The folks over at OkCupid—the humbly titled “best dating site on Earth”—have put on their math-hats again … this time to calculate the relationship between what photos men find attractive and which ones they act on. (That is, which women they send a message to.)
- Guys dig controversy. “The more men, as a group, disagree about a woman’s looks, the more they end up liking her”
- Cute doesn’t cut it. “Guys tend to ignore girls who are merely ‘cute.’”
- Ugly girls got game: “Having some men think she’s ugly actually works in a woman’s favor.”
These claims are backed with stats collected from OkCupid’s rich data on user activity. Here’s OkCupid blogger, Christian Rudder:
All people, but especially guys, spend a disproportionate amount of energy searching for, browsing, and messaging our hottest users. As I’ve noted before, a hot woman receives roughly 4× the messages an average-looking woman gets, and 25× as many as an ugly one. Getting swamped with messages drives users, especially women, away. So we have to analyze and redirect this tendency, lest OkCupid become sausageparty.com. … Every so often we run diagnostic plots like the one below, showing how many messages a sampling of 5,000 women, sorted by [rated] attractiveness, received over the last month.
The study compared real users, such as the ones pictured below, to illustrate that while men can judge two women’s relative attractiveness to be similar on average, it’s the women whose numbers skew either to the far left or right that get the most messages.
Suppose you’re a man who’s really into someone. If you suspect other men are uninterested, it means less competition. You therefore have an added incentive to send a message. You might start thinking: maybe she’s lonely … maybe she’s just waiting to find a guy who appreciates her … at least I won’t get lost in the crowd … maybe these small thoughts, plus the fact that you really think she’s hot, prod you to action. You send her the perfectly crafted opening message: “sup”
The rest of the post is equally interesting; there’s even a punnett square-like graphic. And an explanation for this equation:
So what do you think, guys? Is this accurate? Do you go for the evolutionarily most accessible woman? Or is it just our varied tastes that account for this?
Discuss among yourselves.