Outcomes are strongly increasing in measured looks. In fact, the looks ratings variable has the strongest impact on outcomes among all variables used in the Poisson regression analysis. Men and women in the lowest decile receive only about half as many e-mails as members whose rating is in the fourth decile, while the users in the top decile are contacted about twice as often. Overall, the relationship between outcomes and looks is similar for men and women. However, there is a surprising “superstar effect” for men. Men in the top five percent of ratings receive almost twice as many first contacts as the next five percent; for women, on the other hand, the analogous difference in outcomes is much smaller.
Height matters for both men and women, but mostly in opposite directions. Women like tall men (Figure 5.4). Men in the 6’3 – 6’4 range, for example, receive 65% more first-contact e-mails than men in the 5’7 – 5’8 range. In contrast, the ideal height for women is in the 5’3 – 5’8 range, while taller women experience increasingly worse outcomes. For example, the average 6’3 tall woman receives 42% fewer e-mails than a woman who is 5’5. We examine the impact of a user’s weight on his or her outcomes by means of the body mass index (BMI), which is a height-adjusted measure of weight. Figure 5.5 shows that for both men and women there is an “ideal” BMI at which success peaks, but the level of the ideal BMI differs strongly across genders. The optimal BMI for men is about 27. According to the American Heart Association, a man with such a BMI is slightly overweight. For women, on the other hand, the optimal BMI is about 17, which is considered under-weight and corresponds to the figure of a supermodel. A woman with such a BMI receives 90% more first-contact e-mails than a woman with a BMI of 25. Finally, regarding hair color (using brown hair as the baseline), we find that men with red hair suffer a moderate outcome penalty. Blonde women have a slight improvement in their outcomes, while women with gray or “salt and pepper” hair suffer a sizable penalty. Men with long curly hair receive 18% fewer first-contact e-mails than men in the baseline category, “medium straight hair.” For women, “long straight hair” leads to a slight improvement in outcomes, while short hair styles are associated with a moderate decrease in outcomes.
pp.21-22 tell us about income and education. And this:
38% of all women, but only 18% of men say that they prefer to meet someone of their own ethnic background.
African-American and Hispanic men get only half as many first-contact emails from white women as do white men; Asian men get only about one-quarter as many.