Pictures by waterfalls. Name dropping The Office. Mirror selfies. If you’ve ever found yourself swiping through Tinder, America’s most popular dating app, and asking yourself the question “Why do so many of these look the same?” — you’re not alone.

Last week, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor Brandee Watters and I set out to find the most common features of local Tinder profiles. This article details our process and findings.

The process

On Tuesday, January 22, we conducted a non-scientific silent survey of 200 Tinder profiles in the area — 100 men and 100 women. Both of us limited our range to within 20 miles of UVU campus, which means this data should reflect only Utah County where the majority of our students live and swipe. We also made our profiles display men seeking men and women seeking women to include people of varying sexual orientations.

In the profiles, we scouted and recorded 27 different categories of profile content, such as whether the profile included workout or gym photos, whether food was mentioned in the bio, and whether a bio was included at all.

While most of these categories were specific, one category was admittedly subjective: whether the profile included “provocative” photos. Pictures placing an added emphasis on a person’s body or showing more skin, including cleavage or ab muscles were classified as provocative. (Again, this was non-scientific.)

The data

Male profiles seeking other men were the most likely to feature photos surveyors deemed provocative. Men seeking women were the least likely.

This was the most common thread we found: 42 percent of men’s profiles featured photos of them on a mountain. For women, it was 31 percent.

Another common feature was pictures by a lake or at the beach. 1 in 3  profiles had them, overall.

Those were the most common features, but others were more telling about gender divisions on the dating app.

For instance, women were nearly twice as likely to include a mirror selfie in their profile (38 percent compared to 21 percent). Women were also far more likely to include a provocative shot — 26 percent to men’s 16 percent, although men seeking men had the highest percentage of that feature: about 32 percent.

A few other interesting facts and figures:

  • 1 in 4 women used photos with Snapchat filters, while only 1 in 12 men did.
  • Men and women were equally likely to include pictures of themselves hunting, fishing, or holding guns.
  • 1 in 3 men didn’t include anything in their bio, as opposed to 1 in 8 women. Those seeking their same gender were the least likely to leave that section blank.
  • Men and women were almost equally likely to disclose their height. The most likely group to do so were women seeking women — 1 in 5.
  • People were nearly five times more likely to specify that they weren’t LDS than that they were.
  • 26 percent of men seeking men mentioned food and/or television and movies in their bio, as opposed to 11 percent of other men.
  • Women were twice as likely to have alcohol somewhere in their profile than men.
  • 36 percent of profiles for men seeking men mentioned or showed themselves working out — men seeking women were the next highest at only 8 percent.

Overall, the most surprising statistic was this: profiles were less similar to each other than we projected. The highest statistic, men on mountains, was still less than half of surveyed profiles.

The last thing we want as a society is to put ourselves into palatable, marketable boxes to attract romantic partners. Pictures on beaches aren’t a bad thing — we just hope you aren’t afraid to mention your fondness for kung fu and stamp collecting too.

In the coming days, we will be exploring other dating apps, including Mutual, Bumble and Plenty of Fish. You can read about those findings in the Arts & Culture Section and at UVUReview.com.

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