Monday, February 15, 2010

Size Matters: $30,000 Per Inch

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER -- "A forthcoming study by a Duke University researcher and several colleagues confirms what not-so-thin women and short, broke men have long suspected: They don't get nearly as much romantic attention as skinny women and tall, financially secure guys.

With the $1.1 billion online dating and matchmaking industry growing in popularity, researchers say dating sites' gigantic databases make fertile ground for study. The study, still under peer review before publication, analyzed 22,000 online daters and found that women put a premium on income and height when deciding which men to contact, said Dan Ariely, a Duke behavioral economist who worked with University of Chicago researchers on the project.

For example, the study showed a 5-foot-9-inch man needs to make $30,000 more than a 5-foot-10-inch one to be as successful in the dating pool."


MP: Life can be so unfair.

33 Comments:

At 2/15/2010 9:00 AM, Blogger Thai said...

Since the theme is the debunking of fairness, I wonder if the article talks at all about whether there is a similar 80/20 power law distribution in online dating where 80 of the offers are for 20% of the men or women, etc... ;-)

 
At 2/15/2010 10:28 AM, Anonymous KJ said...

Unfair.

With everything else, you declare Free Markets. This is a free market pal!

 
At 2/15/2010 10:36 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Of course, I was being facetious.

 
At 2/15/2010 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would Rosie O'Donnell qualify as a "not-so-thin" woman or a "short, broke" man? Just wondering.

 
At 2/15/2010 11:46 AM, Blogger Marko said...

This is awesome, since it means I can be 4 feet tall and still get chics. When I had a job anyway, and was single, and . . . oh nevermind.

 
At 2/15/2010 11:51 AM, Blogger Bret said...

How tall are you?

 
At 2/15/2010 2:54 PM, Anonymous Rand said...

This says it all.


Online - Brad Paisley

 
At 2/15/2010 3:00 PM, Blogger Craig Dennis said...

Unfair, of course, unless you go through the great process of being a real gentleman. Get your sons to go to The Heights School in Potomac MD. I seriously met my wife through referral saying "you have to meet these heights guys, they're amazing."

There are other ways than money and height to stack the deck :-)
www.heights.edu

 
At 2/15/2010 3:12 PM, Blogger DJ Drive said...

I wonder, how Sarkozy got one. Perhaps, the income compensated enough.

 
At 2/15/2010 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if a Rawlsian has a solution for this "unfairness."

 
At 2/15/2010 4:05 PM, Blogger randian said...

That first inch might be $30k. The next one is a lot more. By the time you get to 5'5"-5'6", the man in question is pretty much invisible.

There is still an active market for women who aren't skinny, so long as they aren't fat, while there is no market for short men.

 
At 2/15/2010 4:07 PM, Anonymous Rand said...

Sarkozy! What about Dennis Kucinich?


Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich photo

 
At 2/15/2010 9:54 PM, Blogger Shawn said...

yeah, well, when you're one "who cares as much" as DK does, you get the (cuter) leftist chicks. Were your boy not a lefty, he'd not have cutie redhead, height notwithstanding.

Yes, the posted model is not perfect...but, who needs to account for wacky politicians in their models?

 
At 2/16/2010 6:21 PM, Blogger Michael said...

That headline had me worried. Much relief they were talking about height!

 
At 2/17/2010 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about short women?!

 
At 2/17/2010 3:19 PM, Blogger Julian R said...

Cool. I'm 6 foot 5, but not very rich. :-)

 
At 2/17/2010 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about short women?!

2/17/2010 3:18 PM

they're ok, because there are a number of ways women can be attractive, whereas men have to conform to a very narrow stereotype

 
At 2/17/2010 4:21 PM, Blogger randian said...

what about short women?!

What about them? Being short doesn't negatively impact a woman's romantic activities.

It also doesn't change their height preferences in men. 5'0" women are hardly more likely to accept short men than 5'6" (average height) women are.

 
At 2/17/2010 4:36 PM, Blogger Thai said...

Short people got nobody to love.

 
At 2/17/2010 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course this only applies to the desperate world of online dating. I think people should be cautious not to apply these findings too generally. You are looking at a population of people that is using statistics from online profiles to choose their dates. In the real world, perhaps people use things like personality and comparability in interaction to make dating decisions.

 
At 2/17/2010 6:57 PM, Blogger randian said...

Of course this only applies to the desperate world of online dating.

Are you from some alternate universe where women don't snub short men?

 
At 2/17/2010 8:54 PM, Blogger Noah Sachs said...

I completely understand that tall women prefer tall men, because there really is a geometry to sex. What drives me nuts are short women who insist on dating only tall men. What the hell she is short too. And what also drives me crazy it that often a tall woman will be OK with dating a guy who is her height or an inch or two taller; while short women will too often have an even more exaggerated requirements, that their boyfriend has to be no less than 6" taller than her.

 
At 2/17/2010 8:55 PM, Blogger Paul said...

I suspect it may be logarithmic. Kind of like earthquakes. But maybe ony to the power of 2. So, if a 5'9" guy needs $30k more than a 5'10" guy, then a 5'8" fella is gonna need $60K.
5'7" $120K and so on. Seems about right.

 
At 2/18/2010 10:47 AM, Anonymous J D said...

"short women will too often have an even more exaggerated requirements, that their boyfriend has to be no less than 6" taller than her."

I agree, Noah. One of my good friends is a short, 5'5"-ish girl, but she refuses to date anyone under 6' tall. She actively regards them as disgusting to her. Meanwhile, any mongoloid over 6' gets a free pass.

It would kind of be like if I only was 270 lbs and only interested in girls who weigh less than 110.

 
At 2/18/2010 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I completely understand that tall women prefer tall men, because there really is a geometry to sex. What drives me nuts are short women who insist on dating only tall men. What the hell she is short too."

I agree, it's stupid. I'm a 5'5" woman and "taller than me" is my only height requirement, although admittedly I do tend to find 5'10"-6' men more attractive. But I've dated 5'6" guys - their height didn't bother me.

But men are also hypocritical - like 40-year-old guys who will only date women under 35, or fat men who won't date fat women.

 
At 2/18/2010 3:15 PM, Blogger Autopoeisis said...

I am 6 foot tall and I have used dating websites, so this doesn't perturb me personnally, as much as it annoys me from a theoretical standpoint. I am sure many men are more willing to say that women are superficial gold diggers rather than accept that they have personality flaws or just arent too attractive.

So I would really like to know how the study controlled for issues like levels of attractiveness amongst the male subjects, as well as favorable and unfavorable personality characteristics, and other issues that are not readily discernable through statistical analysis, but rather by looking at a profile.

Seeing as all other things are not equal I think that this study is flawed. Furthermore, it has less bearing on real dating. Extrapolating normal human behaviors from dating websites is like analyzing race relations based upon bathroom graffiti.

 
At 2/18/2010 4:03 PM, Blogger Autopoeisis said...

On another point how does one assume that levels of attractiveness or favorable personality characteristics are evenly distributed amongst a population of online daters or between income and height categories.

Income and height are likely on a certain level to affect happiness, confidence, and self worth.

 
At 2/18/2010 4:50 PM, Blogger Creole Wisdom said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2/18/2010 4:50 PM, Blogger Creole Wisdom said...

Not surprising.

I'm an average height, size 4 woman, and I'm attracted to men who are taller (preferably 6ft 2inches and up) who are "wealthier."

Oh well, life isn't fair.

It seems like the richer a man becomes, the more he believes he deserves a beautiful woman.

 
At 2/18/2010 5:02 PM, Blogger Julian R said...

@Creole Wisdom: And you're not ashamed to admit that what you call love requires a certain size and income in a man? That's pathetic and shallow.

I just hope for true love, no matter if she'll be a pauper or royal, skinny or huge, tall or tiny. But then, I may just be a hopeless romantic, being not success-oriented. Love isn't capitalism, you know.

 
At 2/22/2010 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like the richer a man becomes, the more he believes he deserves a beautiful woman.

http://www.laddertheory.com/

 
At 2/22/2010 11:21 PM, Blogger Thai said...

I am sure by now you heard the following...


It seems some enterprising person decided to get in on this market with this.

 
At 2/25/2010 6:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've also seen research that found that taller guys have higher incomes, which makes this doubly difficult. Fortunately I'm 6'0", have a good income and a girlfriend. :-)

 

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