Brazilian dating norms
"That men care about height at all is, we suspect, a function of their realizing they may get rejected if they aren't quite a bit taller than their potential mates," she adds.
But when it came to body weight, men were less likely to browse the profile of a woman who was heavy-set, whereas women showed little aversion to—with some showing even more interest in—heavier-set men.
These patterns also generally held for the second step, messaging, but with smaller effects. The results convince Ken-Hou Lin, a sociologist at the University of Texas, Austin, who also studies online dating.
"The science is absolutely solid." He suspects that deal breakers are more important at the early stage of mate selection when people are winnowing down a pool of candidates.
Bruch's team devised a statistical model that maps the "decision rules" people follow during the first two steps.
Bruch and her team divided the rules into two broad categories, "deal breakers" and "deal makers," used to exclude or include people for the next level of contact.
Women's movements in Brazil have traditionally been led and supported by upper middle class women, and tend to be reformist rather than revolutionary in nature, though clear exceptions exist, most notably with regard to agrarian land reform movements.
Though suffrage was granted to women in Brazil in the 1930s, it was not until the 1970s and onwards that a broader, more potent women's movement took hold in Brazil.
In 2010, the United Nations ranked Brazil 73rd out of 169 nations based on the Gender Inequality Index, which measure women's disadvantages in the areas of reproductive rights, empowerment and labour force participation.
But the biggest deal breaker of all turned out to be age, at least for women.
All other factors being equal, women overall were 400 times less likely to browse the profile of a man significantly older than herself. Whereas 20-year-old women were 10 times more likely to ignore a man 10 years her senior, 45-year-old women were nearly 10% more likely to browse the profile of a man 55 or older compared with a man her own age.
If a profile did not include a photo, for example, both men and women were 20 times less likely to even look at the rest of the person's profile.
Smoking was another big deal breaker, associated with a 10-fold drop in interest.
When it comes to the early stage of dating, it seems to be all about the deal breakers.