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In this paper we begin to address this gap by reporting on a small research project that examined five young heterosexual women’s experiences of using Tinder in New Zealand.
We argue that Tinder was situated within (and reproduced) a contradictory domain imbued elements of both pleasure and danger.
Alongside these positive depictions, the app is also depicted as promoting superficiality (by only focusing on physical appearance), being a ‘hook up app’ that fosters promiscuity (Dating NZ, n.d.), and increasing the spread of sexually transmitted infections (Cohen, 2015).
In what continues to be a society governed by patriarchal power relations, struggles against sexual assault and gender-based violence remain life-threatening risks for women (Gavey, 2005; Vance, 1984).
At the same time as women are encouraged to explore their sexuality and be sexually active, explorative and experienced (Farvid, 2014; Farvid & Braun, 2006) they are warned against, and live in a context where, there are real material risks associated with doing so (Farvid & Braun 2013, 2014).
Within this discourse, women are positioned as passive and responsive to male sexuality, and as distinctly lacking a physical desire for sex.
The have/hold discourse draws on traditional and religious ideals to promote a conventional marriage-type heterosexual union.The sociocultural context in which women find themselves continues to involve elements of both pleasure and danger (Farvid & Braun 2013; Vance, 1984).