Sex and Economics: More OK Cupid Data

by robekulick

I got really sick last weekend so I had to take sometime off of blogging, first because I didn’t feel up to it and then because I’m now desperately trying to catch up on my work for grad school. But here’s a quick, fun entry to get things going again. OK Cupid’s data research team recently posted an article entitled “10 Charts about Sex”:

A bunch of them are pretty interesting, but because this is an economics blog, I want to call attention to #9 and #10.

Chart #9) Shows that there is a positive link between college student’s stated sex drive and the amount of tuition charged by the school that college student attends.  So in other words, the chart shows that students at private universities and, particularly students at Ivy League universities, students express a desire to have sex more times a week.

I’m not sure what to make of this because, if the chart was about actual sex, I’m fairly certain that the trend would be reversed.

Chart #10) is probably more interesting. It shows that the percentage of people on OK Cupid looking for casual sex has a strong positive correlation with the per capita GDP of the country. What’s really interesting is that this effect even holds for rich Arab countries, like UAE , Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia which I have to say surprised me. The Saudi Arabia data point  is particularly weird to me. Isn’t casual sex basically illegal there?  Also interesting – the country with the highest proportion of people looking for casual sex is Switzerland.

My first reaction when I saw that chart was to ascribe it to the relaxation of attitudes towards sex in the developed Western world, but then I started clicking on the countries and noticed those Arab countries. In fact the US ranks below UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia in terms of people looking for casual sex. So much for the moral decadence of the Western world.