Female Mating Skew II: Supported By Online dating Experiment

Upfront, the authors of “Freakonomics” discovered that 56% of men that create an online dating profile do not even get one single message (compared with 21% of females) while Jupiter Research found that 97 %( of men) quit within 3 months (draw your own conclusions).  The mating ‘leagues’ are symmetrical(as evidenced in studies, like the OK Cupid one that showed women are rating 80% of males below average – rendering a skew which hinders assumptions of pair-matching). If only 20% are above average how many of us are actually considered good looking? Clearly, these are standards the vast majority (90+%) of men can’t ever hope to meet

 I see conventionally attractive men going for short overweight women, frequently, irrespective of independent status indicators. Of course, cases of the reverse dynamic are vanishingly rare (wherein lies the basis for many a male grievance). Yes, and the problem with these ‘leagues’ is that they are asymmetrical (meaning that there is a higher probability of a female attracting any given statistical subset of ranked males, than the reverse), rendering a disproportionate scarcity of receptive females for lower ranked males.

Which, means that females have shown to be more critical in judging male attractiveness than the reverse (meaning that they are *more* likely to find a receptive partner, regardless of their own relative attractiveness). The undercurrent in male complaints, are that –  for an increasing proportion of males – they no longer have an expectation  of finding a reasonable equivalent in terms of a female partner(ie. in terms of assortative mating), because sexual liberation has freed western females to indulge increasingly in disassortative mating(which is the expectation for all but the most attractive females, given their rate limiting function in sexual reproduction).That the attention women receive is frequently dismissed as originating from unattractive men, gives us a further indication of where the onus actually lies.  Female choice is the dominant limiting factor. We have many reasons to suppose this, beyond online dating data (which supports that females are more selective, given that message frequency is a corollary of selectivity), which poses too many confounders in the data to rely upon too strongly.

I’ve tried to exam the matching dynamic by myself in an experiment in the context of online dating. To address these research questions, I analyzed several data sets obtained through Badoo, a major online dating site . I examined the matching dynamic in an experiment  in the context of online dating inserting fictitious profiles varying in social desirability (physical attractiveness).

Study 1.Popularity: Unsolicited message

We will see that physical attractiveness measure is used by daters as a proxy for the overall attractiveness of a profile. And this independent variable, the profiles physical attractiveness, is a limiting factor in mating success. So we created online users in different groups of physical attractiveness. Sorted in 4 groups: 1) highly attractive (in the 5 quintile on beauty scale) 2) moderately attractive (in the 4 quintile), 3) medium/average attractive (in the 3 quintile) and 4) unattractive (in the 1 and 2 quintiles).

I worked with 4 highly attractive male profiles:

Imagen

4 moderately attractive male profiles:

Imagen

4 average-attractive male profiles:

Imagen

And 4 unattractive male profiles:

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Female profiles: 1 moderately attractive female (left), 1 highly attractive female (right):

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1 unattractive female (left), 1 average attractive female (right):

Fotor0223100450Since online sites (Badoo in this instance) do not provide the site’s activity log files to compute users’ popularity, as well as the popularity of their communication partners, (as measures of social desirability),  I retrieved the number of messages by each fictitious profile to index his or her own popularity. Next, I computed the mean popularity of the profile’s contacts. All statistical tests we ran were highly significant. So for each dummy profiles, I computed:

1) His or her own popularity, (individuals who contacted him or her)

2) Ratings the physical attractiveness (according to their profile’s photos) of each user who contacted him or her. These assessments were provided by 5 raters. Then each user is sorted within a attractiveness group according to his/her rating obtained.

Results

Male  popularity:

male pop

Female popularity:

Dibujo32

 

Imagen2013111510340220131115104730

Disscusion

 We can see high asymmetry in female messages distribution, observable male variance and skewing mating success towards top ranked males (highly attractive profiles). We do not found support for the matching hypothesis in that higher-attractive female users are more likely than lower attractive users to contact high-desirability targets; whereas the opposite was true, medium-attractive and unattractive female users are more likely to contact high-attractive male users.

1)  Most women do not seek among the male profiles to send unsolicited messages; they passively wait to be contacted.

2) The few unsolicited messages rate sent by female users don’t come from top-ranked females. (High attractiveness).

3) A subset of moderately attractive, medium attractive and unattractive female mainly contact high-attractive male users. A small amount of medium attractive females send some messages to moderately-attractive males. (disassortative choice behaviour).

4) Some unattractive female users contact moderately and medium attractive male daters (disassortative choice behaviour) We see that, the probability of sending a first-contact e-mail to a female profile is monotonically increasing in the attractiveness of the photo in that profile.

Method

First I assessed the attractiveness of all users’ sampled (150 individuals) that I was going to contact through fictitious profiles.  I rated the physical attractiveness of all the users who contacted him or her. I selected randomly a sample (n=300) of female users (n=150) and male users (n=150). And I rated the physical attractiveness of all the users within the sample. This measure is based on the evaluations (on a scale from 1 to 5). After selected profiles were rated using a 5-point type scale, they are sorted within the 4 ranges of attractiveness previously established, with regard their average score: highly-attractive (5 points), moderately-attractive (4 points), medium-attractive (3 points) and unattractive (1 or 2 points).

Results

RR males

rr females

response rate20140223122233

Conclusion

One obvious implication of these data, is that, given sufficient latitude of female choice (ie. relieved of systemic constraint, which would otherwise limit their choices), female sexual choices will always tend towards small male breeding populations. In more colloquial terms, what this means is that male/female ‘leagues’ are asymmetrical – with male ‘rank’ being bottom heavy in distribution, while female ‘rank’ being top heavy.

If we take the (justified) assumption that guys are more inclusive in their mating choices, and consider a higher male optimal mating rate, we also come to an inescapable conclusion: that not only should the most attractive males mate with the most attractive females(duh), but also a significant proportion of average females as well(given the higher male mating rate).

Which, of course, renders less available ‘average’ females to be mated with average guys – necessitating an imbalance that progresses down the attractiveness scale (rendering a sexually asymmetric mating dynamic). This is why it is so easy to observe that even relatively unattractive females are still much more successful than unattractive males at disassortative mating (ie. such as with average women being able to commonly mate with hot me, etc).

Most of men, who have difficulty meeting women online, use to resort to online dating because they somehow think women will fall in love with their personality. Of course sitting behind a computer and writing messages is easier. They send messages to countless female users, but even by changing the variables, the response rate (girls messaging back) are extremely low. It’s not worth the effort at these rates. In the end, guys are contacting women they’d never speak with in real life. The inflated self-perceived sexual value these women develop spills out into the real world, making it more difficult to pick them up. Guys are induced to contacting subpar women trying to improve their poor response rates.

The wrong belief is essentially that women when come to online dating cast aside their innate picky feelings of physical attraction and their skewed cognitive analysis of a man’s value. (women on average express greater hypergamic selectivity, both offline and online). Where the average woman fantasizes about being swept off her feet by a Prince Charming.

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21 Responses to Female Mating Skew II: Supported By Online dating Experiment

  1. this is common sense, not quantum physics. if you are good looking you get laid, if you are not good looking you don’t get laid

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      That’s right, empirical data are evident. However, the matter is that most evolutionary psy. academics (and tricksters PUAs) argue that female mate value can be assessed more accurately from her physical appearance than male’s mate value (relying upon parental investment theory); which would lead to a greater emphasis on female attractiveness in male choice. So these writers studying human mating have repeatedly concluded that men place more emphasis on the physical attractiveness of potential mates than women do, particularly in long-term sexual relationships. All this is wrong! and I’ll try to explain it on my next posts.

      • The Cockroach says:

        Great, looking forward to it.

        Honestly, unless there’s lots of money on the table (like an order of magnitude difference in income/wealth) I really don’t see women making any sort of concessions when it comes to men’s looks relative to their own.

  2. tyrionlannister69 says:

    @ The Cockroach,

    True, all things being equal, women will favor wealthy/high status males – but only in very exceptional cases (often involving very high profile individuals in the public eye, tending to skew perceptions of normal) will a female make significant concessions in terms of the physical attractiveness of her mate (unless she is not, herself, attractive enough to warrant the attentions of physically attractive males). Not so surprising, when one considers that a selection bias for resourceful males should exist in some proportion to the advantages they pose to the survival of her offspring. Thus, if the advantages are small (given a prosperous welfare state, which marginalizes these adventages), then there will be minimal selection bias(which explains a large population of women who are increasingly disinterested by the lone prospect of a resourceful mate).

    While average women can be collecting over 100 messages a day in online dating, for the men, data suggests that you’re screwed if you’re not above a high threshold of aesthetic desirability. Note that even moderately-attractive guys are getting insanely poor outcomes, both in quality as quantity of girls interested. It seems that only very good-looking guys (on the 5 quintile of attractiveness spectrum) are who can capture widespread female interest. So we can infer in a rather cynical and sorely manner, that unless you’re at the top of attractiveness spectrum, most girls won’t be paying attention.

  3. Macgyver says:

    “So we can infer in a rather cynical and sorely manner, that unless you’re at the top of attractiveness spectrum, most girls won’t be paying attention.”

    Yes, it’s women, not men, who have unrealistic standards for the “average” member of the opposite sex. I mean there are few extremely attractive guys out there. The main idea as relevant to your study is that when you take a populational cross-section of a continuous variable, such as beauty, you tend to find that “most people” fall somewhere in the middle, duh, with a decreasing proportion of the population as you approach either extreme. Women rate 80-90% of men as sub-par!!

    • tyrionlannister69 says:

      @ Macgyver,

      True, it doesn’t look like we avoid the ugly but that we pursue the attractive, and that jibes better with the alternatives to Hamilton’s “parasite avoidance” hypothesis, namely the genetic hypotheses. First is Alfred Russell Wallace’s “good genes” hypothesis: we pursue good-looking people because their good looks signal having genes that have protected them against the ravages of pathogens, or whatever else may damage their health. And second is R.A. Fisher’s “sexy sons” hypothesis: we pursue good-looking people because, whether we find them good-looking or not, the potential mates of our offspring will, so we’d improve their reproductive success by giving them genes for attractiveness. The idea that attractiveness is logarithmically perceived doesn’t decide between these two genetic theories, but I think it does go against the “parasite avoidance” hypothesis.

      Last, I used to think that attractiveness was lognormally distributed — that, due to the synergistic effects of different body parts, most people are ugly, and only a handful are good-looking. (And anyone who says otherwise is being polite, fooling themselves, or not looking at a broad spectrum of human beings.) However, that’s just based on my perception – perhaps attractiveness really is normally distributed. If our mind re-scales attractiveness using logarithms, then it will transform a normal into a lognormal distribution too.

      Normally distributed traits suggest an additive genetic basis, whereby small effects across a large number of loci are added together to determine the phenotype. A lognormally distributed trait, has low heritability. The reason isn’t relevant here; what’s important is that we wouldn’t expect a lognormally distributed trait to have a mostly additive genetic basis.

  4. I like this page so much I’d prefer to link it from my blog post if that you don’t mind.

  5. Macgyver says:

    Reblogged this on The Mating Mind.

  6. Exterminate says:

    Wow. Just Wow. What bunch of bullshit.

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  13. Global_Nomad says:

    Truly remarkable work! I have a very practical question though: for those of us who are not on the upper quintile (meaning we are not hyper-attractive mails): what is the best strategy we can adopt if we wish to find ourselves sex partners consistently and avoid involuntary celibacy without having to commit to a long-term serious relationship? Should we drop the online thing and try to cold approach women in the street and public space, hoping they have not yet entered the online market (since as you say their overinflated virtual value pollutes the outside world as well)? Is our choice reduced to meeting females in the real world who have had no previous contact with online dating? or what other strategies can we adopt? I can’t just renounce sex and love simply because I was not born a male model!

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

      @ Global_Nomad,

      “Truly remarkable work! I have a very practical question though: for those of us who are not on the upper quintile (meaning we are not hyper-attractive mails): what is the best strategy we can adopt if we wish to find ourselves sex partners consistently and avoid involuntary celibacy without having to commit to a long-term serious relationship?”

      Non sequitur. How old are you? Are you an inexperienced male or do you have any previous verifiable life-history?

      Note attractiveness as a mate become linked with conditional mating strategy. Most attractive males can increase mating success via short-term strategies, while less attractive men attain the greatest success via long-term strategies.

      You will not find sex partners consistently. Assuming that your aesthetic appearance has a small deviation from the mean population trait value (i.e. you are an average-looking man). In this situation, the only females who can present themselves as accessible (and not necessarily in a *consistent* way) are usually those with few male prospects (i.e. unattractive).

      “Should we drop the online thing and try to cold approach women in the street and public space, hoping they have not yet entered the online market (since as you say their overinflated virtual value pollutes the outside world as well)?”

      Online dating phenomenon is futile for all males, but the most conspicuous ones.

      Online exacerbates sampling error in the female assessment of male quality, skewing female expectations of male availability (such that any male who fails to qualitatively meet those expectations will be spurned), and thus inflates sexual competition(along with female sexual value).

      It is intuitive that any dynamic which increases female selectivity, will weigh against the success of a large population of males(esp those who have already demonstrated a low status in unfortunate life-history outcomes).

      Regarding cold approaching, why would it be worthwhile to approach non-receptive women (i.e. without any previous signal of courtship). Do you think it’s the best way to maximize your mating options?

      If you want you can share your experience here, which would help to achieve a more precise reasoning.

      Anyway I would point out that, it has still not occured to you that the prevailing dilemma of failed males resorting to cold approaching is that female signals of interest are not forthcoming from even minimally attractive females (given the severy imbalanced state of the mating landscape).

      “Is our choice reduced to meeting females in the real world who have had no previous contact with online dating?

      Maybe, ss long as they also come from a relatively isolated population with constrained possibility for off-line male sampling.

      “or what other strategies can we adopt? I can’t just renounce sex and love simply because I was not born a male model!”

      Win-stay/Lose-shift.

      How many times do they need to be beaten over the head with the same outcomes, before they *learn* to expect them?

      This can take *time* and effort, and favorable outcomes are by no means certain. Whether it entails sculpting a superior physique or amassing status, it will involve suppressing handicaps and embellishing signals of reproductive quality (bounded within biologically determined neighbourhoods that mediate phenotype).

      Other options: prostitutes, raping, mail order brides, etc.

  14. Koop says:

    Seems the only solution is MGTOW if you aren’t in the 90%.

    • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

      Mating dispersion. Sites where mate choice occur may vary from highly clumped (i.e. leks, like online dating, nighclubs) with male-biased sex ratios, to widely dispersed. Try maximize your ecological/behavioral factors that emphasize 1:1 sex ratios, low-density populations. Gain by behaving/moving in ways where can decrease encounter/sampling rates for single/unmated females.

      • thegreatshebang says:

        I think a lot of wanderlust in men may be an unconscious way to look for better mating opportunities.

        • Sir Tyrion Lannister says:

          Yes, it may work in part as a evolutionary male pattern on mate-locating behaviour, with moving/dispersion dependending on the extent to which male mating activity (i.e reproducitve fitness) is locally constrained.

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