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Thus, people compete on some attributes and match on others.
We also explore the ways in which people tailor their messaging strategies and message content based on the desirability of potential partners, and how desirability and dating strategy vary across demographic groups.
To study individual desirability, we focus on messages between users of the website in four cities: New York, Boston, Chicago, and Seattle.
Here, we report results from a quantitative study of aspirational mate pursuit in adult heterosexual romantic relationship markets in the United States, using large-scale messaging data from a popular online dating site (see the “Data” section).
We provide a crisp, operational definition of desirability that allows us to quantify the dating hierarchy and measure, for instance, how far up that hierarchy men and women can reach for partners and how reach is associated with the likelihood of getting a response.
This in turn implies that people differ in their opinions about what constitutes a desirable partner or at least about who is worth pursuing.
At the other extreme, and more in line with biological studies of mate selection (), lies the competition hypothesis, which assumes that there is consensus about what constitutes a desirable partner and that mate seekers, regardless of their own qualifications, pursue those partners who are universally recognized as most desirable ().A scaled rank of 1 denotes the most desirable man or woman in a city by our measure, and 0 denotes the least desirable.It is important to emphasize that, while we use Page Rank as an operational measure of desirability, we do not assume that users of the website themselves use Page Rank, or anything like it, to identify attractive mates.Online dating provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to observe both requited and unrequited overtures at the scale of entire populations.As data from online dating websites have become available, a number of studies have explored the ways in which mate choice observed online can inform the debate about matching versus competition.Paradoxically, this can also produce couples who resemble one another in terms of desirability, as the most desirable partners pair off with one another, followed by the next most desirable, and so on.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating