What are the real and perceived risks and dangers of online dating? Perspectives from online daters: health risks in the media

Danielle Couch, Pranee Liamputtong, Marian Pitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we explore what online daters perceive to be the risks of online dating, along with providing accounts of dangers and risky situations encountered by online daters. Between November 2008 and November 2009, we conducted online in depth interviews with 29 participants and analysed the interview transcripts using thematic analysis. All participants believed that online dating was risky in some way. The risks that participants identified were risks of lies and deceit, sexual risks (including pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and sexual violence), emotional and physical risks, and the risks of encountering dangerous and untrustworthy people online and in person. Participants framed these risks in terms of the risky 'other' - focusing on risky 'others' allowed our participants to move the ownership of risks away from themselves onto these 'others'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-714
Number of pages18
JournalHealth, Risk and Society
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • dating
  • internet
  • online
  • risk
  • sexual behaviour

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