First Research Question
• Does the e-dating process consist of distinct steps that are characterized by different behaviors?
As indicated in the previous sections, the steps or stages in the e-dating process include: (1) constructing a profile, (2) searching, (3) initiating communication, (4) receiving communication, (5) setting face-to-face dates, (6) conducting dates, and (7) concluding the e-dating process.
• Do males and females follow a different sequence of steps in the e-dating process?
As mentioned in the previous sections, our model expects males to start the searching behaviors earlier and engage in more activities that involve establishment of contact with others than females do. Females, on the other hand, are expected to start the search behavior later and engage in it less frequently. Females are also expected to initiate less contact and respond to more contact from males.
Second Research Question
• Do male and female e-daters behave differently throughout the e-dating process?
In this preliminary research, we analyzed differences between male and female e-daters in a number of areas including: the intensity of search behavior, including the number of profiles searched, the establishment of a favorites list and the number of profiles included in it. We also explored the number of “winks,” e-mail messages and text messages sent, the number of rejection messages sent, and the number of individuals barred from having contact with our respondents.
Our expectations were that while males will engage in more search and contact initiation behaviors (such as sending “winks,” e-mail messages and text messages), females were expected to engage in more contact-limiting-behaviors such as sending rejection messages and barring other e-daters from having access to their profile. As for the setting and holding of dates, which are also active e-dating behaviors, our expectation was that since these require the cooperation of two parties, females will engage in more of these activities than males.