Algorithms, and not friends and family, are now the go-to matchmaker for people looking for love, Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld has found.
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Rosenfeld found that heterosexual couples are more likely to meet a romantic partner online than through personal contacts and connections.
Since 1940, traditional ways of meeting partners – through family, in church and in the neighborhood – have all been in decline. Rosenfeld, a lead author on the research and a professor of sociology in the School of Humanities and Sciences, drew on a nationally representative 2017 survey of American adults and found that about 39 percent of heterosexual couples reported meeting their partner online, compared to 22 percent in 2009. Sonia Hausen, a graduate student in sociology, was a co-author of the paper and contributed to the research.
Rosenfeld has studied mating and dating as well as the internet’s effect on society for two decades.
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