year-old: “It’s Tinder—I would say your chances of getting sex go up if a girl’s lied on her profile.”
Lying is one thing. We don’t advocate pulling a catfish and using images that are several years old or misleading (or worse, not you), but it sounds like these guys are just reacting to the fact that women IRL are not always camera-ready. And posting a photo of yourself from a flattering angle, where you had a different haircut, or even when you were 5 pounds lighter is not a lie—and certainly not one that warrants this type of gross, bigoted reaction from dudes.
The lesson? Know what you’re getting into when you use Tinder (or any dating app, though others like Hinge or OKCupid offer more filter settings if you’re looking for an LTR). Sadly, it’s now proven that some men using these apps are entitled, sexist, and superficial—qualities that won’t be listed on their profile. “In many respects, dating apps appear to accentuate traditionally gendered norms, rather than providing a space that’s removed from wider gender inequalities,” said Dr. van Hooff. Say it with us: Ughhh.