Nerd alert: This blog posting by the staff at OKCupid is full of statistics, but ultimately interesting. It demonstrates how much looks (i.e., your photo) matters when it comes to getting any hits on your online dating post. In fact, they determine that your picture matters more than anything else you post on the site.
What is sort of interesting, however, is how men and women respond to the attractiveness of the photo. Men will judge most women to be of “average” attractiveness — very few will be found to be decidedly unattractive and, likewise, few will be seen as extremely attractive. In somewhat surprising contrast, women are MUCH more likely to rate men as unattractive to average attractiveness.
However — how men and women react to that information differs. Men, despite there only being (in their eyes) very few attractive women will only write to those women. Women, who perhaps because they know there are so few (in their eyes) prime men, are more likely to write to those they find less attractive. The result? A highly attractive woman gets 5 times as many messages as an average woman and 28 times as many messages as an unattractive woman. These differences aren’t as great the other way around where the most attractive guys get 11 times the messages the least attractive do.
Just another way to point out that even though we discourage our youth to post pictures of themselves that will gain “this sort of attention” we have to be honest with ourselves — this sort of attention works in the adult world, too.