Dating fatties

It seems hard to avoid a basic conclusion: that the majority of women find the majority of men unattractive and not worth engaging with romantically, while the reverse is not true.Stated in another way, it seems that men collectively create a “dating economy” for women with relatively low inequality, while women collectively create a “dating economy” for men with very high inequality.If these findings are to be believed, the great majority of women are only willing to communicate romantically with a small minority of men while most men are willing to communicate romantically with most women.The degree of inequality in “likes” and “matches” credibly measures the degree of inequality in attractiveness, and necessarily implies at least that degree of inequality in romantic experiences.The only villain in this story is nature, which has molded our preferences so that this tragic mismatch of attraction and availability occurs.To those who study nature, the various gender gaps in romantic life will not come as a surprise.And finally, there is a type of inequality that everyone thinks about occasionally and that young single people obsess over almost constantly: inequality of sexual attractiveness..If we follow a few steps of his reasoning, we can imagine the world of dating as something like an economy, in which people possess different amounts of attractiveness (the dating economy’s version of dollars) and those with more attractiveness can access more and better romantic experiences (the dating economy’s version of consumer goods).

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An egalitarian group in which each individual has the same income would have a Gini coefficient of zero, while an unequal group in which one individual had all the income and the rest had none would have a Gini coefficient close to one. Despite the best efforts of philanthropists and redistributionists over the last two millennia, he has been right so far.Every nation in the world has poor and rich, separated by birth and luck and choice.If we think of dating in this way, we can use the analytical tools of economics to reason about romance in the same way we reason about economies.One of the useful tools that economists use to study inequality is the Gini coefficient.

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