A new book based on relationship data reveals much about the way people interact and view each other, but one graphic from the book’s first chapter is generating all the buzz. Here’s how the author describes the salient piece of data regarding how men view women:

“From the time you’re 22 you’ll be less hot than a 20-year-old, based on this data,” Christian Rudder said at a recent talk, according to FiveThirtyEight. “So that’s just a thing.”

NEWS: Telepathy Between Couples: Is It Real?

The book, “Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking),” is based on data from the dating site OkCupid that Rudder co-founded, which revealed that men up to age 50 find women ages 20-24 most attractive.


The graph is especially enlightening when compared to its parallel, on how women view men: Up to age 39, women prefer men’s looks who are just about one year younger than they are. Even at age 50, 46-year-old men are looking good to women.

The graphic is based on data from the online dating site OKCupid, and Rudder is quick to note that these preferences don’t necessarily mean 50-year-old men are actually dating women who can’t legally drink.

“This is just measuring people’s opinions, not what they actually go out and do,” he told NPR. “What you see when you actually look at what people do, you see the realism set in. So these 40-year-old guys … the people they actually have the courage to actually go out and message are a lot older: it’s 30, 35-year-old women.”

NEWS: The Science of “I Love You”

Rudder also says the data reveal racial biases: “All the data on race I have is from dating sites, but on these sites black users, especially, there’s a bias against them. Every kind of way you can measure their success on a site — how people rate them, how often they reply to their messages, how many messages they get — that’s all reduced.”