I recently read the book, Dataclysm. Being the narcissistic opportunist that I am, I’d likely picked up the book to size up my own worth in the dating market. The author, Christian Rudder, had previously endeared himself to me on his OKTrends blog whilst summarizing online dating response rates. The following chart, in particular, painted a rosy picture of my prospects:
My takeaways from that chart are 1) Middle Eastern women are universally desirable but 2) we have the least amount of success with white and Pacific Islander males (and with that, my lifelong dream of finding a Tongan man was dashed). Luckily, I don’t have to subject myself to online dating because I’ve already found my perfect match. But as an interesting thought experiment, let’s consider how a newly single 32 year old female would do in the dating market. Like, say… Scarlett Johansson. How might she fair in the rough-and-tumble world of online dating, given that she is over 30 and lacks the added benefit of being Middle Eastern?
Popular dogma suggests that dating as a 30-something year old woman would be tough. One must compete with younger women for an already diminished pool of suitable bachelors. Plus, the synergy of technology and hook up culture have led to myriad of dating sites and apps, offering a never ending trove of romantic possibility for men. On the other hand, older women must have some dating options given that Sex and the City had enough story lines for 6 seasons and one feature length movie. And that was before Bumble.
So let’s see what Dataclysm has to say about female attractiveness through the years:
Ouch. Apart from a few dalliances in their 40s, men overwhelmingly prefer coeds. Scarlett might as well put on her flannel pajamas and dig into the Haagen Dazs because it appears her best years are behind her. I mean, how could anyone refute Christian Rudder, with his dating site and bestselling book and ample data?
Oh, I know. I could offer my anecdotal experience. As a “post-wall” 32 year old female, in the past workweek, I’ve received a box of Godiva chocolates, a bottle of wine, and a painting. I’ve been asked out twice and have had a few stammering men pay me compliments. Here’s what I haven’t received: dick pics, booty calls, or thoughtless “hey” messages from OkCupid man-babies who can’t shell out $30/month to join Match.com. So even overlooking the sampling bias of extrapolating OKCupid data to the entire population, I wouldn’t feel too sorry for Scarlett Johansson. What we lose in quantity, we certainly make up for in quality.