Grad Student Hannah Regan published in Sexualities
Regan, Hannah. 2021. “Fields, features, and filters: how dating applications construct sexual fields and romantic and erotic capital.” Sexualities OnlineFirst.
Young adults have gone from consulting matchmakers to app-makers, as they seek ways to meet sexual and romantic partners. Each dating application is constructed in a distinctive manner, creating unique “sexual fields” on each platform. In this study, I consider the affordances of four dating applications—the structure of profiles, available search filters, and application features—in order to understand how dating applications construct sexual fields and emphasize different forms of erotic and romantic capital. I find that which qualities constitute capital differs depending on the platform politics of the application, and the sexual fields vary according to the intended audience and outcome of the rules for interactions on the app. Such an analysis reveals how forces of heterosexism, racism, and classism operate in modern partner-seeking, both romantic and sexual.