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Author Topic: Straight vs Gay
starLisa
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Straight vs Gay

This is really fascinating. Some of it surprises me, but most of it doesn't.

I have to fess up. I did have the impression that gay men tend to be on the promiscuous side. But according to the stats from OK Cupid, it isn't true. There's a tiny minority of gay men who account for almost a quarter of gay male sex reported.

Now I feel like a s**thead for buying into the same stereotypes that I get so irked about myself.

Granted, the results here are skewed by being limited to people on OK Cupid. But I don't know in which direction they're skewed.

I am, however, extremely disturbed by the "which is bigger: the sun or the earth" question. The idea that 5% of men and 10% of women answered it wrong makes me want to scream. I mean, I sometimes see the Jaywalking segment on Leno, and that's just as bad. The depths of ignorance make me weep for the human race.

The personality traits and interests matrices were also a little depressing.

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JoshuaD
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quote:
I am, however, extremely disturbed by the "which is bigger: the sun or the earth" question. The idea that 5% of men and 10% of women answered it wrong makes me want to scream.
This used to bother me. It doesn't anymore. Who cares? They didn't pay attention in astronomy or in science. They don't think about the heavens. It's just not on their radar, and truthfully, it has absolutely no impact on their lives.

Sherlock Holmes didn't care about celestial bodies at all, either. He could identify every sort of soil from every part of London, but he couldn't tell you how many planets there were in the sky.

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LoverOfJoy
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I imagine at least 5% of people that take surveys like this don't take it seriously or take it while high or drunk.

If you've ever been to slashdot you'll see survey after survey where one of the options is something obviously retarded and not true but 15-30% always choose that ridiculous answer.

"How many people have you had sex with? 0, 1-2, 3-5, 5-10, 10+, only Cowboy Neil"

Now, in cases like this, a ridiculous answer may invite people to take it less seriously. I doubt 30% of people would do the same on generic science questions. However, I think it's doubtful that the full 10% of straight women actually think the sun is smaller than the earth.

As far as the gay/straight statistics, while I'm not surprised at the results I would also strongly urge to take it with a grain of salt.

The people who join those sites are a nonrandom/non-representative subset of the population they supposedly represent.

Those kinds of dating services are also especially attractive to minorities that want to find similar minorities and have trouble doing so.

Mormons outside of Utah and Idaho. Gays in the south. That's not to say that Utah Mormons don't use the site but rather that the Utah Mormons that use the site are a different subset and will have different characteristics from the Mormons that use the site who live on the east coast, for instance. I've actually seen this myself.

What percent of the straight people on these dating sites are not actually taking it seriously but doing it as a sorority party joke, for instance. What percent of gay people on these dating sites are not actually taking it seriously but doing it as a sorority party joke? I would guess that these kinds of factors skew the data considerably.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
I am, however, extremely disturbed by the "which is bigger: the sun or the earth" question. The idea that 5% of men and 10% of women answered it wrong makes me want to scream.
This used to bother me. It doesn't anymore. Who cares? They didn't pay attention in astronomy or in science. They don't think about the heavens. It's just not on their radar, and truthfully, it has absolutely no impact on their lives.
You're missing the point although you mention it. They didn't pay attention in astronomy or in science. In fact, they paid so little attention that even the most fundamental facts escape them and that has a very big impact on their lives.
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LetterRip
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Lisa,

OKCupid are fairly 'low stakes' quizzes.

All answers should be considered for their humor potential, and for what someone views the 'right' answer to be (ie that would please/intrique a potential mate) among other things.

Also there is a possibility that the question was asked in such a way that it was interpreted as 'appears bigger'.

I'm hoping that people were answering silly anyway [Smile] Cause if it is the truth it is just too depressing.

Also the promiscuity question is likely being answered what people think potential partners think is the most acceptable. So all we really know from the quiz is that the cultural norm for the 'ok' number of sex partners is 6.

Anywho, I emailed OKcupid to ask them how they deal with the confounding issues, or if they just ignore them.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by starLisa:
Straight vs Gay

This is really fascinating. Some of it surprises me, but most of it doesn't.

I have to fess up. I did have the impression that gay men tend to be on the promiscuous side. But according to the stats from OK Cupid, it isn't true. There's a tiny minority of gay men who account for almost a quarter of gay male sex reported.

Now I feel like a s**thead for buying into the same stereotypes that I get so irked about myself.

Granted, the results here are skewed by being limited to people on OK Cupid. But I don't know in which direction they're skewed.

I am, however, extremely disturbed by the "which is bigger: the sun or the earth" question. The idea that 5% of men and 10% of women answered it wrong makes me want to scream. I mean, I sometimes see the Jaywalking segment on Leno, and that's just as bad. The depths of ignorance make me weep for the human race.

The personality traits and interests matrices were also a little depressing.

It doesn't surprise me. It's the same percentage of men and same percentage of women that are also permiscous. Ignorance never surprises me anymore either. My theology IV professor in highschool used to put stuff like "the sun rises in the a. east b. west c. south d. north" as bonus questions at the end of his exams, and it was amazing how many people who missed them. I'm sure their knowlege spectrum was different then mine, I just don't know exactly what it was they filled their brains with. Honestly, knowing that the sun is bigger then the moon doesn't help most people.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
You're missing the point although you mention it. They didn't pay attention in astronomy or in science. In fact, they paid so little attention that even the most fundamental facts escape them and that has a very big impact on their lives.

If the impact on their lives is limited to the fact that they didn't get through college and that higher educated people think they're morons, then you're right. Otherwise, the fact that they do not know that the sun is bigger then the moon has probably never effected them in their daily lives. Their daily lives are already structured around not knowing these things, and began to become structed in that manner when they were still children. Their knowlege has determined their fate, and their fate envelopes them like a warm cozy python as they go to work and about their lives.
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Jordan
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quote:
LoJ:
[W]hile I'm not surprised at the results I would also strongly urge to take it with a grain of salt.

The people who join those sites are a nonrandom/non-representative subset of the population they supposedly represent.

My thoughts exactly; I don't think we can be by any means sure that this is a representative sample of the populations being compared.
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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:
The people who join those sites are a nonrandom/non-representative subset of the population they supposedly represent.

Huh. I wish I'd thought of that.
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Jordan
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None of us are implying that you didn't mention the need for a pinch of salt right up there in your first post. We're just observing it's hard to be sure how big a pinch of salt we should take these stats with. [Smile] I'll be blunt, OkCupid isn't the sort of site where people who really just want to have sex are going to be found, and it's hard to be sure what percentage of their respective populations such people constitute.

Edit: apparently, I even think in HTML now.

[ October 14, 2010, 07:30 PM: Message edited by: Jordan ]

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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:

Those kinds of dating services are also especially attractive to minorities that want to find similar minorities and have trouble doing so.

Mormons outside of Utah and Idaho. Gays in the south. That's not to say that Utah Mormons don't use the site but rather that the Utah Mormons that use the site are a different subset and will have different characteristics from the Mormons that use the site who live on the east coast, for instance. I've actually seen this myself.

I'm not sure if the results really support this assumption. We never get to see the regional concentration of self-identified gays and bisexuals, but the map showing the concentration of heterosexuals who've admitted that they've either had or are interested in tying a same-sex encounter pegs the absolute lowest results in the Deep South, and its highest results in the Pacific Northwest and the Peoples Liberal Republic Of Canuckistan.

So if "bi-curious" guys in are disproportionately likelier to use dating services to find partners in conservative areas, they're not using OkCupid.

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LoverOfJoy
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My point wasn't based on their results. My point was that when there are many other alternatives for finding potential mates the ones that opt to use the site will be a unique subset of that larger group.

In places where there are not as many other options you will find a different subset.

I may be showing my ignorance here but I guessed at the south as being a place where there's less gay bars or social clubs or *fill in the blank* for gays when compared to, say, San Francisco.

Although I think the data doesn't really contradict my guess. If there are less people willing to admit to being bi-curious in the south then it may also be that there are less people willing to admit to being gay. If so, then the ones who are willing to confess being gay on this site may be more seriously seeking than the gay socialite from San Francisco who decided to sign up for the site on a whim.

I may be entirely wrong about this. *shrug* However, I did notice that when I was a single guy and decided to explore some online matchmaking services I noticed that if you were to judge what mormons were like based on those with profiles in Utah you'd come to a much different conclusion than if you were to do the same thing with mormons listed in Colorado (and I only imagine it would be even more distinctly different if I'd checked it out when I lived in New Jersey). The differences weren't just the natural differences you'd expect from Utah Mormons and Outside Utah Mormons. When I went to BYU I met my fair share of both and there were some different trends I noticed...but this was beyond that. There's just a large chunk of Utah Mormons that would never consider an online dating service unless they moved out of state.

I suspect that something similar happens with all groups of people who don't think of themselves as a minority. When there's a lot of their "type" around a lot of people think of resorting to online dating sites as being "desperate".

In the case of homosexuals, there may be just as many of them in the south as in California but they may not be "out of the closet" in which case the end result is the same. It's a bit harder to find that elusive gay date.

That said, I haven't asked my gay friends how they go hunting for partners. Perhaps the dynamics aren't the same *shrug* Or perhaps the south has plenty of meeting places for homosexuals. I just don't see the data saying much on that topic either way.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
Originally posted by TheRallanator:


So if "bi-curious" guys in are disproportionately likelier to use dating services to find partners in conservative areas, they're not using OkCupid.

I forgot to refer to this point. I don't know how you can really talk about proportions unless you know how many there are that don't use the site.

There may be TONS of bi-curious in conservative areas that would never admit it to themselves, much less a website. It could very well be that the ones who are open enough about being bicurious that they'd actually go on a date or have a one-night stand with their same sex are all exclusively using OkCupid.

That said, I don't even know if the proportion test really holds up for Mormons even. It may be that there's say 10% of Utah Single Mormons on dating sites and 10% of Colorado single Mormons on dating sites...but how do I describe this...they are a different 10%.

So maybe in Utah, there's x% that are social outcasts with no other options, y% that are normal people that decided to try it on a whim, and z% that signed up as a joke with their friends after a night of truth or dare. X+Y+Z=10%

Then in Colorado, there's a% that are social outcasts with no other options, b% that are normal people that were fed up with a string of bad dates, and then there are c% that are actually what Utah mormons might consider a real catch that are looking to expand their search for other hot mormons because their particular singles ward is mediocre. Finally, in Colorado, maybe there's 0% that are signing up as a joke with their friends. A+B+C+0=10% but it's a very different 10% than Utah's 10%.

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