Pretty stunning data on dating

Interesting throughout, but most of all see pp.5-6, comparing how men rate women to how women rate men.  Here is half of that story:

Here is the link, by Dan McMurtrie, via David Perell.  The top of p.2 will indicate why friendship may be in decline:

You also can see that meeting on the job peaked in the 1990s, and do I need to tell you about meeting through church and the neighbors?  Recommended.


hey Ms. K Connaway
we wanna be your dogs!

Cargo pants rule! Not so much cargo shorts.

Never skip leg day, ever!

How else am I supposed to signal my ability to attain cargo?

Just shows you that women aren’t very discerning.

Cargo shorts are ALWAYS in style.
My wife hates them.
We were recently in Bologna, Italia eating lunch at a "nice" restaurant ( and the table of 6 Italian males next to us had a cargo short ratio of 1:1. She was not happy.

For a while I thought I liked cargo shorts, because they approximated hiking shorts of the day. Now I think "cargo" is about too many pocket flaps.

"Adventure shorts" or "travel shorts" yield better results. Comfortable, durable, with zip pockets for valuables, rather than flaps.

You can wear the lululemon and your wife will be on board.

Cargos shorts are an accepted workwear in the heat in Italy. Many couriers, plumbers or physical worker wears it.

How much stuff do you need to carry? I carry my phone, driver's license, car key and a credit card. Takes up almost no space at all. What do you do with the extra pockets?

Sunglasses. Asthma inhaler.

I don't have a problem with cargo shorts. Seems like a useful way to store nails and other hardware equipment, in case you need to fix something while you are out.

Meeting online is both a weird way to meet a mate and an indication that nobody has friends anymore. That smartphone "penetration" is the explanation for this trend is both obvious (spending all that time on the smart phone doesn't leave much time for friends) and dirty. As for the male-female difference in rating the opposite sex, women seem to be rational (it's the bell curve) while men have long tails (which we already knew). And what produces the equilibrium in the matching market: age. Older men matching up with younger women, leaving men with far more opportunities than for women. All of which has produced a more efficient matching market: greater reliance on appearance (the visual benefit of the smartphone), more experience and better informed, and supposedly fewer divorces. I say supposedly fewer divorces, because online hookups via the smartphone don't by magic end with marriage; maybe fewer divorces but more opportunity for cheating and thus a happy marriage.

OK anti-Cupid.

Internet seems to me like a perfectly good way to find companionship among those beyond reproductive age. For younger people - is it at all possible that, much like the donor sperm market, it is messing recklessly with nature to remove the actual, physical, in-the-flesh aspect of attraction? I won't contend that it's valuable to observe the behavior of prospective mates "in the wild," because I imagine the zoomers and such feel confident they are getting to know each other by what they type on the internet, their real world, as well as anyone ever did getting matched up by a card at a mixer. [I myself have "spoken" at greater length with some of the commenters on just this blog, than I have with any of the members of my nuclear family, Mother excepted, in thirty years.] But with online "courting" you don't get the benefit of knowing their families ... and to use the most-PC possible interpretation of that, you will be marrying their families ...

I agree that the problem is online dating does not allow one to get the real in-the-flesh "chemistry" aspect of attraction. This is also a LOT harder for women to figure out via a sterile online interface than men. Men generally know what they are sexually attracted to from a picture so they can pick out girls they like online pretty easily, but women have to actually meet a guy in the flesh to gauge things like confidence and personality (not usually revealed by a profile), and will pick wrong more often, so there's more risk and wasted effort involved for the women. The algorithms suck at matching because they tend to go by similarity, whereas in real life, opposites attract.

And whither pop songs?

YOU make me feel - you make me feel - you Make. Me. Feel. Like. A. Digital. Woman.

I think the main thing this data reveal is an ontological tragedy in human life that's so deep it's basically never been even noticed until recently, and thus never even explored through art.

Take the data literally, don't try to warp it into something else. What is it saying?
Basically that men are very generous in how they view women, and women not nearly as generous in how they view men.
And what are the consequences of this? That men can say, repeatedly, and honestly, to any woman who will listen, that they find something beautiful in almost all women, especially the one they are currently with. Only to have that interpreted by women (who find almost nothing attractive in almost every man they see) as being an obvious lie, yet more proof of how awful men fundamentally are.

Ontological tragedy indeed, right up there with The Oresteia.

I really enjoyed this comment - thank you.

My impression is that women may be more brutal in their view of male attractiveness but they care less about it than men care about women's attractiveness. It is a cliche, but I have seen short, balding, chubby men attract women thanks to their sense of humour that I could never attract.

I think it's more the case than women are a bit more brutal about looks than men, but far more brutal about personality. Being far more brutal about personality and only a bit more brutal about looks, means a relative advantage to poor looking men, even if women still care about looks more and judge them more poorly for it.

Women are also brutal about things that specifically cause them to have less respect for men, particularly lower income, but also counterintuitive factors like willingness to do housework.

Attractiveness, not handsomeness. Isn't there a theory that female attraction is more comparative and male attraction more absolute due to relative differences in the opportunity cost of pregnancy? Maybe women unconsciously comparing every man to George Clooney while men are unconsciously acknowledging a lack of serious genetic defects.

The decline in the number of friends predates the smart phone by decades

"comparing how men rate women to how women rate men"

oh, so we now have broad data-based conclusion on the dating attitudes of ALL men & women on the planet ??

the standard skepticism certainly applies on this "recommended" research:

- what specific "population" of men/women was under study here?
- was an accurate, representative-sample of that population objectively analyzed?

(this study cannot withstand such basic scutiny)

Meeting on the job seems strongly discouraged these days, witness the McDonalds guy.

Getting know people you work with is unproductive, or meet at work, wasting company time and money.

Instead of paying food workers for 8 hours when they waste time talking with the few customers between the lunch and dinner rush, send them home, or at least don't pay them. They can kill that time using their phone online. After all, the worker taking a late lunch break after the rush should either be working without lunch, or forced to clock out.

After all, paying workers costs too much and harms GDP growth.

And people coupling up and having kids is bad for GDP growth because kids cost too much.

Only governments should put more money in consumer pockets with tax cuts and printing money fast enough interest rates go negative and consumers get paid to borrow and spend.


Don't tell me you're just now finding out women are the gatekeepers for sex.

You should consider that the women are wearing a ton of make-up to look their best and cover the wrinkles, pockmarks, and scars, while the men are looking their natural selves.

The met in a bar category of meeting a mate is the only other method that seems to have increased besides online. What does that mean? We just drink too much? Also out of curiosity, I wonder if there’s breakup/divorce per method of meeting a mate?

Read the linked paper. "Meeting in a bar" is face saving for people who met online, but are ashamed to admit it.

Nahhhh, maybe 15 years ago but people aren't ashamed about that any more.

Alcohol is a good social, ahem, lubricant.

Seriously, alcohol makes social contact with attractive but remote strangers easier, and young people go where the other young people go.

Data which suggest remarkable valuations and revaluations in our era of sensory data.

Olfactory sense would seem to be on the very bottom, perhaps just beneath the gustatory sense--both of which could be triggered in a bar or restaurant.

Tactile sensation is problematic as we all know, since that entails physical contact, the present valuation of which remains in dispute.

--which leaves the Sensory Tech Default of appeals to eyes and ears.

Someone may still want to assess prevailing qualities of sensory stimulation in our Tech-fueled era of sensory deprivation.

I don't believe the frequency

Of meeting a date online.

To prove it,

Let me ask:

How many you have met a date


Marginal Revolution?

Post below your answer.

...the punchline is that the general dominant constraint for women has been not the risk of selecting too low quality of a mate, but rather the risk of not settling for an adequate mate and in doing so ending up alone. We would expect online dating as a medium to materially alter this dynamic as a constraint.

So by holding out longer and doing lots of online comparison shopping, all women can now obtain mates who are above average? What is this -- the Lake Wobegon theory of female choice?

The author's hope is access to more data will somehow offset women's natural predilection to hypergamy.

Seems highly unlikely. But what other option is there?

Ah, a fellow intellectual here. So much of this was hypothesized by things like the red pill. Definitely want to read that study he mentioned.

I guess ultimately, even though their paper rationally comes to the conclusion you should settle so you don't end up alone, biology and evolution see that as fine enough because if you're ugly you should end up alone, and mating with a low-value male is evolutionary death anyway.

Better to hold out that 1% chance an alpha impregnates you then be doomed to evolutionary death anyway by mating with bottom-rung person.

Yes, most women can obtain mates that are above average. It's called polygyny. We already have a soft, informal version of this. A minority of men have a disproportionate number of serial marriages, relationships, and flings with women. But because of cultural inertia and a sense of shame, we pretend that this polygyny doesn't exist and refuse to acknowledge that it's based on women's preference to share an above average man over exclusive access to a loser.

Do you really believe that the men involved in serial marriages/relationships are of above average quality in any objective sense?

But they don’t have to be (actually above average). They only have to appear to be (above average).

Married three times. I think the most important factor is optimism.

"Yes, most women can obtain mates that are above average. It's called polygyny."

Most young women. And even then, for many, only in the short term (research shows that when it comes to flings, one-night-stands, etc, men are less choosy and women moreso than when looking for a long-term mate). But the risk for women of making a series of 'good' short-term deals when young is that they'll end up with a worse deal (or no deal at all) when they're no longer so young.

Er, plenty of women remarry too after divorce or widowhood. It's not just men who do that

One of the things this misses is that as a result of everything it discusses, there is a big incentive for young people to move to cities, especially big cities. That way you can access a bigger pool. Even if you lived in a large city before, your pool was limited to mutual friends and such.

Ie, the GOP that runs Red America are eliminating everything needed to create families because families cost too much, too high costs for welfare to pay for children birth costs, too much welfare to pay for child health care, too much welfare to provide kids education, too much welfare to pay adults to watch kids, too much cost to provide infrastructure business demands to keep businesses in Red America to create jobs for kids becoming adults, too much welfare to train workers to fill jobs for the one of two businesses willing to build a factory in Red America.

Thures, kids migrate to Blue America where the costly infrastructure exists mostly from the 50s and 60s or before, to enable getting jobs to pay the costs of Internet and bars.

And since 2000, it's been "eat, drink, and be married for tomorrow we die".

I give it a 2 out of 10. Step it up, tiny troll boy.

How are these distribution patterns different from 19th Century patterns when women’s parents, particularly their fathers, were the “gatekeepers” of who exactly was permitted to court or marry their daughters?

Also, The authors sure pitch things in old-school terms. Women of “prime reproductive age” are market setters who face higher material risk due to greater risk of pregnancy?

How about maybe domestic partners are the #1 cause of injury and death for women instead? When wages were kept artificially out of parity and education and employment options were kept artificially scarce for women they may have been obliged to “settle” for negligent, abusive, alcoholic, or indigent partners or face effective starvation.

Men who understand that their breadwinning ability no longer weighs against their likelihood of committing physical or emotional violence seem to be doing just fine. My guess is a new equilibrium will emerge once the future finishes distributing itself and get that women are no longer obliged to use economic viability as their main relationship criteria.

But under the new equilibrium you envision, with male bread winning in decline, you will have a decline in male investment in economic production, especially manufacturing, engineering, and technical capacity, and defense and war making. Such a society would be vulnerable to one with male investment in those things. It would consequently be only a temporary equilibrium. Unless of course you believe that women can not only have it all, but that they can do it all as well.

Who said that women don’t still use breadwinning ability as a criteria in deciding whether to marry someone? My impression is that inability to earn enough money is still a deal breaker for the vast majority of women. It is just that there are even more deal breakers now that women have more earning power.

"they may have been obliged to “settle” for negligent, abusive, alcoholic, or indigent partners or face effective starvation."

So why do they still settle for those characters today? Indeed, find them irresistible and go back to them?

Self-supporting "spinster" were a thing on the past. They were made fun of, but generally didn't starve. And going back further nunneries were an option for women who didn't want to marry.

“Domestic partners” are not the leading cause of death of women. That is one of many canards continuously spewed by ignorant feminists. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide for both genders.

The main reason why men like cargo shorts and women don't is because men value function more while women value aesthetics more. This also explains why few women's pants have usable pockets, why small cute purses are more common than big roomy ones, and why women's fancy shoes tend to be so uncomfortable that they prefer going barefoot.

Why the difference in perception? Men don't really mind women's dysfunctional pockets or purses or shoes because their costs are mainly borne by the wearer, while the benefits are enjoyed by others. In contrast, everybody sees the ugliness of Crocs, cargo shorts, and fanny packs, and only one (or two) get the benefits. More generally, the costs and benefits of high function, low-aesthetic things are distributed differently than those of low-function, high-aesthetic things.

Good point. I won't wear any shorts without tons of velcro or button pockets, jackets without zipper pockets, or anything else that doesn't allow me to secure my keys and wallet. I wore a Halloween costume this year that didn't have pockets so I put on a fanny pack around my waist to keep my keys and stuff. My wife knows that if she buys me anything without the above, it's being returned.

At last, an economics discussion on this economics blog. And a nice one as well. But it leaves the question on whether the externalities imposed by cargo shorts are in excess of the benefits to the individual. Also of note -- women must receive individual benefits for the positive externalities of their attractive-but-less-functional clothing. But do they receive all of them? Probably not. This seems to imply that the pro-social thing to do for all (men and women!) is to wear more attractive clothing.

Since people do not internalize all of the benefits of wearing attractive clothing (positive externalities), it implies people do not wear sufficiently attractive clothing, and that wearing such clothing should be subsidized by society.

That said, certain clothes are attractive on some wearers (positive externality) and unattractive on others (negative externality) so it's a slightly more complicated problem.

OKCupid automatically informed people you rated attractive. Some women rated men below this threshold to avoid attention.

Men initiate almost all messages; attractive women receive hundreds. Women get beyond picky; they get overwhelmed and paralyzed by the paradox of choice. Women also get a distorted illusion of abundance and inflated sense of their own sexual market value because they don't see their competition. Some women treat men as disposable, using the site for online entertainment and free dates, and frequently flaking. Eventually, they learn that other women are competing for the top men too.

It never really made a bunch of sense to me that women are trying to avoid attention from men they really do find attractive? Lots of "Oh, but they're insecure" but I don't really buy it. tinder shows similar patterns anyway, with a different mechanism -

"The average female “likes” 12% of men on Tinder. This doesn't mean though that most males will get “liked” back by 12% of all the women they “like” on Tinder. This would only be the case if “likes” were equally distributed. In reality, the bottom 80% of men are fighting over the bottom 22% of women and the top 78% of women are fighting over the top 20% of men"

Aha, the old Okcupid lognormal distribution for women. It's weird how much many internet folk either hate it and try to debunk it, or else claim that it's true, but accurate because "most men are *objectively* ugly (hence lognormal) while most attractiveness really is *objectively* normally distributed in women".

Both pretty odd really - maybe most men are subjectively ugly to women (hey, that's life), but it's got nothing to do with the distribution of objective male physical and facial features, skin, shape having a different distribution around the male mean.

If nothing else, the craze in the last two years for sophisticated cross-sex "filters" on apps (Faceapp, Snapchat) puts the lie to the idea that the average man is somehow on average objectively uglier than his sisters and female relatives.

"If nothing else, the craze in the last two years for sophisticated cross-sex "filters" on apps (Faceapp, Snapchat) puts the lie to the idea that the average man is somehow on average objectively uglier than his sisters and female relatives."

Really? How?

Apps transform male faces around distribution of a male average to female average, then use neural networks to smooth over differences right? So you can actually see that the male faces are not differently distributed around their mean, right?

I don't see that. Look men are uglier, and not just their faces.

Well subjectively you can think that if you want (or someone can think the opposite) but its not like the face shapes have much different distribution around the mean.

I don't know what is meant by the mean. What are we talking about a distribution of what? face shapes?

If male attractiveness is related to status, wouldn't it make sense that it could be "objectively" log-normal (or at least, skewed right)? Since, it is not purely a function of normally distributed physical features, as is the case with attractiveness of women.

I think I may sown some confusion in how I'm expressing myself here. I'm intending to commenting something like "The objective distribution of both-sex applicable attractiveness-related physical features (symmetry, skin quality, well proportioned facial features, relatively normal BMI, other signals of health) is probably not different in males and females".

(Attractiveness-related physical features equally applicable to males and females seems like a pretty good proxy for "ugly" to me.)

How that actually relates into the subjective attractiveness rating on OKCupid (for males and females) I am more agnostic about. Could be that these sort of both-sex applicable attractiveness related features have little to do with how women rate men. Could be that those actually relate to "status". I'm not sure though that's consistent with either OKCupid's format (does it include much status information?) or wider correlation between "status" and rated attractiveness though.

It could be that because physical appearance is less of a factor for women, but they only get photos to look at online, and can't see things such as "status" or "confidence" so easily, that they tend to rate all men lower by default.

For comparison, imagine an online dating app, where the men could NOT see a photo of the women, and had to rate them entire based on an IQ test and a series of essay questions. How might that skew the distribution of ratings given to the women? if what you want is a woman who is physically attractive, but you can't tell how physically attractive they are, are you going to be more or less selective?

Women are certainly not blind to male appearance. "Hot" guys get dates, homely guys not so much. My sister and her friends indulged in all sorts of commentary about guys' looks in front of me when we were young. That included speculation about what the parts covered by clothing might look like. Women can be as smutty as men.

I would imagine that men or women, when faced with assessing the attractiveness of people they could not see, would distribute their guesses around the average. I don't think blind men rate all women as ugly until they can touch their faces and bodies (for some reason).

Why is a hedge fund manager writing about dating?

Tyler lacks familiarity; this information is years old. D.C. has a large online dating pool because it does not successfully match singles. Women online are notoriously picky. Even after Tinder pioneered the mutual match system, women still complained about getting too many messages from low-quality men. So Bumble required women to send the first message. To attract women, Bumble also pioneered the college and occupation listing. Most online dating platforms report height, but not weight. It is all tilted toward women's desires.

I think this could be a put on.

Am I the only one who wondered why the why the way heterosexual couples have met adds up to over 100%?

Interesting but what does this mean for FinReg?

"This is a material driver of the “incel” (involuntary celibate) social movement/problem. "

Rejection of women you could plausibly expect to be interested in you is by definition voluntary. There's no such thing as an "incel".

Forgive me for saying this, but I suspect their prices may be sticky.

" ...This can be conceptualized as the market becoming more efficient, which naturally leads to many market participants anecdotally expressing unhappiness with the status quo as they incorrectly identify an inability to produce low effort excess returns as the circumstances being “unfair.”..."

If this article meant to increase the cargo shirt sells ?

More attractive males are much less likely than more attractive women to use OK cupid, resulting in an actually skewed distribution of the attractiveness of males on OK cupid. I.e. The dating pool is actually mostly unattractive men and the womens ratings of the men on it re accurate.

The OK Cupid data on attractiveness ratings is from... 2009. It made a big splash 10 years ago when it was first presented. The hedge fund guy just read off the OK Cupid chart and remade his own bar graph.

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