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Online daters pick partners with similar educational attainments – study

MANILA, Philippines – New research from the Queensland University of Technology found out that online daters typically select partners of equal educational attainment, although the trend weakens in some age brackets. 

Education is "commonly used in human mating behavior as a proxy for resources and future provision as it can represent economic advantages," said researcher Robert Whyte, stressing education as a key trait in dating. 

The study, "Things change with age: Educational Assortment in online dating," analyzed the dating interactions of 41,936 individuals on the dating site RSVP.com during a four-month period in 2016. It's the largest study of its kind in Australia, and it's part of an effort to map out patterns in the booming online dating scene. 

What the study found out was that the phenomenon called "homogamy" or the tendency to pick out partners with similar traits is still the norm in online dating – as it had been in traditional offline dating.

Whether it's age, aesthetics, attractiveness, or personality, people still tend to look for their mirror image – including educational attainment, as said above. 

In online dating, researchers found that people have a little more leeway.

“Cyber dating permits multiple partner choices in real time, which allows for a significantly greater available choice of potential mates. This increased pool means greater opportunity for selection of partners with lower, similar or even higher levels of certain characteristics," said Whyte. There's a little more choice.

In their study, this effect was seen in how people's education preferences changed depending on the life stage of the participants. “The more educated cohort tends to care less about matching the same level of education as they get older,” Whyte explained. 

“Older women in particular have a greater likelihood of contacting potential partners who are less educated than themselves but conversely, younger males fall into this category as well.”

Indeed, there's some variation, but in general, people tend to pick and stick within their league.  – Rappler.com