Gendering the self in online dating discourse on method
Elsewhere, Groom and Pennebaker (2005) examined online dating profiles of younger adults and found that women were more likely to use pronouns (especially first-person singular) than were men.
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As such, online profiles provide a unique opportunity to examine similarities and differences in younger and older adults’ self-presentations when seeking a dating partner.We identified 12 themes in the profiles using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software (Pennebaker, Booth, & Francis, 2007).Regression analyses revealed that older adults were more likely to use first-person plural pronouns (e.g., we, our) and words associated with health and positive emotions.Younger adults were more likely to use first-person singular pronouns (e.g., I, my) and words associated with work and achievement.
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Findings suggest that younger adults enhance the “self” when seeking romantic partnership.Prior research indicates that across a variety of contexts, young adults use more first-person singular pronouns, indicating a stronger focus on the self, whereas older adults use more first-person plural pronouns, indicating a focus on connections (Pennebaker & Stone, 2003; Schwartz et al., 2013).
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