For example, if I had a friend who lived in Salt Lake City and was not a Mormon, you might imagine that the dating pool would provide less choice with regard to religious beliefs. I think we should be careful about assuming that because two Democrats end up married on average or two Republicans end up married on average that politics plays an outsized role in how we select a potential spouse. Jews want to date other Jews, and so on. An edited version of the conversation follows. Political scientists and sociologists have sought to understand what drives this homogeneity. That effect is actually quite a bit larger than the political effect, which is still reasonably significant. To be blunt, the biggest factor in online dating is age. If two white, evangelical Protestants marry, they may be both Republican, but they may not have started dating because they are Republicans, they may have started dating because they have a shared ethnic and religious orientation. Do political beliefs affect online dating? The effects we show are above and beyond those that exist simply due to restrictive partner markets. You can look at relationships as they are forming. That effect is gigantic.
Interestingly, disinterest in politics has an effect. The online data provided evidence that at the earliest stage of dating, people are looking for potential partners who are like them politically. For some singles, politics is lightening up. What did you learn? A recent article in the Journal of Politics by Gregory Huber, Yale professor of political science, and Neil Malhotra, a professor of political economy at Stanford University, offers fresh insight into these questions. What kinds of data did you have access to? Jews want to date other Jews, and so on. It seems that a conservative in a liberal place like Manhattan would have a limited pool of other conservatives to date. For example, if I had a friend who lived in Salt Lake City and was not a Mormon, you might imagine that the dating pool would provide less choice with regard to religious beliefs. Being an Entrepreneur Has it Benefits Men often tell me they are looking for beauty and brains, but as they continued to elaborate, the smarter the woman was, the more attractive she became to them. The effects we show are above and beyond those that exist simply due to restrictive partner markets. What did the survey involve? One area for ongoing research would be to examine if this homogeneity affects how kids are raised. When it comes to politics and love, for many women, it comes down to shared values that mirror the different political views. The second study is in some ways the more novel of the two. Helfenbein It is a truism that politics makes for strange bedfellows, but there is evidence that it also makes for normal bedfellows. Those factors are, in some ways, alongside politics but also prior to politics. That effect is actually quite a bit larger than the political effect, which is still reasonably significant. That effect is gigantic. You can imagine that there are a lot of parts of the country where marriages or dating couples were on average composed of two conservatives not because people picked conservatives, but because only politically conservative people were available. Politics has become a huge hot button for single females looking for love online and offline. Politics seems to be one of those things that people are conditioning their social relationships on. In the first study we took real photos and profiles from online dating sites and randomly manipulated the religion and politics expressed in those profiles. If people are seeking out like-minded partners, does it mean that kids are growing up in homes where there is just one political point of view? Your article covers two studies, the first of which was based on a survey experiment. This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. To be blunt, the biggest factor in online dating is age.
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