Revealed: The Mysterious Cleavage-To-Age Effectiveness Ratio For Dating Sites

from the abs-it-up dept

Dennis points us to dating site OKCupid’s Sam Yagan revealing some of the data crunching results they’ve done on what works and what doesn’t work on dating sites. It’s actually pretty impressive just how much data the site has to work with, so there are some interesting (and some amusing) findings. Of course, some of it is blindingly obvious: women showing cleavage get a greater response. But did you know that said cleavage is apparently much more effective for women who are 32 than women who are 18? Apparently, at 18, “revealing” shots get 24% more interest, but at 32 such photos get 79% more interest. Not quite sure what to make of that. On the flip side, apparently guys showing their abs actually works… though, as Yagan rightly points out, there’s a self-selection issue here, where it’s pretty much only guys who have good abs who choose to reveal them in their profile photos.

Yagan also points out some differences about whether or not your profile picture should involve you staring into the camera. Turns out it depends on your gender:

So on the photos we’ve learned a bunch of things. We’ve learned that you should be doing something interesting. We’ve learned that if you are a man, you shouldn’t look straight into the camera because that’s intimidating to women. If you are a woman, you should be looking into the camera because men don’t want to imagine you looking at some other guy. They want you looking straight at them. So we’ve learned that if you take a photo in your bathroom or a photo taken with your cell phone, those have a more authentic, more intimate appeal and those actually do very, very well.

I find this kind of stuff fascinating (not because I’m interested in online dating — happily married and all that) but because suddenly all sorts of bizarre data is now available that opens up a window into the human brain that just wasn’t there before. The obvious stuff is no surprise, clearly, but some of the specifics and other oddities really are fascinating, and give you a data-based look into human psychology.

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Comments on “Revealed: The Mysterious Cleavage-To-Age Effectiveness Ratio For Dating Sites”

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Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Cleavage

“Maybe they could change the auto-generated gravatar images to auto-generated fractal boobs.”

I wonder if you could figure out a way for the fractal boob to actually alter its image (or progress fractally, if speaking in complexity theory terms) based on the formatting and grammar of one’s comments. Well formatted comments get a nice, pert, round, Jenn Sterger breast.

Darryl would get some hairy saggy orangutan titty….

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Different attraction

“Apparently, at 18, “revealing” shots get 24% more interest, but at 32 such photos get 79% more interest.”

The younger girl attraction, no matter what the males age IMO, has at least something to do with attaction to innocence. Even the uptick in “revealing” photos is probably due to some attaction to an innocent looking girl doing something out of character.

With the older women, the attraction is to confidence, and probably even a little bit aggression. Confident, good-looking older (relatively speaking) are hot. Confident, good looking but aggressive teenagers just kind of come off as stupid (regardless of gender)….

I think I’ll refer to this as the Stifler’s Mom effect. I’ll be famous like YOU soon!

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: The better the product, the less you need to advertise.

Sure, but you have to admit the percentage of women (and guys as well of course) who are in good physical shape in their 30s is going to be less than those who are 18 (or early twenties)
You’ve also got to remember that we are looking at the subset of individuals who are most likely unattached and probably somewhat desperate. The women in their 30’s are likely (not neccessarily of course) to have been unattached for a much longer period 🙂

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 The better the product, the less you need to advertise.

I was just trying to picture a page of 20 pictures of 18 year olds and a page of 20 pictures of 32 year olds and asking myself: Why are 10/14 of the 32 year olds who are not showing cleavage in my head about 40 pounds overweight? and only 2/18 of the 18 year olds? Then I thought.. 18 is far to young for me anyway.. Then I thought.. I’m married! What am I doing on this dating site! 🙂

Ryan Diederich says:


If anyone has read Daemon by Daniel Suarez it outlines this outcome exactly. With the overwhelming source of information, a dark network allows people to see every detail about everyone.

With special glasses with a HUD display, they can see their credit scores and their recent purchases above their heads, as well as a wealth of other information.

I see this as the future.

What really sparked my interest was the iPad app that allowed you to point your iPad down the street, and it would put callouts above locations that it recognized via the image and GPS.

Double D says:


“Apparently, at 18, “revealing” shots get 24% more interest, but at 32 such photos get 79% more interest. Not quite sure what to make of that…”

Here’s what I make of it…
24% of men are ok looking at barely legal boobs, and 76% feel weird about it.

32 year-old women have older, more experienced boobs, and 79% of men are interested in that.

Kingster (profile) says:

The article...

Jeeez louise! OK, I know that this isn’t a blog about design or anything… but…

I clicked the link for the article… And while I like the concept of that site – I hate it. WTF is up with a post area that fits all of like 5 lines in it?? I mean, I get that it’s in the video… But… Either don’t have the post, or put it into a usable area. They may be big thinkers, but they don’t put those thoughts into a usable space.

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