A new study reveals that online daters, both men and women, usually fib about either their height or weight, and sometimes their age. In their internet ads, men systematically overestimated their height, while women more commonly underestimated their weight. Communications expert Jeffrey Hancock says, “Surprisingly, age-related deception was minimal and did not differ by gender.”

About 52.6% of the men in the study lied about their height, as did 39% of the women. Slightly more women lied about their weight (64.1%) than did men (60.5%). When it came to age, 24.3% of the men were untruthful, compared with 13.1% of the women.

Hancock, along with Cornell University doctoral students Catalina Toma, and Nicole Ellison, examined four popular dating web sites, where users create their own profiles and initiate contact with others: Match.com, Yahoo Personals, American Singles and Webdate. Study participants were recruited in New York City through advertisements in the Village Voice and Craigslist.com. The final sample included 80 participants, equally divided between genders.

Imagine the problems young would-be lovers must have in India, where cell phones are being increasingly used to arrange long-distance marriages! Communications researcher Carolyn Wei studied the dating situation in Bangalore, one of the fast-growing cities in India, with a population of 6.1 million. The 20 participants in the study were aged from 18 to 30 years, and most of them worked the “graveyard shift,” providing telephone technical support for people working during the daytime in North America. They had few chances to meet a potential partner, so despite being modern young men and women, they reverted to tradition and relied on their families?and cell phones?to put them in touch with potential mates.

Wei discovered that these people used cell phones to get to know partners who had been approved by their parents. She says, “The mobile phone makes it a little easier to facilitate an arranged marriage at a distance.”

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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