What qualities get men and women the most responses in online dating?

The number of responses to personal advertisements can be a good source of information about preferences within the human mate market. From an analysis of responses to 551 advertisements placed by males in a local Lower Silesian (Poland) newspaper and 617 placed by females, we assessed which particular traits influenced the “hit rate” (the number of responses), using the Generalized Linear Model (GLM) with the number of responses as the dependent variable and traits offered by advertisers such as age, education level, place of residence, marital status, height, weight, offered resources, and attractiveness as the independent variables. The traits that appeared to influence the hit rate for advertisements placed by males were, in order of importance, education level, age, height, and resources offered, all of which were positively correlated with the hit rate. In contrast, certain traits advertised by females such as weight, height, education, and stated age were all negatively correlated with the hit rate. Resources offered by men had only a small positive effect and the advertising of general attractiveness by women had no effect at all on the hit rate, suggesting that respondents to personal advertisements rely much more on relatively objective traits, such as achieved education, male height, and female weight, than on those traits which are more open to subjective error or manipulation.

Source: “The impact of traits offered in personal advertisements on response rates” from Evolution and Human Behavior, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 139-149 (March 2002)

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