The Effect of Religious Salience on Attempting Online Dating

Open Access
Gurrentz, Benjamin Thomas
Graduate Program:
Master of Arts
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
November 12, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Roger Kent Finke, Thesis Advisor
  • Melissa Hardy, Thesis Advisor
  • Diane Helen Felmlee, Thesis Advisor
  • Religious Identity
  • Online Dating
  • Mate Selection
  • Sociology of Religion
Online dating has become a viable option for mate selection in recent times. As a result, there has been a growing amount of research regarding online dating in a variety of social contexts (e.g. education, race, gender, sexuality and age). However, little research has explored the relationship between religion and online dating. This paper argues that individuals with high religious saliency are significantly less likely to attempt online dating using 2005 Pew Internet data (n=910 for single Internet users). The analysis tests possible mediating effects through the innovative KHB method. Mistrust of online dating websites partially mediates this relationship, while religious attendance does not. This study contributes to the research on religion and online dating, mate selection processes among religious single adults, and the implementation of new methodological techniques to test mediation in non-linear probability models.