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Why Men Shouldn’t Post Cat Selfies While Dating Online

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Anyone who visits dating sites themselves knows how important good pictures are – after all, they create the first impression and can be decisive for whether you match yourself or not. In a survey, 43 percent of respondents said that they get a better feeling for the personality of the other person from photos.

According to a Bitkom survey, 47 percent of 16 to 29 year olds in Germany have already used an online dating service. The Tinder app, which is particularly popular with younger people, has an average of 6.03 million paying users. How can you distinguish yourself from so many competitors and draw attention to yourself? Which picture should you post – and which one should you not?

Study examines the appearance of men who post pictures with their cats

A previous study showed that women prefer men with animals when dating online. They find them particularly attractive to men with dogs, but also prefer cat owners to men without animals. However, a new study now shows that cat selfies don’t really play into the cards of men.

Lori Kogan and Shelly Volsche interviewed 1,388 straight American women ages 18 to 24. They were shown a series of photos of men to evaluate. Also included: two photos of the same man, each with and without a cat.

The participants were then asked what characteristics they ascribe to the subjects, for example whether they appear extroverted, sociable, conscientious or neurotic. In addition, the women were asked whether the men pictured appear more male or female and whether the women would make an appointment with them.

Cat selfies: less masculine and more neurotic

The result: the women surveyed wanted to meet men with cats less often. A surprise for the researchers – after all, studies had previously shown that pets play a positive role in partner choice.

However, the women in this new survey described the men with cats as less extroverted and more neurotic. They also viewed the men as less manly. “We suspect that old cultural norms could play a role in the answers,” explain the researchers. “Since cats are sometimes more closely associated with female owners – and therefore considered female pets – posing with cats may have led the women who responded to our survey to adopt this outdated attitude.”

“Cat ladies” also tend to like “cat men”

The women who took part in the survey also had to indicate whether they classified themselves as “cat-person”, “dog-person”, “both” or “neither”. Women who called themselves “cat-persons” were more inclined to meet men with cats.

“Like any other research, our work is of course very limited,” the authors conclude. Because they only interviewed heterosexual, predominantly white women between the ages of 18 and 24 who live in the USA. “We don’t know how these results would change if we surveyed bisexual or gender-fluid women, homosexual men, or people with different cultural backgrounds, for example.”

Until then, however, they advise: heterosexual men who want to get a match on a dating site should probably avoid cat selfies.

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