Attractive women and online dating
An economist could look instead at people who are already married and try to determine their preferences that way, but this doesn’t work very well either. Suppose I have evidence that women with breasts that are smaller than average are more often married to men who are below average height.
Does this information tell us that small-breasted women prefer shorter men? One possible alternative is that all women prefer taller men and that taller men prefer large-breasted women.
For example, you might ask, “On a scale of one to ten, how important is it that your mate is the same race as you?
” This is an interesting question because we observe surprising few mixed race marriages in the census data and finding out why is informative (we will definitely return to the question of same-race preference in a future post).
Despite Casual Kiss being kind of scammy, with only 3000 monthly visitors, I decided to give it a try all the same – and I wasn’t entirely disappointed.
I joined February 4th, around 7 AM, and received a total of one vote, two winks, and six messages.
However, Ok Cupid has many not-so-great users as well, and it’s not uncommon for women to have the misfortune of encountering them, and in the past, I have as well.
In total, I received 11 messages with 218 visitors. A few were a little more forward, and two were straight-up aggressive.
For women though, if the man in the bottom ten percent in terms of looks earns more than 8,500, they will prefer him over the more attractive guy earning ,000.We can use the information that tells us who individuals choose to communicate with to determine what X would have to be in order to make a woman/man prefer the less attractive person.Researchers have done this* and find that for men there is no amount of income that the woman in the bottom ten percent in terms of appearance can earn to make men prefer her over women in the top 10 percent.If this was the case, then at the close of the market smaller-breasted women only have an option to choose shorter men.It is a silly example but it does demonstrate the point that we can’t tell much about preferences for a mate simply by observing people who are already matched.