A graph which has risen to a similar level of fame as other internet favourites such as the OKC ratings graph and the Tinder swipe graphs is this one purporting to show height filters set by female Bumble users.

Bumble dating app height filter

Apparently close to 70% filtered out men below 6 feet tall, less than 10% of women would entertain a man 5’7 or below, and a 7 ft giant is preferable to a slightly above average height man. A brutal height pill if I’ve ever seen one.

You’ll notice it lists ‘Statista’ on the bottom as a source:

Let’s do a quick search at Statista’s website, it shouldn’t be too hard to find right?

Huh, no sign of it anywhere. You can try various different keyword combinations but it strangely never appears.

What does Bumble inc. have to say about it then, are they able to verify it for us? Someone on reddit made an inquiry to them on Twitter, and here’s how they responded.

Bumble height filter is fake (Twitter)

They deny any connection to it, and assure us they wouldn’t release such information publicly. I guess it must have been leaked by an employee that just couldn’t resist dropping this black pill truth bomb on the world.

If dating app height filters were having a salient impact, this shouldn’t be too hard to measure. The General Social Survey has asked respondents for their heights in recent years. Let’s see how it correlates with sex partners in the past year in the most recent 2022 survey among 18-35 men in this supposed app-fueled hookup culture.

We get a negative correlation of -.08. Seems like this has done little to help lanklets. The sample size is not huge at 140 however, so there is room within the 95% confidence interval for a small positive effect up to .09. The correlation for having had sex at all in the past year was .02.

While there doesn’t seem to be any good evidence this data is even real, there’s also no (direct) evidence I know of to suggest it was fabricated.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that it’s genuine. There are still reasons not to make a big deal over it:

  • There is an obvious selection bias at play as even if it weren’t a paid feature when the data was supposedly collected, the women who go out of their way to set a filter are going to be those who have more stringent requirements
  • Dating apps having skewed gender ratios incentivizes women to apply extra selectivity, and height being an easily quantifiable metric offers a convenient way of narrowing the pool down to a more manageable level
  • As we just saw, it seems unlikely that it’s having a noticeable impact on men’s actual sexual outcomes
  • Some probably did it just for kicks

We’ve been seeing quite a lot of questionable charts spread around lately, but it’s rare that they’re outright fabricated. Could this be one such case?

Regardless, it’s a troubling reminder of how people will believe anything at face value if it’s on an official looking graph.

Because dating apps are for many a frustrating experience, it’s not hard to see why they were so quick to accept something validating this frustration however.

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