Which Gender Is More Shallow?

Who's more shallow when it comes to dating: men or women? To answer this age-old question, "Good Morning America's" consumer correspondent Elisabeth Leamy tried an experiment by posting four fictional personal ads (without photos) on three dating Web sites and in two newspapers.

The first set of personal ads included one for a woman (Beth) and one for a man (Bob) who were both unattractive but otherwise wonderful.

"Lover not a looker," Bob's description read. "PhD. Coveted job. Gourmet cook and world traveler. If you believe bald -- and overweight -- is beautiful, let's meet."

Here was Beth's description: "Beauty on the inside. Highly educated. Fascinating career. Accomplished musician and adventure traveler. I'm an overweight 'Plain Jane' in search of a fantastic man."

So who got more responses? Beth got 11 touching messages, such as "I'm a nice guy who knows it's more important for beauty to radiate from inside a woman." Bob only got two.

So, it looks like men are a lot less shallow than women. Well, it was time for the second half of the experiment. This time, the ads were for a woman (Jan) and a man (Jim) who were both gorgeous but unbearable.

"Sexy but stubborn," read Jim's description. "Athletic hard body. Movie star looks. But ex-girlfriends say I'm arrogant and always want my own way. No particular hobbies. My job is just a job. I'm looking for a woman who can deal with me."

Here was Jan's description: "Gorgeous but difficult. Long, glossy hair. Model's face. Perfect 36/24/36 body. But men say I'm stuck up and set in my ways. No passionate interests. Career is not my thing. If you're the tolerant type, I'm looking for a man."

This time, the men proved to be more shallow. Sexy, stubborn Jim heard from just two women.

"If you're as gorgeous as you say you are," wrote one woman, "I can put up with a lot."

But gorgeous, difficult Jan started getting messages right away, and at last count she had received 77!

"I am willing to compensate for your boringness with your look," one man wrote to Jan.

"You can't be that bad," wrote another man.

Way more men than women responded to both types of ads, so you could say they're both more and less shallow than women. Of course, men are traditionally the initiators in the world of dating, and around 57 percent of online daters are men, so those could be factors, too.