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They found that volunteers were more likely to suggest that similar-weight couples take more active dates (e.g.taking a bike ride together) and more public dates (e.g. Matched-weight couples were also advised to spend more on their dates, and to introduce their dates to their close friends and family earlier in their relationship.When the user had a lower BMI, the volunteers chose, on average, a partner with a BMI of 22; when the user had a higher BMI, the volunteers chose partners with BMIs around 32. When volunteers were shown avatars of their matched couples, they rated couples with similar weights at around 6 out of 8, regardless of whether both partners were heavier or lighter.But when one partner had a high BMI and the other a low BMI, scores were much lower—around 3 out of 8.Along with two colleagues from Ohio University and Marian University, Collisson ran a series of studies of weight difference and prejudice.In the first study, 230 volunteers were told that they would be rating how favorable or unfavorable they felt toward a romantic couple that had participated in a previous experiment.I should point out that “healthy weight” is the term used in the paper, and one that not everybody would agree with.Here it corresponds to a BMI of 18.5, while the "overweight" avatar corresponds to a BMI of 40.
Half of the time, the volunteers saw avatars that matched in weight: Both had higher, or both lower, BMI.
In both cases, the favorability scores were about the same.
Weighing Your Options For their next experiment, Collisson and his colleagues asked a new group of volunteers to help refine the algorithm for a new dating website.
Like a shop mannequin sculpted to match a real person’s body shape. In reality, Collisson simply presented volunteers with avatars that varied in weight.
Sometimes the avatars were overweight, and sometimes a healthy weight.