Can’t buy me love?

All over the greater diaspora, Aunties bemoan that desi children are picky. How will they ever be satisfied? How will they ever settle down and start popping out the requisite grandkids?

Aunties can sleep better at night now that SCIENCE is on the job. Examining peoples’ behavior in online dating settings (which is equivalent to looking at biodata), they’ve noticed a few clear patterns:

Men are easy – they are generally interested in hotness above all.

Women are choosier, but it turns out their preferences are fungible. This is good news for aunties because it gives them a metric with which to translate different suitor’s attributes to a common scale, allowing them to rank apples and oranges. They can tell, for example, whether an average woman (in this study) is likely to prefer the not quite as handsome, shorter i-banker or the more gorgeous, slightly taller, high school English teacher.

What is this common scale? Money. According to these researchers, women will forgive men’s flaws if (gasp) they earn more.

Consider looks. A guy can compensate for ordinary looks with more moola, which tells us what he has to reveal in his biodata if he wants to be a playa:

Suppose you’re an ordinary-looking guy whose online picture is ranked around the median in attractiveness… And suppose you’d like to be as successful with women as a guy whose picture is ranked in the top tenth. Then you’d need to make $143,000 more than him. If your picture is ranked in the bottom tenth, you’d need to make $186,000 more than him. [Link]

Cash also acts like elevator shoes for our shorter brothers:

… a 5-foot-0 guy would need to make $325,000 more than a 6-foot-0 man to be as successful in the online dating market. [Link]

Race matters too. Generally speaking, men were more willing to date somebody of a different race than women, with the exception of Asian women who preferred White men over others. (3/4ths of Asian-white marriages have Asian women and white men [Link] )

For equal success with an Asian woman, an African-American needs no additional income; a white man needs $24,000 less than average; a Hispanic man needs $28,000 more than average. [Link]

It’s not clear whether brown women act like their other Asian counterparts – any thoughts?

Lastly, if you want to get around these sorts of hurdles, skip the biodata and move straight to cha:

… people who are terribly picky in choosing partners online will relax their standards if they spend just three or minutes talking to someone at a speed dating session. [Link]

There you go. Now that science has helped Aunties, maybe it will come up for a way for the rest of us to be able to evade them. Oh yeah, it’s called caller ID

In case you’re interested, here is the academic paper in question.

Related posts: Speed kills (part 1), Speed kills (part 2)

577 thoughts on “Can’t buy me love?

  1. I know it’s easy to doubt the veracity of PG’s experiences, but I’m shocked at all the deniers of molestation out there.

    I’m not doubting the veracity of the various groping stories here, nor am I suggesting that it’s a trivial problem. I just don’t buy that molestations and concerns over eve teasing are the reasons for the paternalistic treatment of women in India. The government (and social institutions) had these attitudes long before eve teasing became the huge problem it is today.

  2. You know, when some Hollywood celebs got ticked off at paparazzi following them all over with cameras, repeatedly taking pictures. They started carrying cameras themselves and photographing the paparazzo’s. Gave them a taste of their own medicine.

    It’s not a permanent solution.. but it might work in the short term… get my drift?

  3. It’s not a permanent solution.. but it might work in the short term… get my drift?

    Women groping men? It might work, but don’t some men enjoy that sort of thing anyhow? ;)

  4. Women groping men? It might work, but don’t some men enjoy that sort of thing anyhow? ;)

    Not if you grew your nails out, and tipped them benzene or something like that.

  5. deshikashi said…

    I lived in Hyderabad and took public transportation, and groping attempts were a DAILY phenomenon. My mom and aunts and my childhood friends have all had the same experience. My mom even got groped when she was PREGNANT. It’s happened to me a couple of times in major US cities, but on nowhere near the same scale.

    So I think for an accurate grope estimate for the general public based on the above data, we need to factor in a ‘DGEF’ for the above data (Deshikashi Grope Exaggeration Factor, a multiplicative factor we propose here, to get the estimate of the same for an average woman in the population). One insight for getting a crude estimate on the ‘DGEF’ is given next: Since Dkashi has been groped twice in the United states, if we can come up with an (at least lower bound) empirical estimate for the number of similar gropes by women in the US on average (which i would be surprised if its not somewhere very very close to zero!?!?), we can get a (lower bound) estimate for the ‘DGEF’, which extrapolating to India, you can get an acceptable (lower bound) groping estimate there on average. Peace.

    HMF, are you excited about this? (ref. comment # 450 LOL :p)

    Disclaimer: No offence

  6. HMF – ROTFLMAO at your solution. Just had a nasty visual of myself groping the ass of some random (no pun intended) dude in the middle of a bus. The thing is, a girl has only two hands. How do we know which ass to choose? And what if said groping is seen as an invitation by the ungroped to grope? There has to be some protection of the rear guard (not to mention the flanks) before the army advances. This draft policy requires some very careful thinking through.

    SP – agreed about Random. Advanced stage of self-delusion; symptoms: gibberish, poorly-aimed insults, defensiveness and more gibberish; no treatment currently available.

  7. And what if said groping is seen as an invitation by the ungroped to grope?

    Collateral Damage.

  8. SP – agreed about Random. Advanced stage of self-delusion; symptoms: gibberish, poorly-aimed insults, defensiveness and more gibberish; no treatment currently available.

    ‘gibberish’ can be relative, so I give you credit on saying that out. I am RANDOM, after all. But don’t you think you are totally deluding yourself about the rest of what you said above? ;) Thanks, and have a nice day :D

  9. It’s not a permanent solution.. but it might work in the short term… get my drift?

    Haha…actually my aunt carried a pin and poked anyone who got to close. I know a lot of people who just called people out on it publicly, which also works (they never expect that). I just started carrying an umbrella for self defense and it actually seemed to work as a deterrent. Or stepping on people’s toes. The problem is on a crowded bus, you are often never sure if it was accidental or on purpose or even who did it so you might end up attacking some innocent people!

    SP, I never answered your question earlier. I have never worked in India but I’m not really trying to say that patriarchy in the workplace is worse in America, only that it does actually exist in a very real way.

  10. Women groping men? It might work, but don’t some men enjoy that sort of thing anyhow? ;)
    Not if you grew your nails out, and tipped them benzene or something like that.

    It can be plenty uncomfortable without any chemicals or nails. It’s happened to me, in a crowded DTC bus a very long time ago. Of course, I was a really good looking fella, but it could happen to any other man too :) . And yes, it was a girl in her mid-to-late teens, maybe she just wanted to round out her anatomy lessons a little. And it was very uncomfortable.

  11. SP, I never answered your question earlier. I have never worked in India but I’m not really trying to say that patriarchy in the workplace is worse in America, only that it does actually exist in a very real way.

    When it comes down to it, patriarchy in India/US comparison, is much like corruption. Corruption in India is rampant at lower/day to day levels, but in the higher levels, the US has its fair share and certiainly takes the cake (Enron, Worldcomm, Tyco) amongst the most recent and vociferous examples. I’d say much the same exists with patriarchy.

  12. “my aunt carried a pin and poked anyone who got to close”

    ah, and thusly, spreading infectious deseases to unsuspecting commuters, who, lying in bed, wondering why they are now in hospital with ebola or worse…

    do this often enough, and one could infect many people, keeping them off the buses altogether…

    ingenious…

  13. “my aunt carried a pin and poked anyone who got to close” ah, and thusly, spreading infectious deseases to unsuspecting commuters, who, lying in bed, wondering why they are now in hospital with ebola or worse…

    Oh god, even like AIDS too?!?!?

    When I was a kid, I actually heard about some funny stories about the existence of some sadist people who would place needles, etc. in cinema hall seats etc. so that when people unwittingly sit there, their butt gets poked with a needle, and the intention was to basically scare the shit out of them into thinking they mite’ve been infected with AIDS (or, by even actually doing it too, idk)

    do this often enough, and one could infect many people, keeping them off the buses altogether… ingenious…

    I agree.

  14. my aunt carried a pin and poked anyone who got to close

    In a crowded bus, this essentially means poking just about everyone around her with that pin she carried.

  15. my aunt carried a pin and poked anyone who got to close
    In a crowded bus, this essentially means poking just about everyone around her with that pin she carried.

    There was an article/editorial in Hindustan Times extolling the methods and glories of this technique. Before that, I never thought of such a thing — since then it has worked like a charm everytime!

  16. There was an article/editorial in Hindustan Times extolling the methods and glories of this technique. Before that, I never thought of such a thing — since then it has worked like a charm everytime!

    That technique sounds more like a sure fire way of landing oneself in a mental asylum or even prison, for spreading aids liek wildfire (poking everyone around in a crowded bus with a pin/needle)

  17. That technique sounds more like a sure fire way of landing oneself in a mental asylum or even prison, for spreading aids liek wildfire (poking everyone around in a crowded bus with a pin/needle)

    Ahhhhh…. but the Vestern ladeezsh will be using a new pin everytime beta – only! (and as if i care if some groping, sexual harrassing, molesting pervert gets AIDS or not! Karma phal!)

    In other words – don’t want to risk the pin? Keep your hands off me!

  18. In other words – don’t want to risk the pin? Keep your hands off me!

    if I could, I would make an active effort to keep myself at least 5 feet clear of maniacs who poke everyone around them

  19. I prick myself with a needle every day. How do I stop?

    If its something like acupuncture, you dont really need to stop. If its a form of sadomasochism, just substitute the needles with noodles. Then I guess at least you wont hurt urself needlessly

  20. if I could, I would make an active effort to keep myself at least 5 feet clear of maniacs who poke everyone around them

    That’s the point!

  21. That’s the point!

    …that you are a “maniac”? I guess I’m with you on that :p

  22. That’s the point!
    …that you are a “maniac”? I guess I’m with you on that :p

    To keep guys I don’t know (and don’t want to get to know) away from me.

  23. I am white and I dated and married a desi. I would say that I am reasonably attractive, 5 feet 7 and my husband is 5 foot 7 and no, he does not make 386,000$. In fact, I make more than him. He is the most warm, cuddly person I have ever met. The fact that I am a good 3 inches taller than him does not bother him in the least. Without taking too much credit, I can safely say that I have played a very significant role in his personal development and his integration into American society. I could have married someone white and taller than me who made a million dollars a year but I did not. Studies such as this are too simplistic.

    Ha! Ha! Ha! No that’s not me.

  24. There is probably no culture on earth that mistreats women as badly as hindu brahminical culture. There are hindu fundamentalists today who are even keen on reviving the demonic practice of widow burning (Sati) that had been banned by the British in the 19th century.

    Prema, I don’t know about that. History tells us several cultures on earth have treated women horribly.

    As far as “sati”, was that a strictly brahminal invention? I thought it was a ksyatriya thing.