The online dating site OkCupid’s crack team of SWPLs analyzed user data and made some interesting discoveries about men’s and women’s looks and how their attractiveness, or lack thereof, affects their profile response rate.
First, they posted two graphs which show how men and women rank the physical attractiveness of the opposite sex based on profile photos.
The first graph is a superimposed comparison of male appraisals of female attractiveness and the actual messages men sent to women:
Men have a very realistic appraisal system of women’s looks that clashes with their less realistic self-appraisal system of their chances to get the hottest babes. As you can see from the graph, men accurately rate most fertile-age women as mediocre lookers, with smaller contingents of the very ugly and very beautiful. This assessment accords with reality. But then, men send most of their messages to the hottest 20% of women.
As we will see, men are more forgiving than women in their ranking of the opposite sex’s looks, but they are less forgiving in their message send rate.
As with women, by their actions ye shall know them.
The graph might convince some that men have an entitlement complex as entrenched and powerful as women do, but that would be a misleading conclusion to the data. Men value looks above almost everything else in women, and this is particularly true when men have little to go on except online profiles. The photo looms large in online dating. Since women’s looks are so incredibly important to men’s happiness as regards their sex and love lives, men’s decisions to shoot for the moon on the one female variable that really matters in an environment that is conducive to mass approaches, (something which would not be feasible in a real world context), makes perfect sense as a courtship strategy. There is little risk that a man who follows this online strategy will refuse to later date down if the first wave of messages he sent to the 9s and 10s doesn’t pan out.
It’s all about investment cost. It costs men very little in time or effort to send a message to one hundred 9s on OkCupid, so the fact that they do so is less proof of their self-entitlement than it is of their rational utility maximization.
It’s more insightful to say that men have less an entitlement complex (as the term is understood when applied to female behavior) than that they have a tactical complex.
Now let’s take a look at the superimposed graph of female appraisals of male attractiveness and female message sent rate:
This is where things get interesting. The first surprise that jumps out in this graph is how harsh women are in their assessment of men’s looks. According to women’s perspectives, 80% of men fall on the ugly side of the physical attractiveness spectrum. This is way out of line with a reality where nearly every human trait is distributed normally. Clearly, women have a skewed entitlement complex much larger than men’s in how they judge the attractiveness of the opposite sex.
Yet look around you and you’ll see much more than 20% of men either hooking up or in relationships of varying strength with women. How can this be if women think 80% of men are ugly? Well, it can only be if women don’t put as much emphasis on men’s looks. And the second line in the above graph is evidence that men’s looks simply aren’t as important to women as women’s looks are to men. Women’s message distribution more accurately reflects their ranking of men’s looks than does men’s message distribution reflect their ranking of women’s looks.
That is, women may be saying one thing — men are mostly ugly — but they are doing the opposite — sending messages to lots of ugly men.
Do we really need more proof that men should never listen to what women say they find attractive and instead should WATCH what kinds of men women fall for? If you are a stickler for reams of scientific evidence, there was a NewYorkBetaTimes article not too long ago about a study that essentially confirmed for all men who know the score that what women claim they respond to sexually and what actually causes their vaginas to tingle is COMPLETELY DISCONNECTED.
That one study alone probably affirmed more about the core concepts of game than any other. That is, affirmed for those who disbelieve the field experience of millions of men.
Back to the second graph: there is a big difference between men and women in the number of messages each sends to the more physically attractive members of the opposite sex. OkCupid doesn’t delve very deeply into the implications, but we here at the Chateau will, and by doing so a crucial component of female mate preference is revealed:
Women are messaging less attractive men (according to women’s own assessments) because the suite of male attractiveness traits that women viscerally respond to includes much more than male physical attractiveness.
Women are looking at and judging the ENTIRE PROFILE of men on OkCupid and sending messages based on a more holistic appreciation of attractive male qualities. And what we can see based on female message sent rates is that plenty of ugly men — as perceived by women — are bringing other, compensating, attractiveness characteristics to the table that women find desirable in a mate.*
This conclusion is perfectly aligned with evolutionary psychology theory.
Moral of the post: Men, work on your looks, get yourself looking as good as possible, but don’t worry so much if you’re not among the best looking men in the room. A lack of good looks is simply not the deal breaker for men that it is for women in the sexual marketplace.
*It should be noted that a secondary motivation for women messaging lots of “ugly” men on OkCupid has to do with women’s greater craving for ego assuaging, which is much easier to obtain in the online environment. Most men can handle a fair amount of rejection from hotties without crumbling into a puddle of self-doubt, and they don’t need a lot of compensating attention from less desirable women to make them feel better. Women, in contrast, cannot handle even a little bit of rejection from very attractive men, and they do get a thrill from receiving lots of “safe” internet attention from hordes of lickspittle betas. Yet another reason why online game is pointless for the huge majority of unenlightened men, but a cornucopia of cooch for those few men who know how to game the system.
It should be stressed that this is a SECONDARY motivation, as the graphs are showing women who are actively messaging these “ugly” men, (which indicates a desire to establish contact beyond that afforded by the quickie ego stroke), instead of waiting around for betas to message them. This is a critical distinction from the sort of attention that a hottie will get when her inbox floods with 50 boring unsolicited emails every hour.