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Research has also revealed gender differences in both preference and messaging behavior on online dating sites.In particular, women and men differ in the relative importance they assign to various attributes of potential partners.They were contacted much more than men and, hence, generally had their choice of who to reply to.
Psychological scientists have been studying attraction, love, and romantic relationships for decades, but online matching and speed dating have given researchers unprecedented opportunity to explore who’s attracted to whom and why.In light of these findings, the researchers presented some advice to potential online daters: “Choose wisely and, if possible, be female” (Fiore et al., 2010).This study also leads to some intriguing design ideas for online dating sites’ automatic matching systems, which present users with sets of likely partners.A forthcoming study conducted by Günter Hitsch, Ali Hortaçsu (both at University of Chicago), and Dan Ariely (Duke University) confirmed existing evolutional theory, finding that in a sample of 22,000 online daters women weigh income more than physical attributes, including facial attractiveness, height and body mass index, when deciding who to contact (Hitsch et al., 2009).
Interestingly, these differences persist even when reproduction is no longer a factor.Hitsch and colleagues found that similarity was strongly preferred in a variety of factors, including age, education, height, religion, political views, and smoking. Interestingly, women have a more pronounced same-race preference, and this preference is not always revealed in their stated preferences (Hitsch, et al., 2009).