I've been on a roll lately reading a slew of research studies that apply to singles, looking at how variations of behavior and attitudes affect the general dating public. Of course this is no easy task, and each piece I read leads to more questions.
My current fascination is with a studyundertaken by Julie M. Albright at the University of Southern California entitled, "Sex in America Online". Now the meat of the study may be of more interest to Cory Silverburg, About.com's Guide to Sexuality, but there are still some juicy tidbits Albright discovered that apply more to dating intimacy than sexual intimacy, although it would be foolish to think the two weren't related.
One of the more relevant tidbits in the study is the question regarding whether or not online dating sites improved one's social life, although this specific question's data was not presented in the study, probably because the information was used to determine other variables (i.e. whether or not the excessive use of pornography affected sexual relationships negatively). I spent a fair amount of time reading through the data to see whether or not any conclusion had been made regarding the general usefulness of online dating sites and finding a date, sex, or long term relationship - but none could be found. So I'm asking you, the readers: have online dating sites improved your social life? Why or why not?
Reference: Sex in America Online - An Exploration of Sex, Marital Status, and Sexual Identity in Internet Sex Seeking and Its Impacts. Journal of Sex Research [serial online]. 2008;45(2):175-186. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 28, 2008.