Monday, August 30, 2010

Online dating, sexual selection, science fiction

I read an article a week or so ago in the Boston Globe that made me think in SF terms.  It's about online dating.

Firstly, surprise, surprise, size matters:

For both sexes, the attractiveness of the photo was the most important trait (users’ profile pictures were rated separately to determine how good-looking they were). Beyond that, men’s height was the most important feature to women. In fact, the researchers were able to put the value of height into numbers. By comparing height to salary, they found a man who is 5 feet 9 inches tall needs to make between $35,000 and $40,000 more per year to get as many responses as a man who is 5 feet 10 inches tall.
And so does race (sigh):
Indeed, some of the strongest findings from multiple dating sites have revealed discrepancies in how we talk and act in relation to race; while most people profess to being colorblind, the numbers show something quite different. Race influences the number of responses aspiring daters get, with white men having the clearest advantage.
(via Prospero)
So now I'm wondering what online dating will do for intersexual selection.  How will this kind of ability to choose via search terms affect our species?  How long will it take this change to become apparent?

Yep, it's pretty amazing what I'll find interesting when I'm trying to avoid actual work...
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