Bumble Exposes the Unsettling Reality Gap Between Men and Women

Bumble has exposed the truth behind gender equality in today's world. The reality gap is a type of glass ceiling that is hindering progress in gender equity.

Isabel Cara

What we think is one thing, what we say is another, and what we do can be quite different; let’s say that this is the reality gap. The reality gap is a type of glass ceiling that is hindering progress in gender equity. Dating app Bumble found this phenomenon in its annual State of the Nation study. This report explores the state of equity in relationships, careers, gender, finances, and more, through a survey of more than 20,000 people over the age of 18 in nine countries.

“From day one, we (at Bumble) committed to addressing women’s inequalities in their relationships, and we will continue to create spaces for them to live a safer, kinder, and more equal online experience,” explained Charley Webb, Chief Customer Officer at Bumble, via a statement.

The results revealed that there is a reality gap, which marks stark differences between what people think and what they actually experience in their real lives, with nearly half (44%) of Gen Z respondents saying that women and men are improving in terms of equality, but they continue to lag behind men.

Equality in Relationships

When it comes to equality in a relationship, most agree that it is necessary… And then? Eighty-seven percent say that relationships in which power is shared equally result in better sex. But when asked about other more traditional norms, 40% of respondents still agree that relationships work best when the man takes the lead. Surprisingly, this statistic is highest for Generation Z respondents, at 53%.

Another contradiction: 44% of respondents say it doesn’t matter whether the man or woman initiates the conversation with someone of interest, yet only 19% of respondents felt that the woman should make the first move on a dating app.

Gender Equity… From Talk to Action

The report also revealed that 93% of participants agreed on the definition of gender equity: men and women are equal, and should have the same opportunities in everything. In addition, 91% of respondents agreed that improving women’s rights also makes the world a better place for everyone. That said, 79% of respondents (including 84% of female respondents) said that women have to compromise between career, relationships, and family in a way that men do not.

Professional Equality

In the survey, Bumble also found discrepancies between what people expect and what people experience in the workplace. The study showed that 83% of female respondents agree that inequity due to their role in childcare fosters inequality in professional achievement (versus 76% of men who agree with this statement).

It is also interesting that 85% of female respondents believe that moms feel more guilty about spending time at work to advance their careers than dads do, compared to 71% of men who agree with this narrative. However, 95% of the total (men and women) strongly agree that both parents should share childcare responsibilities. In addition, 81% of total respondents do not consider it a stigma to be a full-time mom, and 77% feel the same way about being a full-time dad.

Financial Equality

The findings also reveal that 84% of respondents say it’s OK for those in a marriage or long-term relationship to have separate accounts and finances. And 84% of women say that lack of financial independence is the number one reason women stay in an unhappy relationships. Meanwhile, 77% of men agree.

Do you use dating apps? Which one do you use and what has your experience been like?

Story written in Spanish by Cora Bravo in Cultura Colectiva