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New research shows men more aggressive on dating sites, women more self-conscious

July 19, 2016

BINGHAMTON, NY - When it comes to messaging users on dating websites, men tend to be more aggressive and contact users they are interested in, whereas women tend to be more conscious of their own attractiveness to other users, according to new research.

Using data collected from Baihe, one of the largest dating websites in China, researchers from Binghamton University, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Northeastern University developed a reciprocal recommendation system that better matches users who are mutually interested in and likely to communicate with each other. The data revealed behavioral differences between male and female users when it comes to contacting potential partners. In particular, males tend to be focused on their own interests and be oblivious toward their attractiveness to potential dates, while females are more conscious of their own attractiveness.

Binghamton University PhD candidate Shuangfei Zhai is co-author of the paper, along with Benyuan Liu, Yizhou Sun, Cindy Chen and lead researcher Peng Xia. "We found that males like to send a lot of messages to attractive female users, but they don't get a lot of responses," said Zhai.

When looking for potential matches, the research shows that women take their own attractiveness into consideration, whereas men are more oblivious to this.

"For females, they're self-conscious because they tend to evaluate the likelihood of getting a response to the user that they're sending messages to. In terms of the data, it shows that women have a much larger chance of getting responses from users that they send messages to," said Zhai.

The study, "Design of Reciprocal Recommendation Systems for Online Dating," was published in Social Network Analysis and Mining.
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Binghamton University

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