Current Projects

1. Political identities and dating app use

In selecting a romantic partner, we often take into consideration our potential partner’s values. From March 2019, Hong Kong society has been divided into the so-called yellow ribbons and blue ribbons. Yellow stands for anti-establishment/Chinese government/Hong Kong police force while blue stands for pro-establishment/Chinese government/Hong Kong police force. How does this political divide affect dating app use and dating preferences? In this preliminary phase of research, through in-depth interviews with self-identified yellow dating app users, I examine their app behaviors in relations to their political attitudes. This paper is under review.

2. Racial preferences on gay dating apps

I am part of an interdisciplinary collaborative project team with researchers in the U.S. and Australia to examine the prevalence of sexual racism on gay dating apps. In this study, we are examining self-reported racial preferences and behavioral racial preferences among American and Australian men on Jack’d, a popular gay dating app which positions itself as inclusive. Self-reported racial preferences are those found directly on users’ profiles. Behavioral racial preferences are accessed through the app’s “insight” feature. We wrote a Python scraping code to collect this “insight” data from around 700 users in Los Angeles and 400 users in Sydney. This paper is under review.

3. Dating app use among LGBTQ communities in East Asia

In May 2019, same-sex marriage was legalized in Taiwan. This offers a unique social backdrop to examine the use of dating apps among LGBTQ-identifying individuals in the region. In Phase 1, I conduct 40 in-depth interviews with app users. In Phase 2, results from the interviews will be used to construct a survey to examine the relationship between social variables, personal variables, and app behaviors. In Phase 2, I will also include other regions in East Asia as a comparison. Several papers are planned to come out from this project.