A lack of success through traditional, face-to-face dating has led some autistic adults to pursue relationships through online dating. Creating an online dating profile, however, is a process that requires a range of complex social skills, the ability to balance a number of social demands, and self- and other-awareness - all of which can be challenging for autistic people. This paper presents two studies investigating the perceived attractiveness, trustworthiness and desirability of autistic males’ online dating profiles by females from the general population. In Study 1, 111 heterosexual females rated the autistic attributes and interests in an online dating profile as comparably attractive, trustworthy and desirable to date as an online dating profile comprising typical attributes and interests, but online dating profiles that mixed typical attributes with autistic interests were perceived to be less desirable to date. Study 2 investigated the impact of the wording of autistic characteristics and an explicit statement of a diagnosis of autism in 127 heterosexual females. Positive wording and an explicit statement of a diagnosis of autism enhanced perceived attractiveness and trustworthiness, but not desirability to date. The implications for the construction of autistic males’ online dating profiles are discussed.
- Online dating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Human-Computer Interaction