Search Results For "okcupid"

Sexual Orientation and Sexual Behavior: OkCupid Data

Kristie, Dmitriy T.M., and Tiffany L. sent in this post at OkCupid comparing 3.2 million profiles of straight people to those of gays and lesbians. Undermining the persistent stereotype that gays are more sexually promiscuous than straight individuals, OkCupid users, gay and straight, reported the same median number of sex partners (6), and the overall pattern is nearly identical regardless of sexual orientation:

And sexual encounters with someone of the same sex aren’t limited to people who identify as gay. Here are the results from a survey of 252,900 users who identify themselves as straight; about a third have either had at least one same-sex sexual encounter, or would like to:

Straight-identified women were significantly more likely to report a same-sex experience (and that it was pleasurable) or interest than were straight men. Here’s the pie chart for women:

And this is for men:

My guess is a lot of people will attribute that to women “playing” at being bisexual or going through a “stage,” but it seems likely to me that part of what is going on is that men’s gender performance is policed so much more harshly and constantly that men suffer greater consequences for same-sex encounters and have more reason to avoid them and to avoid even thinking of them as a possibility.

Reports of same-sex encounters or interest varied significantly by region. In the map, orange = higher rates, blue = lower (OkCupid doesn’t give any percents to go with the different colors, sorry):

There’s other data on personality profiles and, uh, the number of people who think the earth is larger than the sun (!) at the original post.

Also see our previous post on race, gender, and preferences on OkCupid.

Race, Gender, and Likes on OkCupid

Emma M.H., Rebecca A., Natalee B., Josh L., Anna M., Jordan G., and an anonymous reader all sent in a link to a new analysis released by OkTrends, this time of members’ profile essays and the likes/interests/hobbies the essays mention, broken down by race/ethnicity and gender. They list items that were statistically unevenly distributed by race/ethnicity, showing up much more in some groups’ profiles than others’; these aren’t necessarily the most common items listed by each group.

White men:

White women:

Christian Rudder, the author of the OkTrends post, points out an interesting trend: rural identifying/mythologizing. White men mention “I’m a country boy,” while for White women, being a “country girl” features prominently, meaning both groups are more likely to use this term than other racial/ethnic groups. The men also mention liking hunting/fishing, while White women include horses/horseback riding, bonfires, and the “midwest,” as well as country music/musicians. Most OkCupid users, according to Rudder, are in large metro areas. Of course, you can live in a city and still go riding or fishing, or these can be things you did before you moved to the city that you still really wish you could do and so remain an important part of your identity; and given current demographics, it’s more likely that a former rural resident would be White than non-White, thus showing up more in Whites’ profiles. But I also suspect that references to the “midwest,” or things associated with romanticized rural life (you know, running around in a beautiful wheatfield during a thunderstorm and stuff) are a code for a certain type of masculinity and femininity. Among Whites, hunting/fishing indicates you’re a particular type of “guy’s guy,” while being “a country girl” who likes horses and thunderstorms is, I think, a stand-in for implying you’re down-to-earth, nice, not superficial. Being “country” is thus, a lot of the time, shorthand for being authentic.

Moving on, here’s the image for Black men:

We see more self-description than in White men’s profiles — “I am cool,” “tall, dark, and handsome,” “god-fearing,” “calm,” “laid-back guy.” White men (and to a lesser extent women) seem to focus on what they like, not really what they are like, with only “I’m a country boy” and “I can fix anything” showing up in the analysis.

Black women:

If you combined general references to religion, they would stand out even more. In fact, African American men and women are quite a bit more likely than other groups to mention religion:

Data for Latino men:

Like Black men, they more frequently than White men  mention personality characteristics — “I’m a funny guy,” “respectful,” “I’m a simple guy,” “outgoing and funny,” etc.

Latinas, like Latino men, mention specific dances, not just a love of music or musicians:

Rudder notes that Asian men are the most likely of any group to highlight a specific ethnic/national identity in addition to the more general “Asian” label:

I see that above with Latino men, too — references to being Peruvian, Colombian, Dominican, etc. If I had to take a stab at explaining this, I’d guess it was related to differences in how racial/ethnic categories have been applied to different groups. In the U.S. over time, White ethnic categories (say, being Dutch-American vs. Polish-American) have largely faded into the background, all subsumed under the powerful racial label “White.” Distinctions within that grouping have become largely optional, a neat thing to mention, perhaps, but not very socially meaningful. African Americans have often found themselves in the same situation, but due to much more negative forces. The generally shared experience of slavery, racism, and discrimination, as well as negative stereotypes of anyone perceived as Black, mostly erased ethnic identifications among African Americans. Being Black became a master status, such a socially important racial categorization that even those who wanted to be recognized as from a specific location (South Africa, Jamaica, etc.) often found themselves unable to get others to recognize their ethnic distinction.

The broader “Asian” and “Hispanic” labels emerged more recently in U.S. history, and members of both groups often actively fought to preserve distinctions within them. It wasn’t until the ’60s that a pan-Asian identity really began to emerge, such that being called “Asian” really meant anything to people, as opposed to thinking of themselves as Chinese, Vietnamese, etc. And “Hispanic” refers to ethnicity, not race (most Hispanics identify as White); ethnic identities are generally more flexible than racial categories. Aside from personal attachments, many groups thrown into the labels Asian and Hispanic have seen clear advantages to preserving distinctions based on nationality, believing that, say, being Japanese American would be less negatively stereotyped than being simply “Asian.”

So I wasn’t extremely surprised to see that Latino and Asian men specified identifies within those categories…but look back at the Latina image, and then this one for Asian women:

Nothing. Not one specific identifier for either group stood out. I don’t know what to make of that, and would love to hear your suggestions.

There are also specific breakdowns for Asian Indians and Pacific Islanders on the OkTrends, if you’re interested.

Middle Eastern men (a sort of odd category, but whatever) also specify nationalities, which is to be expected as this is another group that has engaged in active contests about their racial categorization in the U.S. (in particularly, fighting to be considered White, not Asian or Black) and also focus on technical/financial careers or expertise:

Middle Eastern women are the only group who prominently mention something about their physical appearance (“petite”), for whatever that’s worth, and again, no nationalities listed:

Of course, as Anna pointed out when she sent in the link, this data isn’t necessarily about people’s actual likes/interests, it’s about what they present as their likes/interests in the dating marketplace. On a dating website, you’re trying to present a profile of yourself…but one tailored to be attractive to others. She wonders to what degree social stereotypes of your racial group, as well as the group you’re interested in dating (if you have any preference) affects how you would describe your interests. That is, it’s possible that in some cases people highlight interests or hobbies that seem to fit social expectations of what they’ll like doing…or what they think the individuals they want to date will want to do, or want their date to want to do. To interpret these results, as OkTrends does, as straightforward evidence of differences in preferences by race/ethnicity, ignores the important fact that these are interests presented as part of an intentional performance for strangers, and may or may not reflect what we actually spend time doing, learning about, or paying attention to in our daily lives.

Bisexuality and Dating on OkCupid

Following up on our most recent re-cap of data analysis from OkCupid, sent in by Sara P. and an Anonymous Reader, in this post I summarize their findings on reported sexual orientation and recorded messaging.

It turns out that a whopping 80% of all users who identify as bisexual message men or women, but not both.

The reasons for this are likely complex, diverse, and not immediately obvious.

Blogger Christian Rudder’s hypothesis:

This suggests that bisexuality is often either a hedge for gay people or a label adopted by straights to appear more sexually adventurous to their (straight) matches. You can actually see these trends in action…

The figure below plots age against the percent of self-identified bisexual men who message both men and women, only women, or only men.  The percent that are bi in practice as well as theory message both men and women drops by about half between the ages of 18 and 54 (from about 20% to about 10%), but men in their 30s and early 40s are much more likely to message only women.  Ticking biological clocks and hopes for a wife and kids perhaps?

The narrowing blue swatch may reflect the possibility that men who once identified as bisexual have come to terms with being plain ol’ gay (but the data isn’t longitudinal, so it may be a cohort thing instead of a life stage thing).

Or perhaps the distribution is the result of an interaction between age and who it’s easy to meet.  Maybe young bisexual guys have an easy time meeting women and turn to the internet to meet men; whereas men in their 30s and beyond find it easy to meet men and so turn to the internet to meet women?

Other ideas?

For women who identify as bisexual, the percentages messaging both men and women, just women, and just men show less of a trend across age.

Overall, however, 75% of women who identify as bisexual are not messaging both men and women.  Rudder suggests that there may be a social desirability factor here; that is, that straight women know that men are into bisexual chicks and, so, they claim to be bi in order to appeal to the dudes.

UPDATE: I recommend reading the comments thread for a great discussion of sexual fluidity, the meaningulness of labels like “bisexuality,” and lots more good ideas for why this data looks like it does.

Also from OK Cupid: the racial politics of dating, what women want, how attractiveness matters, age, gender, and the shape of the dating pool, older women want more sex, and the lies love-seekers tell.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Political Attitudes on OkCupid: Prioritizing Rights and Flag Burning

DragonRidingSorceress sent us a link to an interesting map, based on OkCupid data:

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Hunting down the data source led me to another map. This one asked if burning the national flag should be illegal:

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I suppose neither pattern will seem hugely surprising to most people given what we know about political affiliations, social attitudes, and geography in the U.S. And you could certainly criticize the first question for forcing people into a dichotomy that might not accurately represent their actual views (that is, probably most people would respond “neither” if given that option). But scholars argue that “forced choice” questions can give useful info about priorities and preferences — after all, even if you’d choose “neither” or “I value these rights equally” if given those options, choosing one or the other when forced does say something about which right seems more relevant if you have to hypothetically choose.

Louis C.K. on Assortative Mating

Usually, you want to match up with someone at about your level, or a little higher.  The trouble is that many people overestimate their own level.  Maybe that’s especially true of men.

One summer many years ago at the tennis courts, a guy I didn’t know  came over and asked me if I’d like to play. I hadn’t arranged a game with anyone, but I didn’t want to wind up playing some patzer.

“Are you any good?” I asked. He paused.

“Well, I’m not Jimmy Connors,” he said (I told this was many years ago), “but neither are you.”

In chess and other games, serious players have ratings. Give a roomful of possible partners, they can sort through the ratings and find a match with someone at roughly the same level.  It’s called assortative mating, though that term usually refers to the other kind of mating, not chess.  It’s the basis of the conflict in this poignant scene from “Louie.”

Vanessa is not a ten, neither is Louie.  According to principles of assortative mating, the tens will wind up with other tens, the nines with nines, and so on down the attractiveness scale. One problem in the “Louie” scene is that Louie seems to have an inflated view of his own attractiveness.  He’s aiming higher than Vanessa.  That’s typical.  So is the importance that Louie, the man, places on physical attractiveness. This excerpt begins with Louie telling Vanessa that she’s a really beautiful . . . . He can’t bring himself to say “girl”; he’s probably going to say “person.” But he’s obviously not saying what he thinks.

Or as Dan Ariely and colleagues concluded from their study of HotOrNot members:

[Men] were significantly more influenced by the consensus physical attractiveness of their potential dates than females were. [Men also] were less affected by how attractive they themselves were . . .  In making date choices, males are less influenced by their own rated attractiveness than females are.

Another dating site, OK Cupid, found a similar pattern when they looked at data about who gets messages.  They asked their customers to rate profile photos of the opposite sex on a scale of 0 to 5. They then tracked the number of messages for people at each level of attractiveness.  The graph below shows what women thought and what they did – that is, how attractive they found men, and who they sent messages to.

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Men who were rated 0 or 1 got fewer messages than their proportion in the population.  That figures. But even men who were only moderately attractive got more than their share. Generally, the fewer men at a level of attractiveness, the fewer total messages women sent. The 4s, for example, constituted only 2% of the population, and they got only 4% of all the messages.  The Vanessas on OK Cupid are not sending a lot of inquiries to guys who look like George Clooney.

But look at the men.

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Men are more generous in their estimates of beauty than are women. But they also ignore the Vanessas of the world (or at least the world of OK Cupid) and flock after the more attractive women.  Only 15% of the women were rated as a 4, but they received about 26% of the messages.  Women rated 5 received messages triple their proportion in the population.

What about those with so-so looks?  Women rated as 2s received only about 10% of the messages sent by men. But men at that same level received 25% of the messages women sent.  The women seem more realistic.

Vanessa too has no illusions about her own attractiveness. She refers to herself as “a fat girl,” and when Louie, trying to be kind, says, “You’re not fat,” she says: “You know what the meanest thing is you can say to a fat girl? [pause] ‘You’re not fat.’” But it’s only when she challenges Louie’s view of his own attractiveness that their relationship starts to change.

Y’know if you were standing over there looking at us, you know what you’d see?

What?

That we totally match. We’re actually a great couple together.

She doesn’t explain what she means by “totally match.” It could be their interests or ideas or personalities, but the imaginary stranger looking at them from over there couldn’t know about any of that. What that generalized other could see is that they are at roughly the same place on the assortative mating attractiveness scale.

Cross-posted at Pacific Standard.

Jay Livingston is the chair of the Sociology Department at Montclair State University. You can follow him at Montclair SocioBlog or on Twitter.

Course Guide for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Course Guide for
ASIAN AMERICANS AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS
(last updated 04/2013)


Developed by Calvin N. Ho
University of California, Los Angeles

 

Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity

Doing race and ethnicity

Racial mixing and multiraciality

Colonialism, Neocolonialism, and Exotification

Geopolitics

Racism, Discrimination, and Stereotypes

Gender and Sexuality

Statistics on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Geography of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Labor Market Segmentation and Socioeconomic Mobility

Updated Apr 15, 2013, at 3:15am

Course Guide for Sexuality & Society

Course Guide for
SEXUALITY AND SOCIETY
(last updated 01/2012)


Developed by Amanda M. Jungels
Georgia State University

 

Integrating/Interrogating Biological and Social Views of Sexuality

Challenging Evolutionary Perspectives on Sex/Sexuality

Social Construction of (Biological) Sex


Social Construction: Changing Views on Sexuality

 

Sexuality and Social Categories

Social Construction of Gender

Transgender/Third Gender/Gender Queer

Social Construction of Sexual Orientation

 

Learning about Sex/Sex Education           

Sex Education

Abstinence vs. Comprehensive Sex Ed

Sexual Practices

 

The Sexual Body

The Female Body

Menstruation

 

Presenting the Female Body as Unclean: Removing Body Hair

 

Presenting the Female Body as Unclean: Douching

Bodily Modification and Female Genital Cutting

 

Social Construction of the Male Body/Male Sexuality

Presenting the Penis as a Dangerous Weapon

 

Representing Sex

Sexualization of Children’s Products

Sex in the Media

Ejaculation and Phallic Imagery

Sex and Violence

Objectification

Infantilization of Women

Forced/Coerced Sex

Sexual Script

Rape Culture

Use of Alcohol as a Tool for Coercive Sex

Sexual Assault Prevention Campaigns

 

Commercial Sex

Pornography

Contemporary Views on Prostitution

Historical Perspectives on Prostitution

Sex Trafficking

Other Forms of Sex Work

Social Control of Sex Work

 

Reproduction/Abortion

Reproduction

Abortion

 

Sterilization

 

Contemporary GLBT Issues

Gay Rights Movement

GLBT Parenting

Same-Sex Marriage

GLBT-Related Legislation

Updated Jan 15, 2012, at 4:24am

Course Guide for Sociological Research Methods

Course Guide for
SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH METHODS
(last updated 10/2011)

Developed by Lisa Wade
Occidental College

Disclaimer: This course guide is far from comprehensive, but it does collect what we have in an organized way. If you’re a methods instructor, and would like to write a guest post, please do!

 

Research Design

On Objectivity

Sampling

Delimiting Variables

Operationalization

Research Ethics

 

Methodological Approaches

Surveys

 

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Data Requires Interpretation

Correlation vs. Causation

Spurious Relationships

Mean vs. Categorical Difference

Paying Attention to Variance

Statistical Significance

 

Communicating Results

Types of Graphs

The X and Y Axis

(Mis)Representing Data

Lying with Statistics

Publishing

Updated Sep 6, 2013, at 16:03pm