MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Folks with Internet connections are more likely to be in a romantic relationship than folks without access to the Web, a new study shows.
And it's likely that the Web will soon replace the old standby, "friends," as the number one way to meet your soul mate, Stanford researchers were to report Monday at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in Atlanta.
Virtual connections are proving especially fruitful for lonely hearts from minority or tough-to-find-a-good-mate segments, such as middle-aged heterosexuals and gays and lesbians.
"We're seeing this as a trend now as more generations are embracing the Internet, and with competing demands on people's schedules, this seems like the next logical step," said Simon Rego, director of clinical training at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City.
"Clinically, I've certainly seen an increase in the people utilizing the Web, and this study validates that," said Theresa Quinn, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and director of psychology at Scott & White College Station Clinic. "I think it's more pervasive than people expected."
In 1940, 20 percent of people were introduced to their mate by friends, with that number reaching 40 percent in 1990.
Now that trend is in decline, as are other local ways of meeting people, such as community groups, school ties or co-workers, the study authors stated.
The researchers drew their conclusions from a nationally representative survey called How Couples Meet and Stay Together. The survey also included in-depth interviews with participants.
More than 80 percent of people surveyed who had an Internet connection at home were coupled up (either married or living with a domestic partner). For adults without Internet
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