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A Quantitative Analysis of Online Dating

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the mountain-of-a-man-seeks-woman-who-smells-like-pizza dept.

283

imjustatomato writes "Never before has something so human and primitive as dating been reducible to such discrete values. A study analyzes the data of an online dating service. When do you like someone like yourself? Among online dating members, "marital status" and "wants children" are the two most influential characteristics to match. Other interesting findings are: men initiate 73.3% of messages, but their initiations are 17.9% less likely to be reciprocated; 78.2% of messages are never responded to."

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283 comments

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225145)

first post!

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225551)

Wow! Excellent work!!

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225799)

I, too, was admiring the nice work on the first post, although they could have made it a little quicker. Still, a nice, clean first post. A firm 9/10. Keep it up!

Surprise Surprise (0, Offtopic)

mrbcs (737902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225149)

Geeks in their parents basements don't get replies from women using online dating services. Did Ric Romero write this?

Re:Surprise Surprise (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225377)

Interestingly enough, my *nix instructor lives with his mom (who happens to be the SQL instructor).

Yes, I'm a coward.

Re:Surprise Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16226025)

Geeks in their parents basements don't get replies from women using online dating services. Did Ric Romero write this?

I live in my parent's attic you insensetive clod!

how I met my wife (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225179)

I wrote that I wanted to relax on a couch with someone getting high and watching insects having sex on the Discovery Channel.

Re:how I met my wife (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225265)

So there is hope after all!

That's odd... (5, Funny)

Mr. Samuel (950418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225185)

100% of my messages are never responded to.

Re:Tip of the day (0)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225361)

100% of my messages are never responded to.
Try actually sending one.

Please date me!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225681)

Hello, im a desprate virgin tieered of masterbating to videos of other people having sex. I spend all day at the computer, and i need someone to cook my food, do my laundry, and clean the house, as i have just moved out of my moms basement. I also require you to do all of this in sexy outfits, and have sex with me whevere i want, further, no naging is allowed, or i will reprogram you in the basement

Please resond this time HotWifeWannabe1337!!, you dident seem to get my first 26 messages...

-- Anoymous Coward

RTFA? (5, Informative)

ari_j (90255) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225189)

Why not link to TFA? Here is a more direct link to the research [berkeley.edu] . I wonder why we got linked from the summary to another summary. Maybe because the summary is new today but the research is 2 years old.

Anyhow, none of the numbers seem all that surprising, except that 55% of active members are women (63% of all members were men).

Re:RTFA? (3, Interesting)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225395)

> none of the numbers seem all that surprising, except that 55% of active members are women
> (63% of all members were men).

"Members" are anyone who'se ever signed on for an account and not deleted it. They keep the numbers looking good by continuing to carry these. Not surprising, ISPs have done this for a long time. Men don't remain active members because they get so little response (ref. the original paper).

Women remain active more because they tend to keep coming back to the chat rooms, mostly with other women. They hang around just in case a guy comes along to try to chat with them. Then they'll all play hot chat with him, and afterwards fail to respond to him at about the same rate as in email.

I've been doing some research of my own. But I don't see anything surprising enough about it that makes it worth writing about. It's the same sort of behaviors I've seen since the time when BBSs started gaining general public members, prior to the spread of internet connection turning them into ISPs. I'm not surprised by the fact the article is new and the paper is 2 years old. I'm surprised that someone bothered to write a paper about something that's been going on for 15 years. On the other hand, it was a master's thesis. Very few academics care what master's students write about as long as the research is done halfway decent.

Re:RTFA? (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225897)

Anyhow, none of the numbers seem all that surprising, except that 55% of active members are women
No, no, no, no. We're talking about the internet here. You must add a qualifier. 55% of active members say that they're women.

More studies like this? (0)

roryrhorerton (977993) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225191)

I myself am a sociology masters student focusing on the internet as a social sphere. One of the problems I run into is a lack of similar research. Does anyone else know of any studies like this one?

Re:More studies like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225333)

Here's what you're looking for: Pr0n's Effect On Society [slashdot.org]

Re:More studies like this? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225355)

Have you considered doing original work?

KFG

Re:More studies like this? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225427)

Psh. At 99% of universities, the phrase "masters thesis" might as well be replaced with "book report".

Re:More studies like this? (2, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225769)

I am just completing a research phd, and beleive me, it was very hard indeed.
The idea of doing a phd that had involved just learning the current state of the art didn't appeal at first, but they get you educated to the required level, and they're easier.

Doing original work is painful, stessful, and frankly scares the shit out of you at times. I'm lucky (well, I worked my ass off), I managed to acheive my stated goals. A 'book report' thesis, as you describe it is still hard, but you at least know it can be finished if you work hard enough.

I can certainly see why people do them. It has another huge advantage over research as well. My knowledge covers a very small domain at the moment, albeit to a very high level. I've now got to 'prove' that I can do other things because of acheiving so much in my current field, which is a problem I hadn't considered. A student who doesn't do original research doesn't have that problem to such an extent.

Whichever type you do, you still need to conduct research afterwards to stay current. After a while it all levels out.

Re:More studies like this? (1)

roryrhorerton (977993) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225465)

Yeah, I plan on all original work, but its nice to know what other people have done. Its good to have a solid theoretical background, even if other people aren't using the same paradigms. The problem I run into is that a lot of the work focuses on the influence that internet usage has on people in their real lives, whereas I want to focus on social interaction on the internet itself.

Re:More studies like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225531)

If that's all there were to it, why would we have 'study' at all?

Think first, then post.

Re:More studies like this? (2, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225657)

Have you considered doing original work?

An important part of research is to first be aware of the existing body of knowledge, in order to avoid duplicating work done elsewhere, or, worse, of coming to conclusions debunked elsewhere.

Most papers have a part called "state of the art" whose purpose is to reference previous work done in the area.

Re:More studies like this? (1)

lpctstr (881255) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225401)

Did you look at the website? It's chock full of sociology+internet research. There's the post on the affect of Internet and social relationships, MMORPGs as third places, communication technology affecting lying behavior, etc. And you might want to read the papers that those papers reference. Be careful about getting caught in an infinite loop

Interesting article but talk about padding... (0)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225193)

I can't believe how many blank pages there were in this dude's thesis! Interesting work, but come on, at least do what we normally do when we can't make our 90 page requirement... use larger fonts, make the margins 1.5", double-lines, etc.

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (4, Insightful)

cperciva (102828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225239)

I can't believe how many blank pages there were in this dude's thesis! Interesting work, but come on, at least do what we normally do when we can't make our 90 page requirement... use larger fonts, make the margins 1.5", double-lines, etc.

A thesis doesn't have to be long in order to contain good research. My doctoral thesis is only 81 pages, and 20 pages of that is overhead (front matter, table of contents, list of symbols, preface, advice to the reader concerning the order in which chapters should be read, epilogue, and references).

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225541)

And mine was over 400... My theory is it depends how wide an area you covered, with highly original research in a single field being shorter. Mine spanned three fields, so I had three complete literature reviews. Actually, one of my literature reviews was as long as your entire thesis. Maybe your field just didn't have enough other people :)

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225861)

Maybe your field just didn't have enough other people :)

Yes, that's probably a fairly accurate assessment. The third chapter of my thesis essentially says "here's a problem which several people think requires exponential time to solve. Here's a linear-time algorithm for solving it." :-)

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (1, Troll)

buttwidget (926171) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225605)

"Advice on the order in which the chapters should be read"... Hmmm. You might want to review the order in which you present your information. Doing so might expose your doctoral thesis to a voluntary peer review.

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225773)

You might want to review the order in which you present your information.

The order is quite simple: First I present a new algorithm; then I present two applications of it. It would be absurd to present the material in any other order.

The fact that the first chapter draws upon some very difficult material and is easier to understand having first read and understood how the algorithm will be applied is a good reason for recommending that the chapters be read out-of-order; but it wouldn't justify using a theorem before proving it.

References are not padding... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225637)

and 20 pages of that is overhead (front matter, table of contents, list of symbols, preface, advice to the reader concerning the order in which chapters should be read, epilogue, and references).

References are not padding. They serve the important purpose of showing that you are aware of previous research in the same area, showing where your research fits into the body of knowledge, and making it more obvious what new stuff you discovered in your research.

Re:References are not padding... (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225809)

References are not padding. They serve the important purpose of showing that you are aware of previous research in the same area, showing where your research fits into the body of knowledge...

No. That's whan an Introduction is for. References exist so that future readers can find the material to which you are referring if they want more details. ... and making it more obvious what new stuff you discovered in your research.

That's simple: Anything which isn't in the Introduction is my own research. Don't students have to sign a paper saying "this thesis is my own work" at your institution?

Re:References are not padding... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225871)

No. That's whan an Introduction is for.

That would make quite a long introduction in some subject areas.

In France, introduction is just for introducing what you are trying to show in your paper, for defining the subject area, etc.

The "state of the art" chapter comes right after it (... and actual reference list is at the end...). Then, at the 3rd chapter, you start presenting your own research.

Don't students have to sign a paper saying "this thesis is my own work" at your institution?

As long as you make it clear that you're citing existing works, it not plagiarism.

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225813)

Some committees will give an upper maximum to dissertations... (~100 pgs) Of course, that means lots of references to an external appendix :-)

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (1)

lpctstr (881255) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225279)

Did you look at the website? It's chock full of sociology+internet research.

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (1)

lpctstr (881255) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225317)

oops, I meant this as a reply to this comment [slashdot.org] .

Re:Interesting article but talk about padding... (1)

lochinvarr (153822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225487)

I found that 1.24 line spacing was close enough not to bother the eye and doesn't look like there is extra space between the lines.

Bender's computer dating service (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225201)

Discrete and discreet

MS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225213)

Carnage Blender [carnageblender.com]

This game is for geeks only!

Online dating (3, Interesting)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225229)

I had mostly positive experiences with online dating after my divorce. I met several women, some were romantic friends, some were regular friends and one just didn't work out at all.

LK

Re:Online dating (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225527)

and one just didn't work out at all.

That'd be the one you married then?

Re:Online dating (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16226033)

I met my ex-wife in meatspace(pardon the pun).

LK

double entendre (5, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225233)

Among online dating members, "marital status" and "wants children" are the two most influential characteristics to match.

Uhh, yeah. I'm going to guess that the phrase "wants children" means something different, depending on whether you're on a dating site, or on alt.sex.lolita. Yes?

Re:double entendre (1)

C0llegeSTUDent (876813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225373)

OH shit that actually made me laugh. Clever.

Religion and Smoking (5, Interesting)

sleepwellmyfriend (1003977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225257)

I always thought discrimination against religion and smoking were bidirectional. Religious people are more likely to not want to date non-religious types, than the other way around. Non-smokers will prefer to date non-smokers, but I doubt smokers have much of a preference. It would be interesting to see if there are characteristics that work in the opposite manner. Opposites attract, don't they? Guess not

Re:Religion and Smoking (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225595)

Sure smokers prefer smokers.
Non-smokers tend to bitch too much about it.

One example... (1)

joke_dst (832055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225603)

Well, there is the question of gender...

Re:Religion and Smoking (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225607)

It would be interesting to see if there are characteristics that work in the opposite manner. Opposites attract, don't they? Guess not

Well, there is one obvious characteristic where opposites do attract. At least for some 90% of the population...

Re:Religion and Smoking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225665)

Being agnostic myself, I have a preference for non-Christians and specifically those that are agnostic or athiest (with "spiritual" being acceptable as well). However, I'm comfortable with others expressing their faith so-long as they do not impose it on me. I would think in general, that since religion is mainly a "comfort" system, those practicing the faith would find more "comfort" with a person sharing their views.

Re:Religion and Smoking (1)

fredtest06 (1006827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225789)

I wish, then all us slashdot nerds would have dumb blond wives who used to be strippers and believe that god says they should repent and serve their man's every desire.

Male - Female ! (1)

Nowhere.Men (878773) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225865)

As an example of opposites attract. Maybe that's too obvious!

This surprises me not one bit. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225259)

I think it's fair to say that there's a lot of factors at play here:
  1. Communication. Email (and other text-based mediums) miss out on several communication cues. Tone of voice, body language, etc. are important to figure out exactly what is meant. I can write something and mean it in one way, but that doesn't mean the person at the other end will read it that way - they could just as easily (especially if they're having a bad day) cast it in a negative tone in their mind.
  2. Expectations. Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to find out that men (and women!) online are looking for the "perfect partner". Newsflash, people: there's no such thing. Everybody has their flaws. Doesn't matter who they are.
  3. Appearances (which comes in with expectations, I suppose.) If you're not 'beautiful', you're evidently not worth knowing. Dig a little deeper, people. There's more to beauty than stick figures like you see in those fashion magazines ...
My experiences with online dating? I've met five, maybe six, people that way. One's a decent friend still. One, it's too early to tell (but my feeling is "nothing more than friendship".) The rest, I haven't seen much of beyond the early meetings.

All in all, my Quest for Non Single Status shall henceforth be conducted off the computer. Between the cost, the frustration of usually never getting a message back (I'd rather hear "thanks, but I don't think it'd work out" than never hear back at all - at least then it's a clean break), and generally getting out and about in the real world a bit more than when I was a teenager, I think I'll be much happier for it. Do I need somebody? Hell no. Do I want somebody? Yes. But I'd rather be single than with the wrong person.

Re:This surprises me not one bit. (1)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225369)

Between the cost, the frustration of usually never getting a message back (I'd rather hear "thanks, but I don't think it'd work out" than never hear back at all - at least then it's a clean break)

Don't forget the ones who initiate contact with you so you go through the subscription process to write them back and they never write back to your response to them. Over the last 4 years on match, I've had 3 women write me and 5 wink at me. Only one of them ever wrote back (and we dated for about 2 months). Of all the ones I initiated contact with, none wrote back. Part of me thinks the ones who write/wink and don't reply when you do are part of a scam just to get your money knowing that if you wait a few days to give them a reasonable response time, it's too late to cancel before getting charged.

Re:This surprises me not one bit. (3, Interesting)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225463)

Did they confine their research to just Match.com? Because my experience with the greedy Match.com was poor. If you haven't paid, not only can you not send messages, you can't read messages others send to you. Even if those others have paid, you can't read their messages. When I was a paying member, I got one genuine unsolicited message which was from a woman who seemed nice but was more than twice my weight, and one genuine reply which was, sadly, negative. The rest of the messages I got were spams and scams. I wasn't doing as well as a 10% response rate, let alone the even higher numbers this research claims. Possibly it's because I refused to put down an income range. After I quit paying, I was still getting notices whenever someone sent me a message, but no info on who sent it or what the message was. A wink at least mentioned who. Damned if I was going to pay more just to find out it was another scam message. Now I think Match.com's lousy policies had a lot to do with the low response rate. It's not that all the women really were that rude, or swamped, it's that Match.com stinks. I get much better response rates on okcupid.

Re:This surprises me not one bit. (3, Interesting)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225729)

Even if those others have paid, you can't read their messages.

I wonder if that was made clear to paying members, before you send them. Or before you join.

I was similarly disappointed when I tried out the system of eHarmony a year ago. I could understand not being able to initiate communications until becoming a paying member, but I was very surprised that I couldn't communicate back. Someone who could initiate with me would have to be a paying member. But to me this lessens the value of membership. Esp. if they aren't told when someone they're being matched up with isn't currently a member and as such cannot respond. Otherwise they're partly paying for the privilege of being tricked into helping the site recruit more members.

Re:This surprises me not one bit. (2, Informative)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225965)

Agreed, I've had good experiences with the responsiveness of people on OkCupid. A great match site can't have policies that excessively hinder people's ability to get in contact with each other, no matter how good their matching algorithims are.

On OKC, I think all of my messages except one have received a response, and most of those responses from single women within my geographical range were receptive to the idea of meeting up for a date. I'm sure the fact that the site is free helps a lot in that regard. It may not also hurt that it's also a blog site of sorts, that's not just about dating, so people have at least some compulsion to log on and check their messages, even if they're not feeling super lonely.

Re:This surprises me not one bit. (4, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225939)

Appearances (which comes in with expectations, I suppose.) If you're not 'beautiful', you're evidently not worth knowing. Dig a little deeper, people. There's more to beauty than stick figures like you see in those fashion magazines ...

I though that once upon a time. Then I realized I wasn't ugly and have been shallow and self gratifying ever since. It works for me.

my observation (5, Insightful)

aliscool (597862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225269)

I recently spent two months on Match.com and by and am pleased with the end results... I am dating someone I met on there.
You really have a hard time weeding through the mass amounts of spam email (I realize you are looking for someone in Virginia, but Montana is only 6 hours away), the obvious scammers mostly with .ru email addresses. The old I need a visa and it costs 600 American dollars thing.
Also there are a fair amount of women that fall into the FREAK category.

I would disagree with this point made in the paper "Among online dating members, "marital status" and "wants children" are the two most influential characteristics to match."
From my limited experience on Match, I think the most important thing women were looking for was income range. I initially had that on my profile and got swamped with replies, after hiding that bit they slowed way down.

Women love a man with a huge... (4, Funny)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225309)

Of course, women love a man with a huge... bank account. Did this suprise you?

Re:Women love a man with a huge... (4, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225655)

And men love women with huge....tracts of land!

--
BMO

Re:my observation (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225419)

Purely out of interest, why did you choose Match.Com (paid, not very "smart") over, say, OKCupid.com (free, sort of "smart").

Re:my observation (1)

aliscool (597862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225533)

I think it was as simple as Match.com had the highest search returned when I was looking.
Never heard of OKCupid.com

Re:my observation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225513)

there are a fair amount of women that fall into the FREAK category.

And that would be bad because....?

Re:my observation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225887)

There is a literature on dating in general (not just online), e.g. this paper [cemfi.es] (ftp link to pdf), which looks at speed dating.

It turns out that socioeconomic status (e.g. income) is the most important, which is closer to what you are saying.

Personally, I am not really that surprised that many people look for money and status in a partner.

Oblig. (3, Funny)

Mister Impressive (875697) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225281)

Yeah, but 72% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Re:Oblig. (0)

biovoid (785377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225731)

Yeah, but 72% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

That means your post is made up too dumbass!!!





Sorry - I just have a thing for those little joke-over-the-head ascii pictures. ;)

Not quite surprised here (5, Funny)

tftp (111690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225287)

No wonder geeks do not get much of replies. The very fact that a geek is sitting in his fortress, behind the flickering terminal, surrounded by 16 different and very old Linux boxen, clearly indicates that his romantic needs are best addressed by a robot or by some pr0n that is plentiful out there.

And from the other side of the equation, no sensible female of the species will choose to date a geek that is clearly ill-adapted socially, is not likely to resemble a movie star from her wall poster, and probably will not fare well in the salary department if he ever manages to leave his basement (many choose not to.)

And with respect to children, many men dislike children and don't want them at all. They are expensive to maintain, and pointless to raise in the first place. The society changed so much in the last 100-200 years that a large family that was a great advantage to a peasant is now a death warrant in many professional areas, financially and time-wise. Parents nowadays are expected to sink up to a million dollars into a child, with no ROI whatsoever. The parents become slaves to their children, working most of their productive life to maintain the family.

Re:Not quite surprised here (3, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225325)

Wow... just wow.

I give that one +1 Jaded as Fuck.

Re:Not quite surprised here (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225345)

Nah, give that one very young and hasn't figured out there's more to life than return on investment.

Re:Not quite surprised here (2, Insightful)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225453)

I'm very nearly 30. And I have to agree with the grandparent on his points to the most part. If you'rea nerd you tend to look at things (everything) logically, if you take that approach to having children, there really is no logical reason to do so in this day and age. Logically, a person is better focusing energy on wealth creation, when you're old and decrepid, you can pay somebody to look after you.

It's only when you bring emotion into the equation that some find that having children serves a purpose. But without emotion, you are hard pressed to find a really good reason.

Re:Not quite surprised here (5, Insightful)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225523)

If you'rea nerd you tend to look at things (everything) logically, if you take that approach to having children, there really is no logical reason to do so in this day and age.

If you can say that, then you can say there's no logical reason to have sex or play baseball or create wealth. Some people want kids, others don't. There's no logic there. There's logic in not having them if you can't afford them, but that's pretty much it, I think.

Re:Not quite surprised here (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225529)

There was a time when your kids would look after you in your old age, thus avoiding the need to pay someone else to do so and putting off the need to move into a home should you become infirm, perhaps indefinitely.

Also, there's the enlightened self-interest angle; if *no-one* has kids, then the economy collapses as the workforce hits retirement age en masse. Now of course everyone isn't going to just stop having kids, but recently in the UK there have been rumblings about the generally increasing age of the population and falling birth rates.

So, while emotion is almost always the driving factor behind having kids, you don't *need* emotion to find a good reason.

Re:Not quite surprised here (5, Insightful)

Aris Katsaris (939578) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225751)

If you take emotion out of the equation, then there's no point in doing anything at all, given how happiness and unhappiness, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, are all emotions. Being inert as a rock is logical when there's no boredom or other emotion to make you desire activity -- letting civilization collapse is as "logical" as the opposite, when there's no emotion that makes one desire its continuation. Logic is only a method used to achieve end goals you've already set; logic is absolutely meaningless without *emotion* first setting what those goals should be.

Re:Not quite surprised here (3, Funny)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225911)

I think you just made Spock's head explode!

Re:Not quite surprised here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225899)

Egh. I can see the point about logic, depending on where you're coming from. When I was 19, 20, I really thought having kids would be the cats meow. Now that I've seen more of the world, I want to see more of the world. With my salary, it's really a binary choice. If I want to have kids, I can't see the world... If I want to see the world, I can't have kids. Right now, at 27, I'd much rather see the world.

I don't want to be bound in my choices by larvae. Unless I choose to have larvae, of course. Which I don't. Which is a logical decision. However, I have no doubt that there are other people in the identical conundrum, that choose to have kids.

There's no real logic here. It's simply based on how you interpret your value system. Which can be construed as logic, but since the a prioris are based in emotion, it becomes an irrelevant point.

Re:Not quite surprised here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225997)

> Wow... just wow.
>
> I give that one +1 Jaded as Fuck.

That's funny, I was thinking about marrying him.

(Don't worry, I don't have a Y chromosome. ;)

parent post is -8, flame bait (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225539)

-4, outrageous stereotypes: for instance - geeks are ill-adapted socially, geeks want supermodels, geeks are underpaid (though offshoring has been threatening to make that one true), many men don't want kids (perhaps this is true on alt.support.child-free though)

-1, hypocrisy - posting on slashdot

-3, 3 counts of bigotry, one against geeks, one against people who want kids, one against kids, period.

Re:Not quite surprised here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225633)

"The very fact that a geek is sitting in his fortress"

The fortress is there because I'm getting quite old (vintage 1965) and tired of the (internally and externally generated) bullshit. Me on a date? You've gotta be kiddin' me. 'Tis better to leave the walls up and not get hurt, or worse yet, hurt someone else. Learned my lesson on the last relationship, for sure. Other people deserve better than my baggage and Asperger's. The fun was great for a while until her psychoanalysis (real background in abnormal psych) and my random obsessions made all the good stuff just blow away in the wind. My own words echo in my head "I should have known better"

The next time there's any mutual attraction, I will know better.

"if he ever manages to leave his basement (many choose not to.)"

There is something to be said about the quiet of a basement apartment.

"And with respect to children, many men dislike children and don't want them at all."

And some wish to not inflict themselves upon any sproggen - a decision made about 25 years ago.

The family name, in this country anyway, ends....here.

Jaded? Moi?

Re:Not quite surprised here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225777)

You're 41. This conversation isn't about you.

Re:Not quite surprised here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225723)

And if I had been one of your parents, I would have felt just as you said about kids.

Re:Not quite surprised here (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225801)

Dad?

Geographical distance (4, Interesting)

Denial93 (773403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225331)

I cannot believe geographical distance wasn't a factor. Who is going to date someone a two hours drive away? Then again, ignoring this probably helped in making the number of messages sent the best predictor for number of messages received, giving more false hope to quicktyping nerds. Bet the author was one.

Re:Geographical distance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225467)

"Who is going to date someone a two hours drive away?"


Hey, wait a minute, I'd drive across the country for a date!

Any takers?

PS:
Uh, you gotta be a female, of course. But looks don't matter. This is Slashdot, after all. . .

Just call me AC

Re:Geographical distance (2, Informative)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225811)

You know I used to think like that. I tried match.com for a while, and initially I limited it to women who lived within 15 minutes of where I lived, and I met a lot but they were all the same and I was looking for something that was different to my past experiences. Fast forward a year, I had gone international. When you go international it takes a lot of work. Sometimes you would find like 2000 matches to your criteria, and you go through them and find like the top 10,20,100 whatever. This is when you need a standard letter, it also gives you an oppotunity to try different etters and see what gets the most reponses. You meet someone, go to their country, and learn the culture from and insiders view, often it won't work out, so split and do it again. Fast forward 2 more years, I've had a relationship with woman from another country who's been living with me in my country and I've been staying in hers for over 12 months now. Of course eventually you have to pick a country to stay in if the relationship goes that far. We picked hers. And so begins my new life.

"Socially acceptable" (2, Interesting)

roboRob (850487) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225347)

I disagree that online dating "is an easy, socially acceptable way to find partners for dates or relationships." The "stigma of desperation," as it is described in one of these papers [google.com] , is still strong.

Re:"Socially acceptable" (2, Interesting)

aauu (46157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225403)

Try going to bars. You'll meet the nicest alcoholics.

Re:"Socially acceptable" (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225545)

There is only a "stigma" insofar as you feel embarassed about finding dates online. I met my now wife online about 6 years ago. Nobody laughed at us or anything like that when we told them how we met. Mostly people were curious about how it worked. Some even asked for the website. And if you take the time to explain it, people see how it isn't any different than meeting someone in a bar or whatever.

-matthew

Re:"Socially acceptable" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225615)

I agree. Over the past few weeks I've started looking at online personal ads. I responded to a couple posts on Craigslist, got a response from one, emailed for a few days and went out soon after. It didn't work out, but I tried my luck at posting an ad of my own. I got about a half dozen responses, replied to two of them, and have been communicating with one of them for the past few days.

At first, I did feel this "stigma", but soon realized that it was really only an issue if I let it be one. I'm in my mid-20's, at a large university, relatively attractive, somewhat normal, and very social (though I am a computer geek). By going out and seeking another source to meet people, it opens up some opportunities that you might not have had otherwise.

If there is a chance you could meet the right person through these sites, why not give it a try? At first I was a little embarassed to admit to people that I'm looking online, but I'm not anymore. You still end up on the phone, going out for coffee, and dinner. You're just throwing your net out a little further.

One thing I like about online personals over trying to meet people in passing, at bars, or at other gathers, is you have the chance to truly communicate and learn about each other. You still need to be able to handle the face-to-face meeting though.

okcupid (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225379)

For what it's worth (and I imagine it's worth a lot to slashdot readers), my experiences with online dating have always been best with okcupid [okcupid.com] . It is free, novel (fun matching tests), and its participants always seem, to me, to be more appealing than those of eharmony, match.com, and all the other paysites.

Re:okcupid (0)

SMS_Design (879582) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225663)

Considering that I'm about to go back to bed with the wonderful woman I met on OKCupid, I would have to agree.

Re:okcupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225695)

Astroturf? You've got to be kidding me... OKStupid? The questions are horrible. They have sixteen questions about smoking, but try adding one about something like height to get around the fact that their search features are so incredibly poor and they shoot it down complaining that YOU, dipshit dater, should be able to find that information in the profile. Their tests are a miserable waste of time and condescending toward men. Look at their main test and compare the descriptions for men v. women to see what I mean. (For instance, look at RBSD "Last man on earth" v. "Half-Cocked")

Re:okcupid (2, Interesting)

ONU CS Geek (323473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225895)

Yup.

I've found success/insanity on okcupid as well.

She's a hairdresser, runs ubuntu, and is getting FiOS installed next week. She also doesn't care that I work insane hours, have an on-call schedule, am in CA a few weeks a month, and tend to be antisocial to just about everyone.

She even had t-shirts from thinkgeek from before we started dating.

Unfortunately, before her, I met a total whack job who after getting in a nasty fight with, threw razor blades at me while I was asleep (to prevent her from cutting herself, so she says).

YMMV.

borat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225471)

"Here in america if you want wife you can not just buy her off her father for 11 barrels of fertilizer, you have to do a thing called dating."

Online dating is so prevalent now, I know a guy who started his own fake dating site [smopmusic.com] as a "fan registry" for his band.

Depends where you are located (5, Interesting)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225511)

I've had much success with "internet dating", but it seems to depend on where I live. When I lived in Houston the girls were plentiful and fun. Living in Des Moines is a completely different story. The only ones I get replies from here are trollish freaks that probably couldn't get a date if they didn't post fake pictures of some model, or at least some hot chick from down the street. I'm still amazed at the enormous differences in both quality and quantity of women from the online world between the two cities.

Re:Depends where you are located (1)

Revenge_of_Solver_Ta (862178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225559)

It also depends on which service you deal with. By far, my best luck was with niche sites. Based on interest or demographics. They already prequalify the people so you are gonna find more of what you are looking for sooner. /2c

Re:Depends where you are located (2, Interesting)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225601)

What kind of twist of ego can convince a person that the lack in quality/quanity replies is indicitive of a lack of quality women? If I couldn't get any desirable women to reply to me, I might start to question my relative attractiveness... not the attractiveness of the women.

-matthew

Re:Depends where you are located (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16225747)

Speaking of Houston, Men's Fitness magazine ranked it #1 fattest city in the US 3 years in a row(2001, 2002, 2003). Must be the urban sprawl and culture of eating out at restaurants. Fat chicks ftw!

I don't get it... (0)

Dikeman (620856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225753)

So a match in marital status increases the likelyhood for contact by 1.64 or something, regardless of what the marital status actually is?
The other characteristics make sence, but for this one I would expect a significant difference between the likelyhood for increased contact between two married people and two single people. It makes no sense to put them together under one characteristic, namely matching marital status.

It's like putting biological status (dead or alive) up as a characteristic, it kinda makes a difference if you're one or the other. Any statistics for the both combined is useless.

Or am I missing the point here?

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Inverted Intellect (950622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225857)

regardless of what the marital status actually is?
"So, you doing anything tonight?"
"I know what you're thinking, and the answer is no. I have a headache."
"Yeah, I get that a lot."

Primitive? (4, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225971)


What's 'primitive' about dating? You think they have or had 'dating' in primitive societies? Modern Western culture, and those parts of the rest of the world that have been globalized into it, are the only places we find this custom. They didn't 'date' in Europe/America in the 1900s, and they don't 'date' in most of the world now, except for that internationalized overclass that you get in big cities.

They have lots of sex, but that's a whole nuther thing.

Enjoy the sophisticated, rarefied culture that allows you to have such esoteric customs as dating! But don't think it's a basic primitive instinctive thing, because it's about as natural to human culture as the iPod.

Done before (2, Informative)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16225999)

Never before has something so human and primitive as dating been reducible to such discrete values.
Actually I just finished reading 'Freakonomics'http://www.freakonomics.com/ [freakonomics.com] its been out for a year and did just such an analysis on Internet Dating. It really is a good read.
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