REED: No, but I figured the woman I was trying to create probably constitutes Aaron Carter’s basic fan base. REED: Well, Aaron Carter is the younger brother of a Backstreet Boy who had a brief and ill-advised rap career. And keeping America American, to me, is sort of code for I don’t like people who don’t look like me. She got probably 10 times the number of messages that my real profile got. REED: Well, Aaron Carter Fan’s one redeeming quality is that she is very good looking.
I had the profile up for two or three weeks, and she got close to 1000 men message her.
[MUSIC: Tear Ceremony, “I Dream of You Endlessly” (from Resin)] Alli REED: I had been personally on OKCupid on and off for a few years… REED: I actually, believe it or not, did not want to meet any of these men in real life. Alli Reed wrote a fake OKCupid profile for a really good-looking 25-year-old woman who also happened to be a racist, gold-digging, fake-pregnant-getting nightmare – and she got almost 1,000 replies. OYER: Just to give you one statistic that comes from the OKCupid blog, and I’m quoting here, “A hot woman receives roughly four times the messages an average-looking woman gets and 25 times as many as an ugly one.” And then there’s this interesting superstar effect where the very hottest 5 percent of men get twice as many emails as men who are just below that, who are more like the 10 percentile most attractive, but not among the very top 5 percent.
So under the section “what I am really good at” the only thing she lists is “convincing people I’m pregnant.” DUBNER: LOL at the end of it. DUBNER: And how many dates did you have then out of Aaron Carter Fan fishing? [THEME] ANNOUNCER: From WNYC: This is FREAKONOMICS RADIO, the podcast that explores the hidden side of everything. [MUSIC: The Diplomats of Solid Sound, “The Cuber Bake” (from Let’s Cool One)] DUBNER: We’re talking today about online dating.
Now, why did Oyer suddenly turn his attention to online dating?
Paul OYER: When men are deciding who to contact on dating sites, looks matter a great deal. Women are in general a little bit more attracted to lawyers, doctors, men in the military and firefighters, which I’d always heard was a stereotype, but apparently it turns out to be at least a little bit true.
[MUSIC: All Good Funk Alliance, “Timely Convo” (from Social Comment)] DUBNER: Paul Oyer usually writes papers with sexy titles like “Fiscal Year-Ends and Non-Linear Incentive Contracts: The Effect on Business Seasonality,” and “Are There Sectoral Anomalies Too?