ScientificMatch, CEO Eric Holzle - OPW Interview - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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Fernando Ardenghi

How Researchers can know if the sniffer person who prefers a sweated t-shirt with different immune system genes from his/her own's
is only in the initial attraction phase for short term mating
and not
in assortative mating for a long term relationship?

How is different from GenePartner that charges far less (USD199 DNA test)?


Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

James Houran


Actually, the rationale for these services has more serious questions than what you mention. In fact, those offering the services come across as having no understanding of the very studies they cite.

The smelly tee-shirt study asked sniffers if they found the SCENT attractive (not the person) as compared to the sniffer's SIBLINGS.

That alone pretty much puts this all into proper perspective. That said, there are many limitations in the methodologies used to measure attractivenes in these and tangential studies.

If someone wants to find someone they find sexually attractive, spending fees on is hardly necessary. A trip to a large mall is much cheaper, faster and from everything that I've seen -- substantially more effective.


James Houran, Ph.D.

Dave Evans

We need to see a body of evidence that shows the results. Jim brings up a good point, yet I'm sure Eric has a good counter-point.

I talked to Eric over the winter when he was getting started.

Given he is already at an inflection point, I wonder if he shouldn't license the service to matchmakers. Going it alone with a big marketing budget is going to be difficult, and with less expensive services emerging...

Is the mall the new bar?

James Houran

Hi Dave,

I'm sad to say that Eric doesn't seem to have any adequate counterpoints. In fact, he doesn't have a grasp of the wealth of compatibility literature out there right now. One only needs to carefully read our heated debate on this forum to see that.

That said, I'm eager and open to discovering the truth about the real world effectiveness of "DNA dating." I offered to conduct a professional, unbiased study of this service on a pro bono basis, but Eric repeatedly skirted the issue. This is revealing in itself.

In any event, the online daters to whom I have spoken about "DNA dating" have a negative reaction to the concept. To them it sounds creepy and invites a host of ethical questions. One can understand such reluctance, especially in the absence of any ecologically valid data on the services.

However, I would say that the mall has always beaten the bar in terms of being a "meat market." More people, better lighting, safer atmosphere and arguably better opportunity for interaction. Plus, the diversity at a large mall probably exceeds that found in a typical bar.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to ask, "Is the mall the new supermarket?"


James Houran, Ph.D.

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