A Sexual Network Visualization
ClusterF**** is intended to visualize the folk wisdom that, when you sleep with someone, you’re sleeping with all of the people everyone they’ve ever slept with has slept with, as well. The premise is that we all know our personal history, and we may know the history of those partners, but after that? Things tend to get very fuzzy very quickly. ClusterF*** displays each of these faceless individuals and a single mass of humanity.
Inspiration for this visualization came from many sources, beginning with a link from Patrick’s list of visualization resources to Bedposted.com, a web tool for tracking your own personal history. This immediately brought to mind an old college buddy who famously kept a personal spreadsheet of exactly the same information. Associations started rolling in, from the excellent data on the OK Cupid Blog to the old Kinsey studies.
Data was gathered from several academic surveys on the sexual activity of persons aged 15 to 44. The full list of data is hilariously extensive, covering most every conceivable combination of sexual orientation, type of intercourse and frequency. As my experience with data scraping is virtually nonexistent, I combined this data into a simply 2D array, drawing only from gender and age information to create the visualization.
As a self-critique, I had originally intended the visualization to be more interactive, along the lines of this excellent New York Times feature on Family size statistics. GUI elements in Processing proved to be a major roadblock, so in the end I kept things as simple as possible.
Code for the project may be downloaded here.