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更新时间:2018-8-16 19:30:51 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

For Online Daters, Women Peak at 18 While Men Peak at 50, Study Finds. Oy.

If you haven’t watched “Nanette,” Hannah Gadsby’s fearless comedy special on Netflix, do that now. (We’ll wait.)

如果你还没有看过汉娜·加兹比(Hannah Gadsby)在Netflix上那部百无禁忌的喜剧特别节目《纳内特》(Nanette),现在就去看。(我们等你。)

In it, Ms. Gadsby takes on the fragility of masculinity — and at one point drills into Pablo Picasso, who, well into his 40s, had an affair with a teenage girl.


Ms. Gadsby, who has a degree in art history, recounted how Picasso justified the relationship by claiming that he and the girl, Marie-Thérèse Walter, were both in their prime. Seething, Ms. Gadsby said: “A 17-year-old girl is never in her prime. Ever! I am in my prime.” She is 40.

拥有艺术史学位的加兹比讲述了毕加索是如何为他们的这段关系辩护的,他说自己和那位名叫玛丽-特莉丝·沃尔特(Marie-Thérèse Walter)的女孩都正当盛年。加兹比怒气冲冲地说:“一个17岁的女孩绝不可能处在她的盛年。绝不!我才是盛年。”她今年40岁。

That anecdote came to mind recently, in response to a new study about online dating published in the journal Science Advances.

最近我又想起了这段轶事,起因是发表在《科学前沿》(Science Advances)上的一篇有关网上约会的最新研究。

In it, researchers studied the “desirability” of male and female users, based on how many messages nearly 200,000 users, all of whom were seeking opposite-sex partners, got over one month on a “popular, free online-dating service” — and if those sending the messages were desirable based on the same criteria.


The researchers determined that while men’s sexual desirability peaks at age 50, women’s starts high at 18 and falls from there.


In other words, not so far from the ages of Walter and Picasso.


“The age gradient for women definitely surprised us — both in terms of the fact that it steadily declined from the time women were 18 to the time they were 65, and also how steep it was,” said Elizabeth Bruch, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan and an author of the study.

“女性的年龄梯度无疑让我们感到意外——既在于它从女性18岁开始到65岁的这段时间内稳定下降这一事实,也在于它下降得是如此急剧,”密歇根大学的社会学副教授、该研究作者伊丽莎白·布鲁赫(Elizabeth Bruch)说。

This study isn’t an anomaly.


The study results echoed data shared by the dating behemoth OkCupid in 2010, in which the service found that men from the ages of 22 to 30 focus almost entirely on women who are younger than them.


“The median 30-year-old man spends as much time messaging teenage girls as he does women his own age,” OkCupid wrote in a blog post at the time.


OkCupid also reported that as a man gets older, he searches for relatively younger and younger women, while his upper acceptable age limit hovers just above his own age.


“The male fixation on youth distorts the dating pool,” OkCupid concluded.


Caveman mentality persists.


Michelle Drouin, a developmental psychologist who focuses on technology and relationships, was not surprised by the new study — in part because they “align with evolutionary theories of mating” in which youth suggests fertility, she said.

米歇尔·德劳因(Michelle Drouin)是一名专注于技术与关系领域的发展心理学家,她对这一新的研究并不感到惊讶——部分原因是男性“遵循了交配的进化理论”,该理论认为年轻意味着生育能力,她说。

Dr. Drouin pointed out, though, that there are also theories that suggest that “men are just less interested in earning potential or power, and more interested in physical attractiveness.”


Women want brains. Men care less.


Speaking of earning potential, Dr. Bruch also found that a man’s desirability increased the more education he attained.


For women, that benefit ended with an undergraduate degree — and postgraduate education, in fact, made them less desirable.


Women now outnumber men in college and earn more degrees, Dr. Bruch said, adding: “Preferences coupled with the availability of partners may drive the patterns we see in our paper.”


Dr. Drouin said that educational dynamic might also be related to “beliefs that higher degrees among women translate into more work commitment and less relationship and family commitment.”


People aim high (probably too high).


Dr. Drouin stressed that the preferences of people seeking mates online reflect aspiration, not necessarily what people want in real life. A key finding of the study was that most users sent messages to people who were more desirable than themselves. Twenty-five percent more desirable, to be exact.


This data represents “the reality of dating preferences” — in other words, dating out of your league, Dr. Drouin said. That is often not the reality of dating.


“These messages sent by online daters can be likened to slot machine play in Vegas,” she said. “Little investment on the front end might pay out big on the back end — so why not opt for a chance at the biggest win?”


But then again, the internet can’t read chemistry.


“In the real world, the woman with a graduate degree who knows your favorite Kerouac passage, speaks a few languages or discovers new ways to cure disease might be undeniably attractive,” she said. “Think of Amal Clooney.”

“在现实的世界里,一个女人如果有研究生学历,知道你最喜欢的凯鲁亚克片段,会说好几种语言,或者还发现了治愈疾病的新方法,那她的魅力可能是难以抗拒的,”她说。“想想阿迈勒·克鲁尼(Amal Clooney)。”