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20-Sep-2017 11:08

Consider the following story relayed to me during my research: my interviewee, after declining a man’s interest on a popular dating site, described receiving a message from him with a picture of an erection next to a kitchen knife.This disturbing juxtaposition suggests an intended reading of the penis as a weapon, with the ability to hurt or “punish” this woman for her apparent “transgression” by rejecting him.Add to that the heightened amount of control that women have over online conversations (politeness norms can make it more difficult to assertively deflect romantic advances in face-to-face conversations, nudging women toward showing greater politeness than they might otherwise feel) and you have what social psychologists might call “a masculine identity threat”.In a culture where men are generally still expected to take the lead in sexual relationships, being denied all of these opportunities may make some men feel powerless in the online dating game and so turn to harassment or intimidation to try and re-establish a sense of power.It’s not yet clear how the law might apply to the sending of unsolicited dick pics or sexual images, but British police have investigated at least one case.

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This particularly affects men, whom research shows initiate contact almost 80% of the time on dating sites.Quite clearly this person meant to frighten and intimidate her.Some men even speak frankly about harassment as a motivation.That may be true for younger people, but that isn’t always the case at this age, she says.

Because men have shorter lifespans, many older men are interested in having a potential caregiver or a “nurse with a purse.” They tend to marry quicker than older women, but it isn’t because older women can’t find a hubby; it’s because women are more likely to be looking for a short-term relationship or a companion, not a husband.

If you’re feeling brave (warning: graphic content), then take a look at Bye Felipe or visit Anna Gensler’s Instagram account for her artistic approach to dealing with the deluge of sexual suggestions and images she receives.