In their book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How they Shape Our Lives, Christakis and Fowler share this impressive statistic:
“Our social networks function quite efficiently as matchmaker, even when we insist we are acting out our own private destiny.”
If you know 20 people, and each of them knows 20 people, then three degrees of separation connect you to 8,000 people. And one of them is likely to be your future spouse.
One of the strongest influences on assortative mating is our propensity to surround ourselves – to several degrees of separation – with people very much like us. We hang out with people we study with, work with, and live near. Social media accounts magnify that influence, as we become loosely but officially connected to many friends of friends.
Social Networks Promote Assortative Mating
Marrying assortatively, or homogamously, is strongly preferred by individuals. According to the Chicago Sex Survey (The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States, University of Chicago Press, 1994): [Read more...]