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Online dating poses risks for students

Published: Monday, October 14, 2013

Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 01:10

 

In today’s society, online profiles of the average individual can often be easily attained, but can also often be a deceitful presentation of facts, with no verification involved. 

Because of this, college students now have to account for a more frightening dating scene in which rape is a greater potential risk on the first date.

According to oneinfourusa.org, one in four women on college campuses were a victim of rape or attempted rape.  

Of these incidents, 84 percent of the victims were raped by someone they knew and 57 percent of the assaults took place during dates. More shocking is that the same study states one in four college men admit to the use of sexual aggression with women.  

Dating becomes frightening when a person is not only checking for personality chemistry, but often feels like a background check has to be done before a date as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee. 

While some students rely on online profiles, such as Facebook or a dating site, many overlook the fact that online profiles can easily contain false information or lack thereof — providing misleading information from height and weight to an unknown criminal record. 

Dating sites are no longer just the full profiles of trusted sites such as eHarmony or match.com

Many college students are using dating apps that may have potential for long-term relationships but are mostly notorious for one-night stands and hook-ups. 

Apps such as Tinder, which have a “hot or not” feature, links users in the same area if they both vote each other as “hot.” 

The app was released this month and already has over 37,000 downloads due to users’ curiosity. Unfortunately, Tinder has the potential to link two people with different intentions: If one person is looking for a potential relationship and the other is expecting sex, the probability of date rape becomes much higher. 

Similar apps include “Bang With Friends” and “Date My School,” but the list doesn’t stop there. These apps are free and simple to use, making them appealing to college students. The risky part of these apps is that the information about the person isn’t necessarily true and meeting up with a person could potentially be dangerous.

Rape is a serious issue on college campuses and students need to be aware of a person’s background before developing an intimate relationship that could put them in danger. 

Students must remember to stay alert to possible date rape and not rely on the honesty of an online profile to trust a partner.

Demi Danowit is a senior majoring in mass communications.

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