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According to Christian Rudder, the Harvard-educated data whiz who founded Ok Cupid, that’s not actually how it works. In a 2009 post on the dating site’s Ok Trends dating research blog, Rudder noted that there’s very little variation in how people of different races match up with each other based on the site’s algorithm, which analyzes their interests and spits out a score showing their compatibility.There is a tight correlation between how well two people match each other and how likely they are to message each other back and forth—the best sign the site’s operators have that a relationship is blossoming.As recently as 1995, fewer than half of all Gallup survey respondents favored interracial marriage—and only 4 percent did in 1985.Now such sentiments are relegated to shadowy Internet message boards and corners of right-wing talk radio.But then she also asked them a number of questions about their judgments of each person based on appearance of the people in the images.Petersen didn’t just want to see that someone said yes or no; she also wanted to know why.We’re in the midst of a cultural sea change to one of the most central institutions in the life of the nation.
As it turns out, race is a huge factor when it comes to making romantic connections online, one that puts certain groups at persistent, structural disadvantages.
“As a result, the gap between conservatives and liberals in revealed same-race preferences, while still substantial, is not as pronounced as their stated attitudes would suggest.” The researchers suggest that what’s going on here isn’t overt racism.
Instead, it’s an interplay of social issues operating just below the surface.
Using the signs of the Zodiac as an example, Rudder found that every single Zodiac sign matches every other Zodiac sign at exactly the same 60 percent compatibility rate—save for a one point drop for inter-Aquarius pairings.
The rate at which members of each Zodiac group respond to messages from other Zodiac signs is basically identical for every possible match.