Now in its seventh year, Match’s annual Singles in America study asks singles across the United States to share how it feels, what it looks like, and what it means to be single today. More than 5,500 singles were surveyed in 2016. Here’s what they had to say.
Gender and feminism are on everyone’s minds. The resurgence of the feminist movement isn’t just the subject of scholarly articles and fodder for celebrity interviews - it’s changing the dating landscape in 2017.
“The annual Singles in America study has once again demonstrated new emerging trends including men’s overwhelmingly positive view of feminism and feminists, in the boardroom and the bedroom,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor to Match. “We’ve captured the great spring forward in gender equality.”
Match asked singles to describe what the word ‘feminism’ means to them. Only 5% of women and 8% of men said they didn’t know. Forty-three percent of women and 42% of men said “it means a lot of different things.” Forty-seven percent of women and 37% of men said it means “women and men are equal.”
Though there’s no consensus on what feminism means, Match unearthed common traits of women who identify as feminist. According to the survey, feminist women are:
- 78% more likely to offer to pay on a date
- 95% more likely to take charge in the bedroom
- 25% more likely to initiate sex for the first time
- 45% more likely to offer oral sex
Singles in America also looked at the characteristics of a “strong woman.” Singles define a strong woman as someone with confidence (73% women, 64% men), intelligence (65% women, 69% men), and independence (67% women, 53% men). These high-achieving women are 47% more likely to have dated in the last year and 41% more likely to have had sex in the last year.
The renaissance of the feminist movement is good news for men. Single men are overwhelmingly in favor of women initiating the first kiss (95%), as well as initiating sex for the first time (93%). The vast majority of men are also pleased if a woman asks for a man’s phone number (95%), offers to split the bill (71%), and is the first to call after a good first date (94%).
The number one turn on for single men this year was something that once would have been unthinkable: female entrepreneurs. Thirty-eight percent said they love female entrepreneurs for their creativity, work ethic, confidence, and fearlessness.
Overall, 59% of single men think that feminism “has changed the dating rules for the better.” They believe dating is now safer (55%), more enjoyable (54%), and easier (49%). Single women agree, saying the rise of gender equality has made them "pickier about potential dates” (63%) and “feel more empowered in my dating life” (57%).