The Experience of Sexual Harassment on Dating Applications

Kathryn Leinung, Pace University


For years, technology has facilitated communication between individuals and young adults have started to use dating applications to meet new people. While this technology has multiple benefits, there are some problems with it as well. Unfortunately, sexual harassment can and does occur on these dating applications. Workplace and street sexual harassment has been linked with negative psychological outcomes. This study examined the frequency and relationship between sexual harassment and the use of dating applications. Individuals between the ages of 18-35 years completed a questionnaire regarding their experience of sexual harassment on dating applications. In addition, depression, self-esteem, and self-objectification were evaluated in response to sexual harassment. It was hypothesized that sexual harassment would mediate the relationship between dating app usage and various internalizing symptoms. Results indicate that more women than men experience sexual harassment online. Additionally, it was found that experiencing sexual harassment is related to an increase in depressive symptoms and lower self-esteem. Finally, it was revealed that sexual harassment mediated the relationship between dating app usage and self-esteem and depression. No significant results were found concerning self-objectification. This study will help future researchers understand important aspects of cyber sexual harassment when developing possible interventions, which will possibly give women the tools to combat sexual harassment.

Subject Area

Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Leinung, Kathryn, "The Experience of Sexual Harassment on Dating Applications" (2019). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI27771584.



Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)