Skip to main content
Log in

Putting a Sexy Self Forward on Tinder: What Do Viewers Think About Sexualized White Men?

  • Published:
Sex Roles Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Very little is known about viewers’ attitudes toward sexualized portrayals of men on social media platforms. Using an experimental methodology, the present study investigated the effect of a sexualized versus non-sexualized Tinder profile of a young White man on college students’ perceptions of the profile owner. The impact of multiple aspects of sexualization including a self-sexualizing self-description on one’s profile (i.e., interested in casual sex) as well as a sexualizing appearance (i.e., muscular and shirtless) were investigated. U.S. college students (N = 567) viewed a mock Tinder profile and then rated the target’s competence, social appeal, physical attractiveness, and likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior. Findings indicate a young White man with a sexualized self-presentation on a dating app may be perceived as less competent and as a sexual risk-taker. These results contribute to the small body of research documenting the impact of self-sexualization on a dating app profile.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Availability of Data and Material

Participants were not informed in the consent process that aggregated data would be shared; therefore, data are not available to interested researchers. However, the authors will provide the data to the journal for data verification purposes.


Download references


We thank Heather Williquette for her work on a pilot version of this study. An earlier version of this project was presented at the Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood’s Biennial Conference in Washington, DC in 2017.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



The first and third authors contributed to the study’s conception and design. The third author engaged in the data collection. The second author performed the data analysis. The first and second authors wrote the first draft of the manuscript and subsequent revisions. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elizabeth A. Daniels.

Ethics declarations

Ethics Approval

All procedures in the study were approved by the Institutional Review Board at the first author’s institution, and participants were treated in accordance with APA research guidelines.

Consent to Participate

Participants were informed of their rights as a research participant including the right to skip any question they prefer not to answer and/or to withdraw from the study with no penalty.

Consent for Publication

We created the tables and figure in this paper and give permission to publish them.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest/competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (PDF 159 KB)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Daniels, E.A., Jerald, M.C. & Dieker, J. Putting a Sexy Self Forward on Tinder: What Do Viewers Think About Sexualized White Men?. Sex Roles 86, 428–440 (2022).

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: