Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.
Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.
Nearly a quarter of them have used online dating sites, compared with just 10 percent of people in the 18 to 24 age group.
For ages 35 to 44, it's 17 percent and then the numbers fall to the single digits.
Minority groups (those who identify themselves on OKCupid as black, Hispanic, Indian or Asian) were much more likely to stay in their own racial lane when in search of mates online. They were more likely to contact white guys than other Asian guys, which my Asian girlfriends tell me is because, in part, they’re not fans of the traditional role that girlfriends and wives have played — and continue to play — in many Asian societies.
They were more likely to respond to white guys too, but then again, all races were most likely to respond to white guys.
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"How Asians are treated in the dating market is highly gendered," University of Texas Austin Assistant Professor of Sociology Ken-Hou Lin told NBC News, "Asian women often receive similarly favorable treatment as white women do, while Asian men experience a level of discrimination that is comparable to black men." Now, however, multiracial Asian Americans who self-identified as "Asian-white" were among the most popular of the racial groups.
Online dating is shedding its stigma as a refuge for the desperate, but people who use sites such as and e Harmony are still in the minority.
Thirty-eight percent of Americans who are "single and looking" say they've used an online dating site or mobile dating app, according to a new study.
The report due out Monday from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project suggests that attitudes toward online dating "have progressed in a clearly positive direction." In fact, 59 percent of Internet users agree that online dating is a good way to meet people. As Americans shop, socialize and entertain themselves online, a growing number are turning to the Internet to find dates.
Some 11 percent of people who started a long-term relationship in the past decade say they met their partner online.