Whether you’ve ever labeled someone a “10” or are well-versed in the concept of “sexual market value” doesn’t matter. It may be crude and it may be un-PC, but according to a study cited in a recent Atlantic article, leagues DO seem to exist.
The study, conducted with the help of an online dating site and over 186,000 users, points out what should seem obvious to anyone with a modicum of self-awareness:
“Three-quarters, or more, of people are dating aspirationally…and users of online-dating sites spend most of their time trying to contact people “out of their league.”
Most online-dating users tend to message people exactly 25 percent more desirable than they are.
So when you make the pithy observation that every guy you write to doesn’t write back, while you ignore every loser who dares write to you, you’re merely codifying what long-time observers already suspected but never measured until now.
“Most online-dating users tend to message people exactly 25 percent more desirable than they are.”
Sorry if you find that statement offensive.
“Who’s to say what’s “desirable?” Different people have different tastes! How dare you make value judgments like this?”
Alas, this is no value judgment. It’s pure economics and supply/demand.
“Your specific desirability rank would have been generated by two figures: whether other desirable people contacted you, and whether other desirable people responded when you contacted them. If you contacted a much less desirable person, their desirability score would rise; if they contacted you and you replied, then your score would fall.”
The piece further goes on to outline other unfortunate things you’d suspect if you’ve ever dated online:
- Men initiate 80% of first emails. Women only write back to less than 20%.
- White men and Asian women are consistently more desired than other users, while black women rank anomalously lower.
- Men’s desirability peaks at age 50. But women’s desirability starts high at age 18 and falls throughout their lifespan.
- Almost no one messages users less desirable than they are.
- Young, attractive women in urban areas have a completely different online dating experience than the rest of us. The most popular individual, a 30-year-old woman living in New York, received 1504 messages, the “equivalent to one message every 30 min, day and night, for the entire month.”
Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.