Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Why We Need a Socialist Dating Market


According to Bernie Sanders, capitalism creates income inequality while socialism solves it. His fellow Socialist, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, is proposing a 70 percent tax on income, also aimed at reducing inequality. In fact, wiping out inequality is one of the primary goals of those who ascribe to socialist ideology. 

Given this, it is a bit surprising that Bernie and AOC have not rolled out a plan for one of the greatest fields of market-driven, pain-filled inequality that exists today: the dating market.

We all know how bad the dating market is. Young men and young women are floundering around, helplessly looking for a mate but failing to make it to the altar. Clearly, there is something afoot that needs a remedy.

Writing in Quillette, data scientist Bradford Tuckfield explains what’s really happening in this market by presenting data from the popular dating apps “Hinge,” “Tinder,” and “OkCupid.” The statistics are brutal. These dating sites show blatant discrimination resulting in immoral inequalities:

Yet another study, run by OkCupid on their huge datasets, found that women rate 80 percent of men as “worse-looking than medium,” and that this 80 percent “below-average” block received replies to messages only about 30 percent of the time or less. By contrast, men rate women as worse-looking than medium only about 50 percent of the time, and this 50 percent below-average block received message replies closer to 40 percent of the time or higher.

It’s very clear. In the dating market, men are inclusive and embrace diversity. Women don’t. 

Tuckfield then goes on to discuss how the Gini Coefficient, an economic tool for the study of inequality, can help understand the dating market. The Gini Coefficient goes from zero to one. In the case of dating apps: 

The Gini coefficient for men collectively is determined by women’s collective preferences, and vice versa. If women all find every man equally attractive, the male dating economy will have a Gini coefficient of zero. If men all find the same one woman attractive and consider all other women unattractive, the female dating economy will have a Gini coefficient close to one. 

The results of applying the Gini coefficient to Tinder are simply shocking, a fact Tuckfield demonstrates by citing the following Tweet:


Tinder's Gini coefficient is 0.58, meaning "it has higher inequality than 95% [of] the world's national economies"

— Devon (@devonzuegel) January 22, 2019


Tuckfield then summarizes the research:

If these findings are to be believed, the great majority of women are only willing to communicate romantically with a small minority of men while most men are willing to communicate romantically with most women. The degree of inequality in “likes” and “matches” credibly measures the degree of inequality in attractiveness, and necessarily implies at least that degree of inequality in romantic experiences. It seems hard to avoid a basic conclusion: that the majority of women find the majority of men unattractive and not worth engaging with romantically, while the reverse is not true. Stated in another way, it seems that men collectively create a “dating economy” for women with relatively low inequality, while women collectively create a “dating economy” for men with very high inequality.

There you have it. Although this unregulated market theoretically allows all men and women access to the dating pool, the discriminatory attitudes of the participants produce gross inequalities.

Given all the concern over white male privilege, these results should be a wake-up call. Men are the primary victims of this discrimination, for 80 percent of men on a dating app will be ignored by the women they contact. 

Some people would say that women are just pickier. But isn’t “picky” just another term for prejudice and discrimination? Millions of men suffer rejection, discrimination, and heartbreak every day. Why do we focus on the gender pay gap, when a much bigger problem of inequality is staring us right in the face? 

But don’t give up men – there is hope. Perhaps we just need to talk to AOC, point out the inequality that exists, and get her to propose a socialized dating market to end all this inequality and misery. If we’re going to be consistent and snuff out inequality, then this issue should be next on the agenda.


[Image Credit: Pixabay]