We find that dating markets in each city are partitioned into submarkets along lines of age and ethnicity. The data are protected under institutional review board–approved guidelines for HUM00075042.

Sex ratio varies widely between submarkets, with younger submarkets having more men and fewer women than older ones.

sociological research online dating-18

"That men care about height at all is, we suspect, a function of their realizing they may get rejected if they aren't quite a bit taller than their potential mates," she adds.

But when it came to body weight, men were less likely to browse the profile of a woman who was heavy-set, whereas women showed little aversion to—with some showing even more interest in—heavier-set men.

We study the structure of heterosexual dating markets in the United States through an analysis of the interactions of several million users of a large online dating website, applying recently developed network analysis methods to the pattern of messages exchanged among users.

Our analysis shows that the strongest driver of romantic interaction at the national level is simple geographic proximity, but at the local level, other demographic factors come into play.

Not according to a study of more than 1 million interactions on a dating website published this week in the .

Instead, the results indicate that you are probably looking for "deal breakers," harshly eliminating those who do not live up to your standards. People met their romantic partners through the recommendations of friends, family, or even at real-world locations known as "bars." Whatever signals and decisions led people to couple up were lost to science. According to the Pew Research Center, 5% of Americans in a committed romantic relationship say they met their partner through an online dating site.

A team led by Elizabeth Bruch, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, tapped into this torrent of dating data.

Because of a nondisclosure agreement, the researchers can't reveal the exact source of their subjects, describing it only as an "established, marriage-oriented, subscription-based dating site" from which they randomly selected 1855 people, all based in New York City.

Bruch's team devised a statistical model that maps the "decision rules" people follow during the first two steps.