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October 13, 2010

OKCupid sets gay record straight

Filed under: Psychology, blogs — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:03 am

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Mad props to OKCupid:

Gay issues have been in the news a lot lately, from the debate over same-sex marriage in Congress to a sickening rash of gay-bashing here in New York City. We see a lot of emotion out there, instead of information, and we wanted to provide some data-based context on sexuality so that people might make better choices about what they say, think, and do.

We run a massive dating site and therefore have unparalleled insight into sex and relationships. Here’s what we’ve found, in numbers and charts…

Their data-based results include: gay people are not out to bed breeders, gay people are not “promiscuous” (even on a dating site), and a whole lot of people are gay-curious. (BG: Possibly, in some cases, those who are gay-furious.) Anyway, just go read it. It’s quite important, and also very funny. That’s it. I just wanted to give the report, and its mission, an even bigger high-five than I could in 140 characters. VOTE CUOMO!

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August 17, 2010

Read (the facts) Slay (the myth) Love (your life)

Filed under: media, pop culture — posted by Rose @ 9:51 am

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Perhaps the sight of Julia Roberts biking about Bali isn’t enough to convince you that a high-performance, career-empowered, smart, single, temporarily celibate (gasp!) woman over 30 can too find love, reclaim her libido and live happily ever after. That’s just a celluloid reenactment of one woman’s truth, after all — and, come on, who doesn’t fall in love with Julia Roberts?

Also debuting on Friday was author and professor Caryl Rivers’s fantastic, fact-fortified screed, published by Women’s eNews and entitled “Smart Women Take Heart: Your Love Life Is Fine,” rallying against the false notion of the “marriage penalty” — the myth that the Elizabeth Gilbert types are unhappy, destined for further unhappiness (which of course means never marrying), and themselves entirely to blame for their alleged unhappiness.

“What should smart ambitious women with some measure of career fulfillment do to prove they’re not miserable and sexless?” Rivers asks. “No matter how many times researchers debunk that story with real facts, it refuses to die. Feminism is always the culprit for women’s alleged unhappiness.”

What sets Rivers off is an Camille Paglia-penned op-ed piece blasting those very women for the nationwide “sexual malaise” that’s been spawned by their “priggish” ways; because “ambitious women postpone recreation,” Paglia opines, American office space is now a place where “physicality is suppressed, voices are lowered and gestures curtailed.”

And if you do become lucky enough to snare a mate and pop out a few kids? Then you’re at fault for emasculating America’s menfolk into “cogs in a domestic machine commanded by women.”

Sheesh.

Rivers’s retort to all this is sweeping and gratifying. It’s worth a read in its entirety, but here are the highlights:

  • Data collected by the United States General Social Survey since 1972 finds no statistical difference in the overall happiness of adult women compared to adult men. (Men’s happiness average clicks in a half-point higher than women’s, a statistical blip that many media outlets have overblown.)
  • A certain “The smarter the woman, the less likely she’s married” chestnut is based on data collected in 1921.
  • Men and women with highly rewarding jobs are more likely to report higher levels of sexual satisfaction.
  • Your office is not a singles’ club… OK, that one’s mine, but seriously, Paglia — since when do we all meet our future mates at work? Since never.

“But don’t expect these facts to spoil the media’s love affair with the notion of a high-achieving woman sacrificing her sex appeal,” Rivers writes. Seriously. Gelato, anyone?

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January 15, 2010

Why am I single? Do the math. Srsly, do the MATH.

Filed under: Treats — posted by Kristine @ 11:26 am

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The really rather cute Peter Backus, a Ph.D. candidate in economics in England, has boldly attempted to solve one of the great mysteries of the universe, otherwise known as “Why I don’t have a girlfriend.”

To do so, he employs The Drake Equation, which “is used to estimate the number of highly evolved civilisations that might exist in our galaxy,” he writes. “I have used this approach to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. The results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.”

The equation was developed in 1961 by Dr. Frank Drake at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. The equation is generally specified as:

G = R • fP • ne • fl • fi • fe • L

where
G = The number of civilizations capable of interstellar communication
R = The rate of formation of stars capable of supporting life (stars like our Sun)
ne = The average number of planets similar to Earth per planetary system
fl = The fraction of the Earth-like planets supporting life of any kind
fi = The fraction of life-supporting planets where intelligent life develops
fc = The fraction of planets with intelligent life that are capable of interstellar communication (those which have electromagnetic technology like radio or TV)
L = The length of time such communicating civilizations survive

Backus makes the following adjustments:

G = N* • fm • fl • fA • fU • fB

where
G = The number of potential girlfriends.
R = The rate of formation of people in the UK (i.e. population growth).
fW = The fraction of people in the UK who are women.
fL = The fraction of women in the UK who live in London.
fA = The fraction of the women in London who are age-­appropriate.
fU = The fraction of age-­appropriate women in London with a university education.
fB = The fraction of university educated, age-­appropriate women in London who I find physically attractive.
L = The length of time in years that I have been alive thus making an encounter with a potential girlfriend possible.

With me so far? I am now going to attempt to apply Backus’ equation to my chance of finding a man in New York — with the following caveats. (more…)

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