Mofo and Other Mysteries

October 26th, 2009 by Christian Rudder

Because we run a huge dating site—OkCupid, which is free—and we studied math together, Chris and I like to sit in a circle (a line, really) and look at your data. Normally the data is pertinent and leads to revealing studies of human interaction, like our last post about how race plays a big role in online dating. But this week, just for fun, and to take a break from heavy subjects, we’re going to look at some of the more offbeat numbers we’ve come across—the statistical outtakes, if you will.

All of the following are user-submitted questions from our database. We’ll start with this one:

First of all, it’s nice to see that there are still some users hanging on to “blackguard” as a term of friendly disparagement. Also, we thought it was interesting that gay men lag behind their bi and straight brothers here. I’m sure many of you are already thinking “fafo” to yourselves, so I won’t even make the joke.

We were surprised on a couple fronts here. One, we had no idea that this many straight women were interested in sex with a strap-on. Duly noted, duly feared, ladies. Two, nearly one in seven straight men answered “yes” to this, and even for OkCupid’s sexually adventurous user base, that’s a pretty wild number. My best guess is that since the question doesn’t specify either way, some bros assumed it was asking about strap-on pizzas.

Next we have this incredible table:

Yes, 2 in 5 people (and nearly half of all men!) think they are one in a thousand. You do the math: that’s 100% melted.

Here’s how the U.S. breaks out by state, in one of our color-coded maps. Green means more people than average in a state think they’re geniuses; red means fewer. That bastion of American scholarship, Mississippi, came in green, of course. And apparently almost half of Nevadans are geniuses, which is at once laughable and slightly credible, seeing as how it must take a certain amount of brains to create a hell-on-earth. On the other hand, huzzah to West Virginians for their relative humility.

Finally, we ran a query on suicide for an upcoming article comparing people from Canada to other marginalized Americans. The topic’s certainly less frivolous than the rest of this week’s post—and the Canada/U.S. comparison didn’t turn out to be very interesting—but we felt like we had to publish what we found:

It’s pretty dramatic data. Here’s one way to look at it:

and another:

. . .

Thanks again for reading, everyone. If you’re curious about the dating site we run, or would like to prostrate yourself before a vast pool of online geniuses, check out OkCupid. It’s free and awesome.

Also, we’ve been submitted to the Mashable Open Web Awards, in the Best Corporate Blog category. If you have the inclination to vote for us, you can do so here.