Thursday 9 September 2010

True stereotypes

OKCupid has sorted half a million daters' self-descriptive tags by race, religion and gender. True stereotypes follow below, or at least statements true on average about the half million people in their dataset:
  • White men like guitar rock, cars, sci fi and comedies: broad theme, according to OKCupid: "Frathouse"
  • White women like bonfires, boating, horseback riding: broad theme, according to OKCupid: "escapism"
  • Blacks are far more religious - more than twice as likely to mention faith in their profiles
  • Black men like soul food, being cool, sports, god and rap music
  • Black women like soul food, The Color Purple, god and gospel music
  • Latin men and women love music and dancing
  • Latin men like to talk about their sense of humor and mixed martial arts
  • Asian men like their country of ancestral origin, Asian food, engineering and software development
  • Asian women like chocolates and romantic comedies
  • Indian men: cricket, hindi, a software engineer
  • Indian profiles showed the highest level of writing proficiency, followed by Asian and Middle Eastern.
  • Sorted by religion now:
  • And, the more serious you are about your religion, the worse your measured reading proficiency score, unless you're an atheist or agnostic. OKCupid asks whether there's a Comic Sans version of the Bible. Satoshi Kanazawa would be all over this: presumably in a US sample, atheism would be an evolutionarily novel idea and non-Christian background would be associated with pretty strong selection effects - the higher IQ parts of each religion's sample would be more likely to emigrate to the US.  There's at least a half grade level difference between Protestants and Muslims, favoring Muslims, and more than a full grade level difference between Protestants and Atheists.  Does Glen Beck make sense to you now?
OKCupid's blog remains one of the most seriously awesome data exploration sites out there.


  1. I put it to you that if you are a very religious Protestant, you are probably saving yourself for marriage and therefore unlikely to be looking on generic internet dating sites, where the almost universal expectation is that you put out :-P

    Given that this is the case I am not surprised that the only "very religious" Protestants left on there have very poor language skills. Conversely, committed atheists tend to be (otherwise) highly intelligent, given that they clearly have thought very deeply about God and the meaning of life etc. People who don't think about such things tend to put down what they are baptised as - they do not necessarily say that they are agnostic. So it says very little about the intelligence of religious/spiritual people versus atheists and agnostics.

  2. @Blair: Not convinced that religious folks can't look for good matches on sites like OKCupid, but agreed somewhat on point re atheists. That's the Kanazawa "Evolutionarily novel hypothesis" idea...