Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender

Living Edition
| Editors: Amy D. Lykins

Online Dating Sites

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59531-3_18-1



A computerized service to help people find love, casual encounters, and different sexual or fetish communities.


Computerized dating systems have existed since the earliest days of computer technology in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily in the United States and parts of northern Europe. During the 1980s compatibility algorithms and matching software became increasingly sophisticated, and with the introduction of the Internet in 1991, online dating systems began to transform how people meet, marry, and form various sociosexual connections. The first site was established in 1995 by Match.com and eHarmony, which claims to use a “scientific” approach to romance, and was launched in 2000, with hundreds of others following in their commercially productive wake. According to Online Dating Magazine founder Joe Tracy (2013), there are over 8000 online dating sites globally, and 2500...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health StudiesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada