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First of all, gay sexuality is not a threat.
October 12, 2010 11:18 AM   Subscribe


 
And Indians. Gays, Straights & Indians.
posted by GuyZero at 11:19 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Women are twice as likely as men to think the Earth is bigger than the Sun?
posted by Joe Beese at 11:23 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Astronomy is hard.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:25 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Gays, Straights & Indians

...oh my!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:26 AM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


And straight men know the size of the earth better than anyone! Take that, everyone else, with your size-of-the-earth-not-knowingness!
posted by Mister_A at 11:26 AM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Joe Beese: Women in OKCupid's weird, non-normative dataset are twice as likely etc.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:26 AM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Women are twice as likely as men to think the Earth is bigger than the Sun?

Yes, but ask us how many pairs of shoes we own.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:27 AM on October 12, 2010


As a Canadian living in the US, I have to admit that the Canada-is-like-so-gay map made me smile.
posted by 256 at 11:27 AM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


"Openly Indian man" is a pretty good quip.
posted by Mister_A at 11:28 AM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


I love these data crunching posts.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:31 AM on October 12, 2010


Men know the sun is bigger, but also know not to tell the sun that if it asks.
posted by condour75 at 11:31 AM on October 12, 2010 [10 favorites]


Sheesh, some people answer "the Earth" to be FUNNY.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:31 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love how THE L WORD lights up for lesbians in big 80pt letters. So so trashy. Heh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:32 AM on October 12, 2010


So you're saying five to ten percent of people don't know what "funny" means?
posted by ook at 11:33 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


HELLO OREGON.
posted by kittyprecious at 11:34 AM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


For starters, I found that a fun game to play with stuff like this is to replace the words "homosexual" and "gay" with "politician"—then you have something that's actually true.

...

"There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional politician..." -Carl Paladino

Wow, it really works!
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 11:34 AM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Apparently straight people are a fan of "law enforcement." I can sort of take it or leave it, personally.
posted by brundlefly at 11:37 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


So this is saying that women at okcupid are twice as stupid as men.

Men on okcupid are there because they think they are going to get laid.
Women on okcupid are there because they think they are going to find true love.

The data on intelligence makes more sense now.
posted by flarbuse at 11:38 AM on October 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


Gotta say that my fellow straight men sound pretty damn boring; "war movies", Tom Clancey and Queens of the Stone Age? That's what you put out as things to make you sound interesting?
posted by octothorpe at 11:38 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Man, straight men, to judge by their interests, are all Levi Johnston.
posted by rusty at 11:39 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


So you're saying five to ten percent of people don't know what "funny" means?

No, I'm saying 100% of yourself doesn't know what FUNNY is. (all caps, no quotes)
posted by 23skidoo at 11:39 AM on October 12, 2010


Lesbians appear to have much better taste in music than straight women.
posted by maryr at 11:40 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Religion is the opiate of the masses, so long as the masses are straight. However, amass a bunch of lesbians and you're going to need actual drugs.

Dying over here.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:41 AM on October 12, 2010 [17 favorites]


Lesbians appear to have much better taste in music than straight women.

Yeah, that's really not news.
posted by The World Famous at 11:42 AM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


HELLO OREGON.

I'm surprised there isn't a spot on Portland that is redder than the blood of a thousand sacrificed virgins.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:42 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hold on...so the gays in OkCupid dont like Lady gaga?
posted by The1andonly at 11:42 AM on October 12, 2010



just 2% of gay people have had 23% of the total reported gay sex

My single gay male friends certainly seem to get 10-20 times the action the rest of us do. Maybe I just happen to know some leading sluts.

posted by CunningLinguist at 11:43 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stupid tags.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:43 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gotta say that my fellow straight men sound pretty damn boring; "war movies", Tom Clancey and Queens of the Stone Age? That's what you put out as things to make you sound interesting?

Again, like the previous OKCupid post on race, the things that show up in this chart are the outliers-- i.e., straight men like 'war movies' and Queens of the Stone Age disproportionately more than other groups. This doesn't mean that straight men like these things in any significant numbers; only that they like them significantly more than other groups do.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:43 AM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


you can see pockets of gay curiosity in interesting places: Austin, Madison, Asheville. Anywhere soy milk is served, basically
I'm betting this is causation rather than correlation.
posted by Killick at 11:44 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


LOL J/K 23SKIDOO KEKEKE \^o^/

Anyway. Even taking into account the weird non-normative etceteraness of OK/Cupid's dataset, that map of who's [willing to admit in semi-public that they are] gay-curious is kind of startling. Especially New Mexico. And Salt Lake City. I'd love to see that map broken down into age demographics.
posted by ook at 11:46 AM on October 12, 2010


How many pairs of shoes do you own?
posted by ericb at 11:46 AM on October 12, 2010


The stuff straight men like:

band of brothers poker cars my boat

MY PEOPLE!

The stuff straight women like:

my girlfriends lip gloss pretty woman nicholas sparks

Wait, wait. This is so not fair.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:47 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


So the fabulous takeaway is that gay people are... boringly normal. That will go down well.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 11:48 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: "This doesn't mean that straight men like these things in any significant numbers; only that they like them significantly more than other groups do."

Right, and that's why "The L Word" is gigantic. It's not that all lesbians love The L Word, it's that no one who's not a lesbian would write on a dating site that they like The L Word.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:49 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hold on...so the gays in OkCupid dont like Lady gaga?

Or they're not unique, demographically, in their enthusiasm for Lady GaGa.
posted by The World Famous at 11:50 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


And Salt Lake City.

You know how Republicans always talk about how terrible homosexuality is and then they're always the ones found having furtive gay sex?

Same thing with Mormons.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:51 AM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Umm... OKCupid isn't where promiscuous gay guys go to just get laid. It's where relationship-minded gay men go to find dates. The promiscuous gay guys are all over on... well, some other sites, having a fabulous time.
posted by MrVisible at 11:53 AM on October 12, 2010 [13 favorites]


i have lady gaga in my profile and i am straight.
posted by empath at 11:53 AM on October 12, 2010


Sheesh, some people answer "the Earth" to be FUNNY.

This would be stupid, since the answer determines the kinds of people you get matched with.
posted by empath at 11:54 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know we're big on gender-equality and all in this day and country, but all the same, isn't it quite likely that the majority of a woman's friends are women? Why exactly is the word "girlfriend" used by women to indicate a friend, anyway? You'd never catch a man calling his (non-romantic) friends "boyfriend," and not so much out of homophobia but just because it implies the wrong sort of relationship.

Then again, those graphs did show a lot of "straight" women would like to have a same-sex encounter. Maybe there's some Freudian slippage going on with the usage of "girlfriend"?
posted by explosion at 11:56 AM on October 12, 2010


Joe Beese: "Same thing with Mormons."

Oh man, I totally have a Mormon-phobic friend who's always taking "business trips" to Utah. NOW I GET IT!
posted by roll truck roll at 11:56 AM on October 12, 2010 [6 favorites]


Lip gloss is not a valid interest. I say this as a straight(ish) woman who applied lip gloss in the car this morning. I don't want to hang out with any of those women! Actually, the "stuff people like" chart convinced me I am really a gay man. Who knew?
posted by rachums at 11:56 AM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Have you ever had a sexual encounter with someone of the same sex?"

Click the airport-bathroom style icons


Nice touch.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 11:56 AM on October 12, 2010 [19 favorites]


Wow Manitoba is more gay curious than British Columbia
posted by colophon at 11:57 AM on October 12, 2010


You'd never catch a man calling his (non-romantic) friends "boyfriend," and not so much out of homophobia but just because it implies the wrong sort of relationship.

What?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:59 AM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lip gloss clearly belongs on the gay male interest side of things. I speak from experience.
posted by jph at 12:00 PM on October 12, 2010


Gay people are not sexually interested in straights.

Well, define "sexually interested." (They don't, unless they mean "desperate enough to hunt on a dating site for men who explicitly define themselves as straight.")

Gay people aren't promiscuous.

The key is median reported-to-OkCupid sexual partners. I have one particularly horny gay male friend who gets laid more frequently now that he's 48 than he did when he was 28. He's not gonna mention that to an online dating site survey.

Straight people have gay sex, too.

Um, no shit, Sherlock? And that number of those who say "No, and I never would" is likely overstated.

Also: the only person/cultural item on that list of stuff that gay men are supposed to like that remotely interests me is Ella Fitzgerald. Nothing on the straight men list interests me either.
posted by blucevalo at 12:01 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow Manitoba is more gay curious than British Columbia

Dunno how meaningful it is if they're just using one number for the entire province. Isn't half of Manitoba's population in Winnipeg?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:01 PM on October 12, 2010


Also, I like lesbians a lot more now knowing that they like Drop Dead Gorgeous too.

Most smartest... best damn tapper....
posted by jph at 12:03 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why do lesbians like Harold and Maude so much?
posted by jessssse at 12:03 PM on October 12, 2010


Wow Manitoba is more gay curious than British Columbia

Manitoba is merely curious. BC actually knows.
posted by GuyZero at 12:04 PM on October 12, 2010 [14 favorites]


I love how THE L WORD lights up for lesbians in big 80pt letters. So so trashy. Heh.

What really makes me chuckle is remembering a bunch of (straight) guys I used to work with. They were all in sales; nice guys, but pretty...fratty, I guess, and boy did they love The L Word. And not, you know, for the glimpse into the lives of people not like them. I'm pretty sure they are not the only straight men who liked The L Word, and also pretty sure that none of them would put it in their OKCupid profile!

(Also, the thing about size of the sun vs this here planet we live on? Really, ladies? Really? Come on!)
posted by rtha at 12:07 PM on October 12, 2010


Why do lesbians like Harold and Maude so much?

It's funny!
posted by Mister_A at 12:09 PM on October 12, 2010


It's funny!

Yeah, I guess I should have asked why they like it more than everyone else, since it's not hard to see why anyone would like it a lot.
posted by jessssse at 12:12 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Next up: sex, drugs, scandal, politicians, racism, hookers, and whatever other controversial things we can think of, wrapped up in a blog post about questionable statistical analyses and ridiculously broad assertions about people in general, all carefully calculated to get you to PLEASE USE OUR DATING SITE, WE PROMISE WE KNOW WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
posted by koeselitz at 12:13 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


Gays, Straights & Indians

OK Cupid. That's where I'm an Indian, apparently.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:15 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow Manitoba is more gay curious than British Columbia

Winters are longer. It's not wrong to spend a night with your buddy in an ice fishing hut, right?
posted by bonehead at 12:15 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also: no, I didn't RTFA. I refuse to click OkCupid links. And I ask others to join me in my stand against stupid by refusing to click anything that has to do with their idiotic blog posts about 'statistics'.
posted by koeselitz at 12:16 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow Manitoba is more gay curious than British Columbia.*

I wish the breakdown for Canada had been finer (and that, you know, a good portion of the country hadn't been cut off). That way you could have picked out all of the little rural Manitoba Mennonite communities where my boyfriend is no longer welcome.

---
* They're actually the same colour; I checked in the Photoshop.
posted by wreckingball at 12:17 PM on October 12, 2010


Wow Manitoba is more gay curious than British Columbia

The winters are cold. But Manitoba keeps it hot.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:19 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


(It's also worth noting that Manitobans are just kind of slutty, generally).
posted by wreckingball at 12:21 PM on October 12, 2010


Wow Manitoba is more gay curious than British Columbia

More like the Winnipeg Bennie-and-the-Jets, amirite? Bah dum bump, khssss.

What? Too obscure?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:23 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I refuse to click OkCupid links. And I ask others to join me in my stand against stupid by refusing to click anything that has to do with their idiotic blog posts about 'statistics'.

Then do something different and better, with just as large a sample set. Or perhaps you could suggest to OC how to do it better and provide a service to them. Win-win.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:24 PM on October 12, 2010


And Salt Lake City.
You know how Republicans always talk about how terrible homosexuality is and then they're always the ones found having furtive gay sex?

Same thing with Mormons.


Or it could be that Salt Lake County is actually only half Mormon at most and has a number of areas that tend to be regional destinations for the adventurous / artsy / progressive / queer / etc.

Not to, you know, take the fun out of aspersions of hypocrisy. But if it's really just like you're saying, wouldn't the whole map of Utah be as red as SLC?
posted by namespan at 12:24 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


And I ask others to join me in my stand against stupid by refusing to click anything that has to do with their idiotic blog posts about 'statistics'.

I know, but I couldn't resist. I think that most gay men and lesbians living in any setting outside of a reality show like "The A-List: New York, from the Producers of 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' " would take a look at those statistics and those lists of likes and have a good chuckle. I wasn't asked my interests, not that they would care about the interests of a middle-aged gay male librarian, but apart from the idiosyncratic cultural touchstones (upon which we can and do all agree or disagree in a more-or-less congenial manner), my interests pretty much begin and end with my husband and my dogs.
posted by blucevalo at 12:24 PM on October 12, 2010


Schwanzangst

Roughly translated, the fear of cocks.

I love the German language.
posted by chillmost at 12:29 PM on October 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


I do wish that they'd start releasing statistical analyses that actually are what the writeups for their current ones claim to be — I mean, I think their lists of things that are statistically liked more by certain demographics than other demographics are interesting, but it'd be at least equally interesting to see a list of things that each demographic actually tends to like. Even though I suspect that those lists would be less funny/more average-seeming than the ones they're posting.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:33 PM on October 12, 2010


Sheesh, some people answer "the Earth" to be FUNNY.

Sure, but that error is nullified by those who are just stupid, but say "the Sun" to be FUNNY.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:34 PM on October 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


I've complained about this regarding OKCupid's race-related post, but it seems worth repeating. When they present the word lists, and in a few other comparisons, they are presenting the most distinctive characteristics of each group. That is, they are subtracting out all the many, many things the two groups have in common. They then speculate (a bit less here, a bit more in the race post) about what it means that one group prefers Band of Brothers while the other prefers Devil Wears Prada. This is very misleading: the two groups may agree on 99% of the topics out there, but this makes it look like the 1% where they diverge is the most important. To then speculate about what it means that group A prefers X and group B prefers Y is to magnify what may be minor differences (out of a vast majority of overlap) into what appear to be large, essential differences. True, it's less fun to present the two groups' lists as-is, with everyone preferring ice cream and beaches, and the minor differences buried in tiny type. But presenting these "statistically unique" lists without those caveats is to encourage stereotyping of the sort that were are all already too prone to.
posted by chortly at 12:34 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


The only thing I found surprising was the prominence of The L Word. That show makes The Young And The Restless look like Mad Men.

Hey OK Trends, what interests do straights and gays have in common?
posted by infinitewindow at 12:36 PM on October 12, 2010


Man, statisticians and actual psychologists should pool together their money to stage a hostile takeover of this site so that it actually tries to match people together, rather than their simple like-with-like algorithm. Yes, it's good to have a person with common interests, but good relationships usually have beneficial differences between the two.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:36 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey OK Trends, what interests do straights and gays have in common?

Nearly everything.
posted by The World Famous at 12:38 PM on October 12, 2010


chortly: "This is very misleading: the two groups may agree on 99% of the topics out there, but this makes it look like the 1% where they diverge is the most important. To then speculate about what it means that group A prefers X and group B prefers Y is to magnify what may be minor differences (out of a vast majority of overlap) into what appear to be large, essential differences. "

infinitewindow: "Hey OK Trends, what interests do straights and gays have in common?"

I thought this post was pretty interesting, but I agree. If their point was to diffuse anti-gay sentiments, then a list of interests with no straight/gay disparity would have been worthwhile.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Old'n'Busted: “Then do something different and better, with just as large a sample set. Or perhaps you could suggest to OC how to do it better and provide a service to them. Win-win.”

They don't have a sample set. People have pointed this out elsewhere, but it should be noted: these are the worst kind of convenience samples – that is, they're not actually a random sample, they're just a sample of a group that happened to be convenient to the OkCupid people. To put it plainly: it's not at all clear or self-evident that people who use dating sites are without question exactly the same in all respects as people who don't, or that they provide a cross-section of the population at large. What's more, the data they give often is incredibly disingenuous. They don't even have the expectation of honesty that an actual scientific survey might inspire. In fact, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a forum in which people are more likely to lie about themselves and their likes than in their profile on a dating web site. Seriously, is anyone really under the impression that people are being completely, totally honest in their OkCupid profiles?

The "millions" that OkCupid regularly claims as a sample set is flatly bogus. No serious statistician would touch that set with a ten-foot pole. That's why you don't see researchers flocking to OkCupid begging to use them for scientific papers and such; it's not worth it at all.

Now, it's not evil to be a dating site. It's not even that bad to draw amusing inferences based on your data as a dating web site; whatever, it's amusing, and I see the idle pleasure people get out of it. But what is a bit uncool is the way that OkCupid trumpets their findings, and acts as though they're actually saying something about human beings in general and about statistical facts about humans in particular when they make these stupid posts. I get it; it's part of their marketing. The underlying message they want to convey is: "we have a legitimate cross-section of society, people on our site are 100% honest, and most of all we're bloody geniuses with this dating algorithm stuff." But since all of those things are lies which distort the truth about the world, I'd rather they didn't try.

If you want to know about actual demographic studies of human sexuality around the world, Wikipedia has a good roundup of info, for starters.
posted by koeselitz at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wonder how accurate those "Tag Clouds" are given the gay users' tendency to deviate away from the mainstream, as also reported in the survey.

In other words, even though the gays seem to enjoy Britney Spears and Mean Girls more than anything else, the overall percentage of gays who enjoy these things might be much lower than the percentage of breeders who like Band of Brothers (or vice versa).

Do the gays tend to have more unique/obscure interests, or do they simply have their own separate mainstream culture? The tag clouds and "mainstream-ness" analyses don't answer these questions, and I'd be genuinely curious to see what those statistics look like.
posted by schmod at 12:40 PM on October 12, 2010


breeders

Really?
posted by Justinian at 12:42 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


They don't have a sample set. People have pointed this out elsewhere, but it should be noted: these are the worst kind of convenience samples – that is, they're not actually a random sample, they're just a sample of a group that happened to be convenient to the OkCupid people.

For the sake of your own sanity, just preface every sentence with "Among OKcupid users,"
posted by empath at 12:44 PM on October 12, 2010 [4 favorites]


the overall percentage of gays who enjoy these things might be much lower than the percentage of breeders who like Band of Brothers (or vice versa).

I hereby demand that a survey be conducted to determine whether Kim and Kelley Deal like Band of Brothers.
posted by The World Famous at 12:46 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow Manitoba is more gay curious than British Columbia

That's probably just 'cause BC is more gay serious. Ba-dum-bum. (Although, yeah, they're the same colour.) It's a shame Atlantic and Northern Canada are cut off like that, though. I'm kind of surprised by that green bit of Labrador poking in. I wonder what the scene's like in Nunavut.

Of course, it's important to remember that this is not a survey of the general population, but of the particular thrifty net-savvy singles demographic that OK Cupid attracts, and of those, only the ones who felt like participating in a survey that asks if you've ever done it with another dude or lady. It's not exactly an ideal cross-section of North America at large. (What's their actual sample size, I wonder? They say they asked so many people, but how many actually answered?)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:47 PM on October 12, 2010


only the ones who felt like participating in a survey that asks if you've ever done it with another dude or lady.

All of these blog posts are based on match questions, not separate surveys.
posted by empath at 12:50 PM on October 12, 2010


Oregon, the Beaver State um Gay Curious State um Gay Curious Beaver State!
posted by Danf at 12:51 PM on October 12, 2010


It's worth noting that all OKC stats reflect how people are portraying themselves to potential dates, not necessarily how they actually feel or behave IRL.

It's also worth noting that successfully promiscuous people of any gender don't tend to rely on OKC, it's a dating site - booty calls are generally frowned upon.

Also worth noting these stats only reflect the demographic spread of OKC users, it's not like everyone in Manitoba is bi-curious, just that the Manitoban people that use OKC are... in Manitoba, OKC users might not be very many people at all which explains how the statistical mean may not reflect the statistical divergence and how even a couple of skews might redistribute the mean in a nonrepresentative way. I trust these stats to be at least representative of OKC users more for NY state, but for Manitoba? Not so much.

Still, as statscandy, these breakdowns are lots of fun.
posted by metameat at 12:59 PM on October 12, 2010


Come to think of it, it wouldn't be that hard to code together a Facebook app that leverages interests and a valid personality test and then tries to match people together based on those. That way, you don't need to deal with the whole "code a social network from scratch and get users to sign up for yet another website" thing and instead just get people to click Add application.

Are there any reasonably successful Facebook dating sites? Were I less lazy, I'd try cobbling one together... But then I'd have to learn PHP.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:01 PM on October 12, 2010


All of these blog posts are based on match questions, not separate surveys.

Of course, you're right. That don't make a lick of difference, however. All the flaws are the same.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:09 PM on October 12, 2010


Are there any reasonably successful Facebook dating sites? Were I less lazy, I'd try cobbling one together... But then I'd have to learn PHP.

I think there are a few Facebook popular dating apps. Some people don't like connecting their online dating life with their "real" life, though, which can be an obstacle for dating sites connected to Facebook and the like.
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 1:14 PM on October 12, 2010


But what is a bit uncool is the way that OkCupid trumpets their findings, and acts as though they're actually saying something about human beings in general and about statistical facts about humans in particular when they make these stupid posts.

Man, people love harping on this! As empath says above, inserting "among OKCupid users," fixes all your objections and I'd argue is clear enough already. Sure, the writing style is breathless and superlative, but they lead every single blog post with a big "Our data source" graphic that clearly states what types of (and how many) profiles they pulled the data from.

But—and I don't want to assume to much about you here, so go ahead and correct me—I'd wager the sample they use is pretty similar to the demographic of the types of people any of us might date or hang out with. Sure, not representative of the world or even just the U.S., but probably approximately close to the same demographic breakdown as readers of Metafilter or BoingBoing or anyone else who somehow ends up somehow reading the OKCupid blog. Do you disagree?

The added twist, of course, is that this is also all about the types of things people tell an online dating website and may not be totally true (we're going to trust self-reported sex partner counts on a dating site?). But when I read these posts, I think to myself, Gee, this is a fascinating look at the way the types of ladies I might date or other men and women I might hang out with describe themselves. I'm not even an OKCupid user, but isn't that interesting enough?

Honestly, the type of person who'd read this blog post and presume the data applies just as directly to the sexual and cultural values of homeless Chinese miners probably also believes that the earth is bigger than the sun.
posted by rafter at 1:18 PM on October 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


You'd never catch a man calling his (non-romantic) friends "boyfriend,"...

But, honey, many of us gays refer to our male friends as 'girlfriends' (as in: 'No, girlfriend, you're not wearing that out tonight, are you?). ; )
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on October 12, 2010


Are there any reasonably successful Facebook dating sites? Were I less lazy, I'd try cobbling one together... But then I'd have to learn PHP.

The whole "real names" thing becomes a liability.
posted by smackfu at 1:28 PM on October 12, 2010


I once thought that being gay was my own special kind of take on sex, everyday life and the grand philosophy of things, but I now sadly, sadly, sadly see we're all just great huge lumps sharing cheap thrills.
posted by drogien at 1:29 PM on October 12, 2010


...reality show like "The A-List: New York, from the Producers of 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' ...

Don't get me started. What a piece of trash TV that show is.*

* -- BTW, if you openly claim you're on the A-List, you're not.
posted by ericb at 1:31 PM on October 12, 2010


Hey straight guys? Wanna trade Britney Spears for Burn Notice? We'll throw in Katy Perry, too!
posted by Katrel at 1:37 PM on October 12, 2010


rafter: “Man, people love harping on this! As empath says above, inserting ‘among OKCupid users,’ fixes all your objections and I'd argue is clear enough already. Sure, the writing style is breathless and superlative, but they lead every single blog post with a big "Our data source" graphic that clearly states what types of (and how many) profiles they pulled the data from... The added twist, of course, is that this is also all about the types of things people tell an online dating website and may not be totally true (we're going to trust self-reported sex partner counts on a dating site?). But when I read these posts, I think to myself, Gee, this is a fascinating look at the way the types of ladies I might date or other men and women I might hang out with describe themselves.”

I guess the space between "added twist" and "point that makes this whole exercise meaningless" isn't that huge after all.

But, yeah – we're all jaded now, and I'm just a cranky old man, I know. You're annoyed about deception in advertising? Come on! Haven't we all just learned to accept it as a fact of life now?
posted by koeselitz at 1:40 PM on October 12, 2010


Of course, it would help if – yeah, I'll say it – it would help if we didn't get a Metafilter post every single time there's a blog post on OkCupid. EVERY SINGLE TIME.
posted by koeselitz at 1:40 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why exactly is the word "girlfriend" used by women to indicate a friend, anyway? You'd never catch a man calling his (non-romantic) friends "boyfriend," and not so much out of homophobia but just because it implies the wrong sort of relationship.

Well, for one, 'girl' is far more often applied to adult women than 'boy' is to adult men. So girl+friend can have a wider application than "boyfriend". A man will call his (non-romantic) friends "guys" (in general, and when specifying gender).

I wouldn't be surprised if this is also a matter of male being the unmarked category, so it feels more necessary to specify that you mean just your female friends.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:48 PM on October 12, 2010


There were times, as a young man, when I really did wish that gay men recruited. I would have gotten laid so much earlier, more easily and more often that it wouldn't even have been funny.

what it would have been was hot. Really, really hot.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:49 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


On a side note, to koeselitz, do you really trust most surveys where a question is loaded even if done "statistically right"?

I mean, we're taught not to trust them because there will always be a built-in bias, but we use them anyway. Pretending that people are honest outside of a dating site but not on it seems rather arbitrary to me. Yeah, they have more incentive to not be honest, but so do people answering surveys anonymously.

Either way, yeah, I find the stats candy to be fun though I would like access to their data sets.
posted by lizarrd at 1:49 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you refuse to click on OKCupid blog links, how do you know it's every time?
posted by stoneweaver at 2:00 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


"If you refuse to click on OKCupid blog links, how do you know it's every time?"

He has his (statistically random) test subjects click the links for him.
posted by Eideteker at 2:05 PM on October 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hey straight guys? Wanna trade Britney Spears for Burn Notice? We'll throw in Katy Perry, too!

Deal.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:10 PM on October 12, 2010


You know how Republicans always talk about how terrible homosexuality is and then they're always the ones found having furtive gay sex? Same thing with Mormons.

Republicans always talk about how terrible Mormonism is and then they're always the ones found wearing magic underpants?

posted by erniepan at 2:20 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


D'oh! </i>
posted by erniepan at 2:21 PM on October 12, 2010


I wonder what the scene's like in Nunavut.

I'm the only gay Eskimo.
posted by Kabanos at 2:35 PM on October 12, 2010


To anyone complaining about the lack of rigor in these statistics posts, keep in mind that OK Cupid is probably doing it for the entertainment value, hence the HUMOR apparent in the writing. If you don't like it go back to your ivory tower phds you smartypantses.
posted by splatta at 2:56 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


So if you, like me, have ever had an Indian girl/boyfriend, and said to yourself, "Man, almost anything else would be easier than this," apparently you would be RIGHT. Thanks, OkCupid! Now my past makes sense!
posted by 1adam12 at 3:26 PM on October 12, 2010


koeselitz: "They don't have a sample set. People have pointed this out elsewhere, but it should be noted: these are the worst kind of convenience samples – that is, they're not actually a random sample, they're just a sample of a group that happened to be convenient to the OkCupid people. To put it plainly: it's not at all clear or self-evident that people who use dating sites are without question exactly the same in all respects as people who don't, or that they provide a cross-section of the population at large. What's more, the data they give often is incredibly disingenuous. They don't even have the expectation of honesty that an actual scientific survey might inspire. In fact, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a forum in which people are more likely to lie about themselves and their likes than in their profile on a dating web site. Seriously, is anyone really under the impression that people are being completely, totally honest in their OkCupid profiles?"

OKCupid's data certainly has its weaknesses as a single and potentially biased sample set. However it has incredible strengths. You cannot ask people how racist they are and expect them to tell you the truth, except with very cleaver tricks all you can measure is a respondent's expectation of social propriety. OKCupid's analysis of racism on their site allowed a fantastically large n of people across measured political, socio-economic, and geographical barriers to demonstrate how racist their mate selection is. It can be a powerful data set. That said this post, as presented, is bullshit. OKCuipd has a well known bias for gay men and women who self select there for meaningful and long lasting relationships.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:58 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Uh, I have never been less convinced that OKC represents most people than I was just now, when I saw "my boat" near the top of the straight guy tag-cloud. I know exactly one person who owns a boat. Do you know how much a boat costs? Well. A boat costs a lot.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:00 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Again, the tag clouds were the extreme difference outliers. Also, in some parts of the country boat ownership is more common and boats are cheaper if it's basically a little dingy you tow out to the lake for a little bass fishin'. They're not all 40 ft cabin cruisers.
posted by GuyZero at 4:08 PM on October 12, 2010


Yeah, when I lived in the South a lot of guys without much money had boats. I mean, a canoe is a boat (we had a canoe. They're not much more than a nice bike).
posted by wildcrdj at 4:27 PM on October 12, 2010


"Women are twice as likely as men to think the Earth is bigger than the Sun?"

It would seem size doesn't matter, then.
posted by howling fantods at 4:27 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I have a good number of relatives with cheap boats for spending the day at the lake fishing, and they all live in the rural Midwest.
posted by rewil at 4:30 PM on October 12, 2010


I know exactly one person who owns a boat. Do you know how much a boat costs? Well. A boat costs a lot.

Straight guys on OKCupid are, apparently, more likely than gay guys to believe that pretending you have a boat will get you dates.
posted by The World Famous at 4:33 PM on October 12, 2010


Please do not call heterosexual people with children "breeders". I am more than my reproductive organs. Thank you.
posted by misha at 4:33 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


kittens for breakfast: "A boat costs a lot."

For most of my childhood, my family owned a pontoon boat that cost exactly $100 used. We actually shared it with another family, so it cost us $50, but the other family never used it. Finally, my dad offered to buy out the other family. Renting space for it at the dock cost about $100 for the full summer (this was in South Dakota).

I loved that boat. We'd sometimes take it for long rides on the weekends or we'd just take it for a quick cruise between church and lunch. My parents used to meet each other on it during their lunch breaks and just have lunch there with it tied to the dock.

As I got older, the boat did too, and it looked stranger and stranger among the ever-fancier speedboats that showed up alongside it. The people who seemingly changed boats every few years, I always wondered what they did with their old boats. If they were selling them, I don't know where the old owners were keeping them. But here's the thing: we totally used our boat more than the people with the more expensive boats. We were on that thing all the time.

Once in awhile, I get a wild hair up my ass and search for boats on Craigslist for less than $500. And a few nice-looking numbers always show up. But in San Francisco, rental for a place to keep it is another story.

What's my point? I dunno, maybe there's no shortage of boats. Maybe the kind of people who love their boats aren't always the kind of people you think they are. Maybe I miss living somewhere where it would have been possible for me to own a boat. I've given that up to live the urbane dream, and hollowly accusing boat-owners of materialism doesn't make that any less bitter.

posted by roll truck roll at 4:41 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


rachums: Actually, the "stuff people like" chart convinced me I am really a gay man. Who knew?

That chart convinced me I really don't belong on OKCupid at all. Which I already knew.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:44 PM on October 12, 2010


Please do not call heterosexual people with children "breeders". I am more than my reproductive organs. Thank you.

Wait. Wouldn't the term "breeder" more accurately describe an individual or couple that employs a surrogate in order to have a baby? After all, when referring to animal husbandry, the "breeder" is not the animal that is reproducing, but the person or entity overseeing the process and benefitting from the reproduction. I propose that, to the extent that the term "breeder" is to be used to describe human reproduction, the term should refer only to someone who is not one of the reproducing parties but at whose behest the reproduction is taking place.
posted by The World Famous at 4:50 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to wonder how the fuck people in the South could afford so many boats. Really? Everyone has a bass boat? WTF? Then I realized:

* Real estate prices in many southern states are way, way different than California's.
* Your real estate purchase in the South is generally bigger than postage stamp California's, offering you boat storage.
* Your car of choice is more likely to be a truck. Which you'll use to haul your boat.

Ergo ... boat. Maybe I should move?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:12 PM on October 12, 2010


Please do not call heterosexual people with children "breeders". I am more than my reproductive organs. Thank you.

Please do not call white people with European ancestors "honkies" and "crackers." I am more than this bicycle horn where my nose would be, and I only get crumbled over soup every couple of months.

Sorry, but in the battle of "Mommy, mommy! They called me a bad name!" vs. "Mommy, mommy! They severely restricted my human rights!" there is a fairly obvious victor, and its name is Get Some Frigging Perspective.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:01 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait. Wouldn't the term "breeder" more accurately describe an individual or couple that employs a surrogate in order to have a baby? After all, when referring to animal husbandry, the "breeder" is not the animal that is reproducing, but the person or entity overseeing the process and benefitting from the reproduction. I propose that, to the extent that the term "breeder" is to be used to describe human reproduction, the term should refer only to someone who is not one of the reproducing parties but at whose behest the reproduction is taking place.

So you're saying people who buy dogs from a breeder are themselves breeders? So, uh, what does that make the, um, breeder?

(And, actually, an animal used for breeding is indeed often referred to as a breeder.)
posted by Sys Rq at 6:07 PM on October 12, 2010


Sorry, but in the battle of "Mommy, mommy! They called me a bad name!" vs. "Mommy, mommy! They severely restricted my human rights!" there is a fairly obvious victor, and its name is Get Some Frigging Perspective.

WTF does this even mean? It has no context here. No one is trying to squelch anyone's "human rights" in this thread. Get over yourself.

Seriously, you are either trying to start a major derail or just being willfully contentious.
posted by misha at 7:08 PM on October 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Um, people who have children are not being used for breeding.
posted by The World Famous at 7:21 PM on October 12, 2010


I'm not gay, but according to that map it looks like I should be.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:52 PM on October 12, 2010


That's a weird map. It's hard to believe that one rural county in Nowhere, Texas really has such a shockingly different rate of gay-curiousness than the neighboring county in Nowhere, Oklamahoma. Or that the 500 people in some Llano Estacado county of New Mexico are really THAT much more gay than the 500 people in the county across the state line in Texas.

Weird. Something to do with how they're geocoding people, or how they're dealing with people who only report their state?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:24 PM on October 12, 2010


"Women are twice as likely as men to think the Earth is bigger than the Sun?"

It would seem size doesn't matter, then.


Only if you date really stupid women.
posted by maryr at 10:11 PM on October 12, 2010


I agree, this is stat candy. However, I have a sweet tooth, and there are a couple of things that stood out from the rest of the page:

Education, anyone? Those numbers are on the Sun/Earth question are significantly different -- worthy of actual social commentary.


In our dataset, there was not a single gay user, male or female, who primarily searched for straight people.

I mean, yes, it's obvious, but it's a bold enough claim based on whatever their definition of "primarily" is, and in a convenience sample of 4 million. It is still one of the most important parts of the post. This notion is not news to us, but it's something I'd like my conservative grandmother to see, that's for sure.
posted by aniola at 11:06 PM on October 12, 2010


Women are twice as likely as men to think the Earth is bigger than the Sun

Perhaps, but in all honesty, do we really want to fault women for overstating the size of the things they see?
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 2:13 AM on October 13, 2010


A statistically significant amount of Lesbians like Law & Order: SVU.

Wait, what?
posted by unigolyn at 3:15 AM on October 13, 2010


I'm not gay, but according to that map it looks like I should be.

Actually according to that map you'd love to experiment.
posted by unigolyn at 3:17 AM on October 13, 2010


So you're saying five to ten percent of people don't know what "funny" means?
posted by ook at 2:33 PM on October 12 [3 favorites -] Favorite added! [!]

HELLO OREGON.
posted by kittyprecious at 2:34 PM on October 12 [6 favorites +] [!]


Just wanted to say that the juxtaposition of these two comments made me giggle.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:16 AM on October 13, 2010


that map of who's [willing to admit in semi-public that they are] gay-curious is kind of startling.

I'm kinda wondering if they didn't actually poll the user base in a "hey do you have a few minutes?" kind of way, but used one of their tests to extrapolate data from. It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of people who take these tests think there's no harm in answering highly personal questions "privately".
posted by squeak at 5:31 AM on October 13, 2010


I'm kinda wondering if they didn't actually poll the user base in a "hey do you have a few minutes?" kind of way,

They got the information from match questions which are private but are used to create your profile attributes (more kinky, more into drugs, etc)
posted by empath at 6:29 AM on October 13, 2010


Is this where I go to point out that I'm a special snowflake and have little in common with my peer group?
posted by electroboy at 6:47 AM on October 13, 2010


It's hard to believe that one rural county in Nowhere, Texas really has such a shockingly different rate of gay-curiousness than the neighboring county in Nowhere, Oklamahoma.

I'm not sure what you're looking at. In Texas I see Dallas (and Denton, slightly to the north, which is a huuuge college town, not rural at all,) Houston, Austin, and San Antonio as the red areas. (Admittedly I'm not sure what's going on down there on the Mexican border.)
posted by restless_nomad at 7:25 AM on October 13, 2010


It's kind of surprising how visible state lines are on this map.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2010


Actually according to that map you'd love to experiment.
posted by unigolyn at 5:17 AM on October 13 [+] [!]


You offering?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:29 PM on October 13, 2010


empath, match questions are public unless you mark them private and, if you forget to mark it private you have to wait 24 hours before you can go back to re-answer it in order to hide it from public view.

I'm still not convinced they only use match questions when they collect data for their half baked statistics and, as koeselitz pointed out way up thread there are just too many things wrong including what people are self reporting as truth. Either way, I just thought it was extremely curious.
posted by squeak at 4:00 PM on October 13, 2010


Is this where I go to point out that I'm a special snowflake and have little in common with my peer group?

Sure, if you're from the baby-blue South.

*checks profile*

A yellow state? What I don't even
posted by Sys Rq at 6:01 PM on October 13, 2010


A statistically significant amount of Lesbians like Law & Order: SVU.

Wait, what?


IANAL, but I'm guessing that it may have something to do with Mariska Hartigay. (Which, you have to admit, would be pretty eponysterical.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:42 PM on October 14, 2010


empath, match questions are public unless you mark them private and, if you forget to mark it private you have to wait 24 hours before you can go back to re-answer it in order to hide it from public view.

The other way around, I'm afraid.
posted by empath at 2:18 PM on October 14, 2010


It's been changed recently to public by default unless you check private.
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 3:16 PM on October 14, 2010


IANAL, but I'm guessing that it may have something to do with Mariska Hartigay. (Which, you have to admit, would be pretty eponysterical.)

It would be, except it's Hargitay.
posted by rtha at 3:21 PM on October 14, 2010


It's kind of surprising how visible state lines are on this map.

madcaptenor, I presume that's because some customers only specify their location by state, instead of city/zip code. Those customers will affect the entire state's color, emphasizing state borders.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:44 AM on October 19, 2010


That makes sense. (Although why would you not specify your city on a dating site? States are big, and presumably you want to find people to meet in real life.)
posted by madcaptenor at 7:59 PM on October 19, 2010


You actually can't specify just your state on OkCupid.
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 8:31 PM on October 19, 2010




Oh, God, I can't stop laughing.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:46 PM on October 22, 2010


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