But the same way I try to lay out best practices for dating and relationships while allowing for many exceptions to the rules, I think we’d all be well served to pay attention to how people really act when no one’s looking instead of taking their word for it. Men are attracted to women who are at their most fertile.Is doesn’t matter if the man is 50, already had kids, and has virtually no chance of being with a 20 year old.I once read that the reason blond women are perceived as most attractive by scores of men is that blonds have a slightly higher estrogen level than women with other hair colors.
Christian Rudder, president of Ok Cupid, is the guy who digs up the numbers from the millions of people using his free dating site.
In his book, “Dataclysm,” he points out that who we want to be and who we really are can be two very different things.
Data reveals truths that we might not want to say out loud.
This is no surprise, much to the chagrin of 40+ year-old guys who swear that they have the same chance at the hot 28-year-old as they did 10 years earlier.
Of course, when you flip the data around and look at what age men find women most physically appealing, you get an appalling answer. It’s shocking to see on paper, but not so surprising if you’ve ever talked to an actual man, read a men’s magazine or looked at porn intended for men.
Instead of the female curve, which suggests that 34-year-old women like 34-year-old men, men find 20 year-old women most physically appealing, no matter how old they were. This doesn’t mean that 40 year old men want to MARRY that 20 year old woman, only that they find her the most physically appealing.
To tell men NOT to feel this way would be akin to telling them not to breathe.
Now, I don’t always agree with all of the conclusions that Rudder draws from his Ok Cupid data.
Once upon a time, he was trying to illustrate why free dating sites were “better” than paid dating sites, but it was clear that he was advocating for Ok Cupid.
Regardless, big data is often very revealing about people’s real preferences – height, weight, age, income, sex, and so on.
The one problem with big data is that it removes the human element – and dating is very much about human connection. I think the attraction to 20 year olds is in large part biological.