Two studies were performed to examine the effect of salient awareness of transgender individuals on the choices of individuals on dating apps. This study posited that transgender individuals may represent a threat to the sexual and romantic identities of others, and that being reminded of transgender individuals’ existence on dating apps would cause participants to take longer to choose who to connect with, connect with fewer individuals, and make lower judgements of the individuals’ gender and attractiveness. Participant reaction time, choice in potential partners (swipe choices), gender perception, and ratings of attractiveness were compared across a control and threat condition. The threat condition was found to have no significant effect on measured outcomes. Different aspects of romantic and sexual orientation were implicated as mediating reaction time, swipe choices, and attractiveness ratings, where attraction to men or women are associated with slower reaction times when reacting to the face a participant is attracted to, and higher swipe choice scores and attractiveness ratings. In addition, romantic and sexual attraction to nonbinary people was shown to make participants take longer to swipe, swipe on more individuals, and rate all faces more attractive. While there were no significant findings related to the threat condition, high Genderism and Transphobia scores were associated with quicker reaction times, lower swipe choice scores, and lower attractiveness ratings overall. As well, high Right Wing Authoritarianism scores were associated with lower swipe choice scores and lower attractiveness ratings overall. These findings are discussed.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Sims, Valerie


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences





Access Status

Open Access

Release Date