Online Dating Experiences of LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults With Disabilities

In 2014 approximately 14.4% of Americans ages 18 to 24 had some type of disability. Compared to their peers without disabilities, disabled emerging adults typically have more difficulty dating and finding romantic and sexual partners. One way that they may escape disability stigma and smaller dating pools is through online dating. However, little is known about their experiences seeking romantic and sexual relationships online, and even less is known about the experiences of emerging adults with disabilities who identify with sexual orientations and have gender identities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. In the present study 27 LGBTQ+ emerging adults with various disabilities, genders, and sexual orientations completed 47 item online surveys before COVID in which they described their experiences with online dating and starting and sustaining romantic relationships. Results from qualitative data analyses suggest that rather than being neutral spaces that exist separately from stigma and social prejudice, dating apps and web sites typically perpetuate normative ideas of ableism, sexuality, and gender and stimulate questions of timing of disability disclosure. Despite challenges, however, online dating also offers opportunities to interact with multiple interested daters and appears to offer LGBTQ+ emerging adults with disabilities an often beneficial though sometimes vexing venue for relationship development.

This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11195-022-09726-2

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Work Title Online Dating Experiences of LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults With Disabilities
Access
Open Access
Creators
  1. Elizabeth Mazur
Keyword
  1. disability
  2. dating
  3. emerging adults
  4. LGBTQ+
  5. gender identity
  6. disclosure
  7. qualitative
  8. international
  9. United States
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
Publisher
  1. Sexuality and Disability
Publication Date March 28, 2022
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11195-022-09726-2
Deposited July 25, 2022

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Version 1
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  • Created
  • Added Final_Submission_Disability_manuscript_article_hh.docx
  • Added Creator Elizabeth Mazur
  • Published
  • Updated Work Title, Keyword, Description Show Changes
    Work Title
    • Online Dating Experiences of LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults With Disabilities
    • ! Online Dating Experiences of LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults With Disabilities
    Keyword
    • disability, dating, emerging adults, LGBTQ+, gender identity, disclosure, qualitative, international, United States
    Description
    • <p>In 2014 approximately 14.4% of Americans ages 18 to 24 had some type of disability. Compared to their peers without disabilities, disabled emerging adults typically have more difficulty dating and finding romantic and sexual partners. One way that they may escape disability stigma and smaller dating pools is through online dating. However, little is known about their experiences seeking romantic and sexual relationships online, and even less is known about the experiences of emerging adults with disabilities who identify with sexual orientations and have gender identities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. In the present study 27 LGBTQ+ emerging adults with various disabilities, genders, and sexual orientations completed 47 item online surveys before COVID in which they described their experiences with online dating and starting and sustaining romantic relationships. Results from qualitative data analyses suggest that rather than being neutral spaces that exist separately from stigma and social prejudice, dating apps and web sites typically perpetuate normative ideas of ableism, sexuality, and gender and stimulate questions of timing of disability disclosure. Despite challenges, however, online dating also offers opportunities to interact with multiple interested daters and appears to offer LGBTQ+ emerging adults with disabilities an often beneficial though sometimes vexing venue for relationship development.</p>
    • In 2014 approximately 14.4% of Americans ages 18 to 24 had some type of disability. Compared to their peers without disabilities, disabled emerging adults typically have more difficulty dating and finding romantic and sexual partners. One way that they may escape disability stigma and smaller dating pools is through online dating. However, little is known about their experiences seeking romantic and sexual relationships online, and even less is known about the experiences of emerging adults with disabilities who identify with sexual orientations and have gender identities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. In the present study 27 LGBTQ+ emerging adults with various disabilities, genders, and sexual orientations completed 47 item online surveys before COVID in which they described their experiences with online dating and starting and sustaining romantic relationships. Results from qualitative data analyses suggest that rather than being neutral spaces that exist separately from stigma and social prejudice, dating apps and web sites typically perpetuate normative ideas of ableism, sexuality, and gender and stimulate questions of timing of disability disclosure. Despite challenges, however, online dating also offers opportunities to interact with multiple interested daters and appears to offer LGBTQ+ emerging adults with disabilities an often beneficial though sometimes vexing venue for relationship development.
  • Updated Work Title Show Changes
    Work Title
    • ! Online Dating Experiences of LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults With Disabilities
    • Online Dating Experiences of LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults With Disabilities
  • Updated