In recent years, online dating sites like OKCupid have provided a deluge of data about people’s preferences when it comes to finding a partner. It’s now possible to track the proportion of individuals searching for a kindred cat person, the number of omnivores who are open to dating a vegetarian, and the prevalence of racial biases, among other leanings.
A recent study takes a look at the boatloads of information on OKCupid from the opposing perspective—examining not what men and women are looking for, but how they describe themselves in their profiles. Darin Hawley, the founder of hugequiz.com, parsed through 97,000 profiles of straight men and women from the 100 most populous cities in the United States and identified the most common descriptors.
His findings, which he shared with Quartz, offer an interesting look at what each gender, respectively, views as their most marketable traits on the platform. When Hawley analyzed the words appearing more on male profiles than female ones, he discovered an overwhelming use of terms describing professional occupations, including “engineer,” “software,” “musician,” and “construction.” (“Ladies” does, however, take the top spot.)
Conversely, the words that appeared more on female profiles than male ones emphasized appearance and personality traits, with far fewer professional terms cracking the list. Instead, words like “girly,” “sassy,” and “curves,” dominated. “Nurse” was the sole exception.