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Glamour Shots on Dating Sites Draw More Prospects: Study

Even though men found women in flattering photos less trustworthy, they still wanted to date them

FRIDAY, May 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Placing enhanced photos on dating websites yields different results for women and men, a new study finds.

The study included 305 people, aged 17 to 36, who were asked their opinions about different dating website profile photos of the same person.

There were two types of photos, beautified or non-beautified. The beautified photo was taken with makeup, hair treatment and special lighting, while the non-beautified photo did not.

Men rated women in beautified photos as more attractive but less trustworthy, while women rated men in beautified photos as being both more attractive and trustworthy.

But even though men said women in beautified photos were less trustworthy, they still had a higher desire to date them than those in non-beautified photos.

The findings were to be presented this month at an International Communication Association meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

"This finding suggests that even when men suspect that a woman may not look exactly like she does in her profile picture, they are willing to take the risk and pursue a date with her. In our sample, attraction seems to be more important than trust," study co-author Rory McGloin, of the University of Connecticut, said in an association news release.

"Trust is an important part of any relationship and it certainly plays an important role in the forging of new social bonds in the dating context," McGloin said. "Yet, we found an interesting relationship between attractiveness and trust for males who were viewing female profile pictures."

The findings suggest that misleading potential suitors about one's looks in the online dating world is a typical occurrence, McGloin said.

More information

The FBI explains how to protect yourself from online dating scams.

SOURCE: International Communication Association, news release, May 8, 2015
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