According to Christian Rudder, the co-founder of online dating site OK Cupid, women’s perception of “attractiveness” is way more warped then that of the men. In an interview following his recent TED talk about OK Cupid’s dating algorithm,Rudder revealed some stats about the “Quick Match” section of the site. For those of you who haven’t been on OK Cupid, you can click on “Quick Match” and scroll through pictures, giving attractiveness ratings of 1 to 5. For those of you who have been on the site, you more likely refer to it as “that game you play when you’re bored of watching TV.”
According to the TED blog, when Rudder showed a graph of the ratings men give to women, there was a normal distribution with fewer women falling in the 1 and 5 range and the majority rating somewhere in the middle. But when it came to women “Quick Matching” men, the graph skewed toward the unattractive side. Apparently, we rate lots of men a 1 and hardly any a 4 or 5. “A 3.8 for a guy is basically Hollywood material,” Rudder joked.
Call that superficial or call it having high standards. Whatever you please. Before we demonize women for being so unforgiving, I tend to think that guys don’t know jack about how to pick an attractive picture of themselves, so we may just be being honest. On almost every OK Cupid date I’ve been on, the man has been at least slightly more attractive in person than on their profile. My last boyfriend, who I met on the site, was infinitely hotter than his photos suggested, lucky for me. I don’t know if the same is true for women, well, because I don’t date women. Any men care to comment on that?
Also, I should note that even though men tend to be more generous in their rating of women, Rudder confirmed that men of all levels of attractiveness tend to send the most messages to the women who rate across the board a 5. I’ll leave you with something hopeful (because we need something hopeful for God’s sake) — Rudder says that 500 people a day disable their profiles because they have found someone on the site they wish to pursue a relationship with. No word on how many of those relationships last. [TED]