Males' trust and mistrust of females in Muslim matrimonial sites

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Purpose: The aim of this study is to examine interpersonal trust in Muslim matrimonial sites (MMS) from a male perspective. Specifically how users perceive interpersonal trust in MMS; what are the signs of lack of trust in MMS (if any); and what strategies do users adopt to handle the lack of trust in MMS. Design/methodology/approach: This empirical qualitative study used ethnographic techniques to collect data. In addition to briefly observing five MMS, the study conducted semi-structured interviews with ten participants, who were all males, between the ages of 25-35, and residing in different locations, including the USA, the UK, the UAE, Australia and Bahrain. While the interviews focused on participants' experience in MMS, the analysis of these interviews focused on the issue of trust in these sites. Findings: The analysis has revealed that participants associated trust with "risk taking", "reliance" on one's abilities, "self-confidence" and honesty with the first three being the major themes that transpired from the analysis of data. The analysis has also revealed three signs of lack of trust in MMS. Users expressed concern over a large number of members' profiles being fake; they appeared suspicious about these sites and approached them with caution and felt intimidated by the unrealistic expectations members placed on them. However, it was found users adopted several strategies to handle the lack of trust in MMS including using their communication skills to study others carefully, doing "police work" to uncover any inconsistencies in their statements, "interrogating" them using a pre-developed list of questions and involving their family members in their negotiations. Originality/value: Despite MMS immense popularity within the Islamic world, with the exception of a few articles, there are not many articles available in the academic literature on them. This article seeks to address this imbalance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-192
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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