Tag Archives: race

Online Dating Statistics: Religion and Race

The online dat­ing web­site OkCu­pid has a rather fas­cin­at­ing blog, OkTrends, writ­ten by two of the four math­em­at­ics majors who foun­ded the site.

Still in it’s infancy the blog has a few fas­cin­at­ing posts study­ing data gleamed from their expans­ive user base.

Start­ing out with a brief look at their match­ing algorithm and the con­trol group used for their stud­ies, here’s data on how dif­fer­ent reli­gions ‘match’ on the site. Con­clu­sions, taken ver­batim from the post:

  • Jews and Agnostics get along bet­ter with people. Jew­ish men, in par­tic­u­lar, have an above aver­age match per­cent­age with every reli­gious group. They even match Muslim women bet­ter than Muslim men do.
  • Muslims of both sexes and Hindu men get along worse.
  • Cath­ol­ics are more uni­ver­sally liked than Prot­est­ants.
  • The less ser­i­ous you are about reli­gion, the bet­ter liked you are, even by very reli­gious people.

The ana­lysts also noted how Muslims and Prot­est­ants on the site tend to be more intense about their beliefs than oth­er reli­gions, and Jews and Agnostics are by far the least ser­i­ous.

Anoth­er sens­it­ive issue tackled through the magic of online dat­ing stat­ist­ics is that of race and the reply rates between them. Some more obser­va­tions:

  • Black women are […] the most likely to reply to your first mes­sage. In many cases, their response rate is one and a half times the aver­age, and over­all black women reply about a quarter more often.
  • White men get more responses.
  • White women prefer white men to the exclu­sion of every­one else.
  • Asi­an and His­pan­ic women prefer [white men] even more exclus­ively [than white women].
  • Men don’t write black women back [as] often than they should (stat­ist­ic­ally speak­ing, obvi­ously).
  • Black women reply the most, yet get by far the few­est replies. Essen­tially every race—including oth­er blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.
  • Even though white males get the most replies, they respond about 20% less often than non-white males.
  • Between 2 and 7% of males and females of all races believe inter­ra­cial mar­riage is a bad idea.
  • Around 20% of males and females of all races, except whites, have a racial background/skin col­our pref­er­ence.
  • 40% of white males and 54% of white females have this pref­er­ence.

It’s worth not­ing the fol­low­ing:

Just because a group has low match per­cent­ages, even across the board, that does not mean they are bad people. It just means that they’re harder to please. The con­verse is also true. […] In any event, please keep in mind that each indi­vidu­al has designed his own match­ing cri­ter­ia, so the poor-match­ing groups aren’t fail­ing some out­sider­’s imposed sys­tem. Why, for example, Hindu men would match worst with Hindu women is a mys­tery.

Models of Racial Segregation

Tim Harford—the FT’s ‘Under­cov­er Economist’—has pro­duced a video demon­strat­ing Thomas Schelling’s the­ory of racial segreg­a­tion, in 2 minutes.

Schelling, who was awar­ded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Eco­nom­ics for “hav­ing enhanced our under­stand­ing of con­flict and coöperation through game-the­ory ana­lys­is”, showed with his Mod­els of Segreg­a­tion that even a mild pref­er­ence for the col­our of your neigh­bour can lead to extreme segreg­a­tion.

Har­fords view on this:

Although we as indi­vidu­als may be ration­al and we may be tol­er­ant, the soci­ety that we pro­duce togeth­er may be neither ration­al nor tol­er­ant.