Op-Ed: Social experiment to determine dating 'cruelty' is highly flawed

Posted Sep 26, 2014 by Calvin Wolf
Making the rounds online is the result of an experiment by Simple Pickup, a male-drive dating site. An attractive man and woman were each given body adhesives and makeup to look fat when arriving for their Tinder dates to see how the opposite sex reacts.
An image representing online dating
An image representing online dating
On my Facebook news feed I saw that someone had posted a Huffington Post article that was receiving lots of attention. Apparently, the male-driven dating site Simple Pickup decided to run a "social experiment" by having an attractive man and an attractive woman each create profiles on Tinder, that notorious dating app, and then show up to their Tinder dates "fat" through the use of body adhesives and makeup. How would the opposite sex react to discovering their date was far heavier than his or her Tinder profile implied?
Not surprisingly, the men came out looking far worse than the women, often handling the discovery that their "date" was heftier than her photo quite poorly.
However, before we go lambasting men and feeling sorry for women, it must be acknowledged that this experiment is severely flawed. Though those of us with Y chromosomes may indeed be shallow, insensitive jerks, the experiment is a tad unfair. To provide a fair comparison of gendered shallowness and cruelty, the experiment should have involved a short man who was made to appear considerably taller on Tinder.
Men tend to value figure in a mate while women tend to value height in a mate. Traditionally, a tall man can still be considered masculine and socially desirable even if he is overweight. Basically, society does not limit men simply because they are hefty. It discriminates against them when they are short.
Women, by contrast, are discriminated against far less when it comes to height. A "social experiment" could have been done showing the reactions of both men and women to finding out that a facially-attractive date [of the opposite sex] was considerably shorter than his or her Tinder profile. Likely, few men would have a problem discovering that their female date was several inches shorter than the profile pic indicated.
How would the women react?
Before we pile on men for being shallow and cruel, especially when compared to women, we must realize that each gender values different traits differently. I have a feeling that, when discovering a male date is much shorter than advertised, many women would not be so accepting. Maybe we fellas aren't the only cruel ones out there...