On AA, the results of a simple search: women seeking men, 25-29, in NY.
Wants someone with kids: 3
No preference stated: 1
Wants someone without kids: 16
That was from the first 20 results. Ok. So maybe that was a fluke, right? I checked the next 20. Apparently the first results were a fluke - this time I got 17 nos and 3 no-preferences, not a single yes. The totals were 33 nos, 4 no-preferences, and 3 yes.
Well, maybe it's just Asian women that aren't interested in dating parents, right?
Here's the results of the same search on BP.
No preference: 27
Wow. They were actually different. (Although still definitely in favor of no-kids.) I think a good chunk of the difference can be accounted for in the differences between the profile and search pages as opposed to simply the personal preferences of the users - the AA dating profile page pushes you to fill out everything (and most users do fill out all or most of it), where the BP dating profile page is much lower key and most users don't fill out most of it (hence the high number of people with no-preference on BP).
Still, it hardly bodes well, and it strongly implies that if forced to make a choice, most women (from 25-29, on our sites) would rather choose "no children" than "no preference/all of the above".
So here's an interesting test. This time I took the first 20 people that have me on their "hot list" - i.e. the list of people that they find interesting.
No pref: 12
So what that means is that of the first 20 people I checked, 12 actually aren't interested, because I've got kids. (The "hotlist" is done on a purely physical basis - we show you pictures of potential people and you rate them before seeing their profile.) So 60% people that otherwise might've been interested in me wouldn't be once they found out I had kids.
That's a pretty depressing thought. None of the numbers are positive, really. So while I've had a bunch of people say having kids won't hurt my chances, I don't believe it, and the numbers don't agree either. Not trying to be bitter or whatever, but it really sucks. I can't even blame them, since I've got mixed feelings about dating someone with kids and before I had kids I'd never have considered it. (Now part of me thinks it's great and part of me is worried they'd get in the way and make things weird - but I'm definitely more positive than negative towards single mothers.)