A new study by Flirt.com shows that Provo may not only be one of the most conservative cities in the United States, but also the most “flirty.”
Flirt.com sought to discover whether liberals or conservatives flirt more by tracking activity on dating websites. The website analyzed the top 25 liberal cities and the top 25 conservative cities in the country with a population of at least 100,000, based on the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, and gave each a score of up to 100 on a “flirtation index.” While more politically liberal cities were expected to be more active on dating websites, instead they discovered that the more conservative a city is, the more flirtatious it is.
“The results were so overwhelmingly in favor of conservative cities that we can’t help but think there is a strong correlation between political groups and their willingness to flirt,” a Flirt.com press release says.
The average score for conservative cities was 60; for liberal cities, it was 42. Provo’s score was the highest of all, at 93. Darren Shuster, a public relations representative for Flirt.com, said Provo ranks highly because of its “willingness to reach out and communicate more often than every other city in America.”
Flirt.com called Provo “politically conservative, romantically liberal.”
“As the third-largest city in Utah, it lies just south of Salt Lake City, with a population of 112,000 highly flirtatious people,” the press release says. “Home to Brigham Young University, operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this is one conservative city. But, when it comes to flirting online, they rank No. 1.”
Justin Hales, a registered Republican, has served as bishop’s secretary in a Provo LDS singles ward for two years and said he feels excessive “flirting” in Provo may be fostered by the homogeneity of its single population.
“Given the conservative nature of most people in Provo, it is ironic how flirtatious and forward students often are when it comes to dating,” he said. “I believe this stems from people feeling more comfortable and confident because they know those around them have similar backgrounds and share commonalities.”
Weston Jones, a pre-business student, said he thinks political conservatism in Provo originates in the religious beliefs of the majority of its residents, both of which contribute to the city’s “flirtatiousness.”
“Political conservatism and its underlying origins do make students more inclined to date and want to be married,” Jones said. “These people are generally very grounded and want to live a traditional (lifestyle), and marriage is a part of that process.”
Alice Corrigan, a double major in communications disorders and Spanish, from Greenwich, Conn., said Provo is the most conservative place she has ever lived. Like Jones, she said there is a huge focus on marriage in Provo, perhaps stemming from the religious beliefs of its population.
“I saw someone wearing an Obama shirt the other day, and I did a double take,” she said. “Men and women flirt with each other much more here than in other colleges because we’re not trying to impress each other enough for one party or one night – we’re auditioning for eternity. “