Under-18 girls are least likely to dig awful chick flicks
To get some hard data on the benefits of being friends with or dating young girls, I looked at three lists of the "worst chick flicks" that I found from a Google search for that phrase (here, here, and here). Because others created these lists, no one can accuse me of only examining movies that favor my hypothesis. They appear to be representative since so many movies show up on all three lists, indicating consensus (indeed, all but one from the Playboy list also show up in the recent 20 Worst list).
I then looked up their ratings on IMDB.com to see if the under-18 female group rated the movie lower than did the pool of all females, and, for greater precision, if they gave the movie the lowest score of all female age groups. I only used movies for which each age group cast about 40 or more votes (for one, under-18s cast 39 votes). That yielded 29 terrible chick flicks, and in the comments I'll post the gory details for each movie.
To summarize, though, for about three-quarters of the movies, under-18 girls rated them below the female average for the movie; and for about half the movies, they gave the movie the lowest rating of all four age groups. Both results are statistically significant (see Appendix below). While IMDB's age groups are rather broad -- under 18, 18 to 29, 30 to 44, and over 44 -- it is reasonable to assume that 18 and 19 year-olds are more like the under-18s than 20-somethings. A limitation of this cross-sectional data is that I can't tell whether these differences reflect maturational differences (like if today's 17 year-olds will eat up maudlin cellu-lard when they are 35), or whether they reflect cohort differences (like if teens today aren't as turned on by sappy culture as are members of previous generations).
Regardless of their source, why do these differences matter? There's a lively conversation over at 2blowhards on guys who chase much younger girls, and a recurring complaint about young girls is their level of culture. Frankly, it's their physical appearance, high energy level, and bubbly personalities that do it for me; I'd rather hear more about Bach's life and works from a scholar than my girlfriend. Still, I consider this a matter open to debate, as I've known too many cultured young girls and too many unrefined 30-somethings to consider the complaints self-evident, or if true, that they are of the magnitude that the complainers imply.
As always, data trump impressions. For instance, maybe an older man thinks young girls are ditzes because they don't feel like opening up to him out of mistrust toward older people -- it's been known to happen -- giving him a biased range of observable behavior. I want to see if older men's (and women's) impressions of the pretty young things are reflected in what these girls are really like when old people aren't looking. The data presented here show that the youngest girls are the least likely to buy into schmaltzy, low-brow estrogen-fests on film -- you can almost hear them groaning "this movie is so gay" and leaving the theater -- and that's to their credit in the dating market: one less type of charmless female bullshit you'll have to endure. Ah, but surely older women are better at getting high-brow movies, right?
In an upcoming post, I'll look at that question in more detail. My impression so far is that under-18 girls are fond of top-rated movies that involve violent male anti-heroes such as A Clockwork Orange and Taxi Driver (!), while they yawn at top-rated movies that are slower paced and more subtle. Apparently, young girls can only appreciate the good stuff if it's of the get-your-blood-pumping type, although there's a corresponding downside in the older woman who can appreciate subtler fare while remaining less moved by action-packed movies or side-splitting comedies. At any rate, the young girl is better at recognizing femi-twaddle when she sees it, for the most part.
So, while Taxi Driver may not be the best date movie, lend a young girl the DVD and see what she thinks of it -- you'll be surprised. And she will look up to you for initiating her into the world of Cool Adult movies.
Result #1: in 21 of the 29 cases (or 72%), under-18 girls rated it below the female average for that movie. Assume that the under-18 average could be above or below the total average with equal probability, and that each movie is rated independently of the others. Then, using a binomial test, the probability of Result #1 = 0.012, which makes our finding significant at the 0.024 level (two-tailed).
Result #2: in 15 of the 29 cases (or 52%), under-18 girls gave the movie the lowest rating of the four age groups. (These 15 cases exclude those where under-18s tied with another group for lowest score, and so if anything, this underestimates their hatred of bad chick flicks). Assume that under-18 girls could occupy any one of the four ranking positions -- i.e., rating it lowest, next to lowest, next to highest, and highest -- with equal probability, and that each movie is rated independently of the others. Then, using a binomial test, the probability of Result #2 = 0.0018, which makes our finding significant at the 0.0036 level (two-tailed).