Race and Attraction, – – The OkCupid Blog
Learn how to talk about race with a non-Black partner. So when she met a White accountant from Mississippi online in , got engaged to. It will open everyone's eyes to the segregated world of dating. Presented by Emma Dabiri, who is mixed-race black and Irish, Is Love Racist?. More significantly, these groups' reply rates to non-whites is terrible. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold dating capital in the online dating world, while black women seem to have the least. .. nation: Iraq (3) · nation: Ireland (32) · nation: Israel (15) · nation: Italy.
Okay, so proximity just hasn't come into it? I was going to say I'm going to shoot the exposure theory out because I've been exposed, I obviously had lived here all my life, I lived here when, you know, there was a minority, a real minority of Africans.
There's more migration now but back in the '80's certainly not. So what's your preference Ida? I tend to break it up into two, two things. I think finding other races attractive, that superficial initial sexual attraction or physical attraction, it doesn't matter to me. If I think you're handsome, you're handsome. And where does that lead you?
Does that lead you into a particular direction? It leads me to a preference of dating, yeah, races that look like myself so brown skins. Okay, in a sense of a longer term relationship?
My preference is for Caucasian white Australian males and I'm from a migrant background so I immigrated quite young, and you're told very quickly you've got to, you know, you've got to work twice as hard, you've got be, you know, twice as good.
There's this "west is best" mentality, and even just the physical value of beauty, even though they don't - like my parents would never say, you know, being white is beautiful. It would be things like get out of the sun, you're getting darker and you know, that sort of mentality that actually is more of a classist thing because for a lot of Asian people being dark skinned is actually associated with working labour class.
So that affects who you're attracted to? Yes, because in my youth I would have interpreted that as get out of the sun, you're getting darker, darker is ugly, look at all my white friends, they're not dark, they're white. When we talk about issues of dating, particularly in kind of a racialised context, it's in the broader context of race relations.
Ian, you've done facial attraction research. What are the drivers for physical attraction between people and does race come into it at all? Attraction is a very complex thing, but from an evolutionary perspective, being attracted to someone is thought of essentially as a way of identifying an appropriate mate, someone who is healthy and someone who could potentially give you healthy children.
And where kind of the cross cultural sorts of inter-ethnic aspects of this might come in is that by having children with someone who is less related to you, you actually reduce the chances of your offspring having certain genetic diseases. Okay, Bill Von Hippel in Brisbane, you're an evolutionary psychologist, what do you think are the drivers for sexual attraction and where does race fit in?
Well, there is no evolutionary basis for being attracted to somebody of a different race because in the kind of evolutionary timeframe where these preferences would have evolved, we never actually encountered anyone of a different race. It's very much a privilege of the modern world that I can meet somebody who their group lived thousands of miles away from my own. In my lifetime, 10, 20, 30 thousand years ago I would only encounter people who looked quite a bit like me. So in response to the earlier question you're asking Ian, and part of the reason why we haven't evolved to prefer other races, even though in fact he's absolutely right, we get a real benefit genetically out of having offspring with people of other races, is that we don't have a history of doing so.
As it stands now, we simply are attracted to people by virtue of whether we personally find them attractive, whether they have the features that we personally are looking for. Okay, is there any evidence that race in itself is a driver for people's attraction to other people? No, in general, no, and in fact even people who claim they prefer X or don't prefer it, often find that when life throws them a curve ball, they meet somebody that they actually are very attracted to who is a member of a different race and they didn't want this for themselves but that's the way it goes.
John Carroll, you used a dating website, Filipino Cupid, to find a wife. Why did you specifically want a Filipino wife? Pure and simply because I wanted someone that could speak English. There are a lot of people in the world who can speak English. Because from my understanding, it wasn't going to - there wasn't too many Chinese that could speak English very well, there wasn't too many Vietnamese people, Thai people, but Filipino yeah.
Okay, so you're looking for an Asian wife in a sense? So why that, that group, why Asian? Why were you looking only at Asian women and not more broadly at English speaking women?
Prior to meeting Edelisa I'd had like a decade plus long relationship with a lady from Malaysia, she'd been here a number of years, could speak English very well, and despite the fact it didn't work out I had a lot of good positive memories of the relationship itself so that basically set it in train for me.Do You Have A Racial Preference?
I said that's what I'm looking for, that's what I want and that's why I went down this road. Were there particular qualities that you associated with Asian women and with Filipino women apart from the language issue? Yeah, well the stereotype, one of the stereotypes that is bandied around, well Asian women treat western men better than a white woman might and the belief is, is that yes, that's true, I believe that to be true.
In what sort of ways? Very attentive, very attentive, yeah. But really made you feel, you know, you're, yeah, it made you feel good, complete, yeah. Yeah, that one relationship so I said well, yeah, I'd like to, go down that road and that's why I constantly chose, you know, to find someone who I could speak with in my own language, who was attractive.
Attractiveness is important to me, let who get that point clear, I think for a lot of men that is the first thing that they look at when trying to find somebody, is she attractive or is she not? Made contact with her via Yahoo Messenger you proposed? And it was just a snap decision, I just picked up the phone off the counter and just went to the site, will you marry me, boom and that was it.
And you hadn't met her in person? No, no, only on webcam, like, you know? And Edelisa, how did you feel when that Yahoo message came through? I ask him, like are you serious about it? Because it's like that fast, you know, to ask me. We've been chatting for three months only and then he already asked me to get married. So you were surprised? Were you specifically looking for a western husband? Yes, I'm like, I'm attracted to Caucasian also. And what are you attracted to about Caucasian men?
I could see it in my two brothers-in-law and they are like responsible. They look after my sisters, I mean they are good husbands, better than a Filipino husband. Is there a Filipino man in the audience here somewhere please? But I want to explore this a little bit more though, what do you mean they look after you better, in what way? I just found him like, they are responsible in the way that they are, like that's it, they look after, like also the kids, send them to a good school and they provide everything the kids want.
Interesting, Sophie, the idea that Edelisa has is that Caucasian men are better at providing those things and your view is that, you know, you like it in Asian men. I guess that I wouldn't broadly say that all Asian people are the same, it's a big continent. What I found is quite true, is that in my opinion, in my case, Korean, my Korean husband there, Han, he's been a very responsible father, very responsible husband, really interested in providing for our family and very interested in having a lifelong marriage.
I want to ask you two about the actual physical attraction between the two of you. I mean at this point where you were asked about getting married Edelisa, were you in love, had you fallen in love with this person on the other end of Skype or not? Like we've been chatting three times a day on Skype, for three months, like there's already the spark.
Like, then when he asked me to marry him, so that's why I did not say no, because I already feel something that I like him and then I'm also like attracted to him. So how long was it before you actually met one another in person?
So three months after the proposal you actually met one another person? Yeah, and then we did it, we got married just like that. Edelisa, had you ever dated Filipino men? Yeah, yeah, I had a child from Filipino. And had you dated other races at all? Jennifer, to what extent do social reasons drive people's choices?
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If you look at interracial marriage rates and coupling rates you tend to find a big difference if you look at, for example, whites and Asian unions, you find a big gender difference. So in both cases white women are less likely to be married to Asian men and white men are more likely to be married to Asian women, and there are a lot of different theories for why this.
So for example, some westernised men may look for women from other cultures that are perhaps more family traditional and want to marry a woman who, subscribes to more conservative gender roles and that certainly seems to be the case with your one guest there and thinking about having a Filipino wife.
Whereas many westernised women, white women, may feel that marrying an Asian man or a Latino man, that they will have a more patriarchal approach and be less supportive of their more feminist type of culture. Anyone relate to any of that?? I find like there's a huge difference in how Caucasian men treat women. So just for example, when I, my English ex cooked me dinner, he would cook me dinner like from the start to finish and even like help cleaning the dishes and even like pamper me and do everything for me.
But my Indonesian ex would just expect me to cook dinner and then let me do the dishes and then he'll just like play games on the internet. That's the idea of having like a romantic dinner. Okay, I think we've got to be very careful not to stereotype here. You know we're talking about people's individual experiences.
Why do you have Race specific events? We program our events based on preference. So popularity, if enough people suggest a certain type of event, that's an event that we'll put on. If it's popular or successful and when I say successful we talk about a higher match rate, then it's an event we keep on running. So what are the most popular events?
One of our really popular events is Asian women speed dating. It has a very high match rate so we ran an event last night that had percent match rate, meaning that every person who came met at least one person that they matched with. Let's have a look. Ladies if you can please spread yourselves around the room at one of the tables and we'll get going. Nothing against the blonde haired, blue eyed girls but Asian ladies definitely look after the partner, yeah, and very easy to get along with.
I'm looking for a good man.
It doesn't matter where he comes from MAN 3: I guess Asian women might be a little more open to try new things. Just things out of the ordinary, I guess, like hobbies like car racing, and stuff like that. If I want to get married to someone, I don't want to only marry them for their good looks only. If we have nothing in common, it's going to be like flat line.
Asian girls like a guy that doesn't flirt with everybody but they just find the one they like and settle down rather than Caucasian, which tend to be a little bit more player-like. I guess that's - yeah, I think that's the stigma. Do you speak Italian? Marianna, it brought a big laugh here, why? It was just the car racing, he was open to try new things like car racing.
It wasn't what I was thinking. No, I don't think it was what anyone here was thinking really, but what did everybody make of that? I mean of that whole idea, I mean it's a popular event for Shaun. It clearly perpetuates those stereotypes that we were talking about, about Asian women being maybe sometimes a bit more docile or that they are supposedly, you know, well I think our friend here said more attentive to the man and will be at the man's beck and call rather than somebody that's more assertive.
I think it's a stereotype. I've got Asian friends, I don't think that they're necessarily all like that - I think it's a personality issue. John, do you think it's a stereotype? To an extent it is, but as far as Asian women being docile, I'm sorry to disappoint you, they're not docile, they're not docile.
Okay, I wonder, Juliana, have you met men who you feel like you just because you're Asian in that sense, have you had that experience? Totally, yeah, I think for like Europeans, they're so crazy about Asian women, like they have this thing called yellow fever, I think everyone knows that.
We heard that term a lot in research that showed, yeah, we heard about other types of fever too I have to say, a lot of fever going down. Shaun, I mean when you say that an event is focused on Asian women, do you find men are looking for predominantly a particular nationality?
Is there one nationality that's more popular than others?
No, no, I don't think there is. I think people have an internal check list, if you like, and so race specific events such as Asian women or such as European men, which is another event that we do, people come into that with one thing already ticked off their list.
So the eight minutes that you have with each person then perhaps you can focus on other things which perhaps might be why there's such a high match rate, as opposed to some broader events that we put on. Where isn't there a demand? We haven't been approached about Asian men events, we haven't been approached about European women events. Katherine, you provide a match making service too.
Who are the majority of your clients and what they are looking for? So what's the bulk of that business, does any one particular cross cultural pairing stand out? For example Caucasian looking for Asian ladies or vice versa.
Okay, but what do those men say they're looking for? To me, I'm professional match maker for 25 years, I have interviewed about more than 20, individuals, so majority of the Caucasian men came to me, the physical attraction is coming first. Then they develop the interest into the personality.
So what is it about the physical attraction, do they say what it is? Yes, majority, majority of Asian woman appeal to be petite and they particularly like the petite type figure or physical attributes, if you call, and the dark complexion and hair and the way they present themselves. They take a pride in their looks. Apart from the physical attraction they think Asian women are friendly, they're more approachable, they're gentle, they attracted to their mentality, attitude, outlook on life, and they're appearing to be more family orientate in lots of ways.
And what, so that's what the men are looking for. What are the women looking for? Women, blue eyes, blond hair, strong, tall body so there's lots of Asian women are attracted, physically attracted to the Caucasian men. And your husband is sitting right there beside you? That's why I fall in love with him. I say you're so lucky, you have a full set of beautiful hair, that's what I fall in love with.
And are there any groups that you don't deal with or won't deal with in your business? Yes, lots of Caucasian men want very young age of Asian ladies. So one guy particularly, it's very funny, so he's 68 or something, he wants someone I said tell me why you think this lady would like to go on date with you. He says someone else can do it.
Why black women and Asian men are at a disadvantage when it comes to online dating
I don't know if I should mention the name, someone famous, right? The Australian media guru married a very, very, very, very young woman lady. Whose initials might be RM perhaps? Anyway, he said if he can do it, why can't I? I says if you have what he has, I can give you what you want. So he said well, you can't help me so I said obviously.
So for the people they don't look themselves at reality, so I don't take them on. Okay, and what about if people come to you and they say that they want something in a person that you find distasteful, how do you deal with that? I hardly come across someone really, really bad. But I'm here to help genuine singles, Australian and Asian singles, find their true love.
So I'm sure they get the message. Jennifer, I know that you've looked at preferences with on-line dating does race come into that and if it does, what's the hierarchy?
Yes, well we find that race is actually a primary deciding factor. We find that when people send an initial message to another dater, homophily is what social scientists call the trend and that is people tend to contact people who look just like themselves in terms of race. So that is the most common. White daters contact white daters, it's true across sexual preference as well.
But when people have the opportunity to respond to groups of people who have contacted them, what we find is that there is a racial hierarchy. So men of all races are about equally likely to respond to women, Asian women, Latino women, I'm talking about heterosexuals right now, and white women. However, unfortunately, there tends to be less of response rates to African American daters who contact them.
So African American women seem to be very marginalised on the on-line dating market. With women it's very interesting. So women tend to respond first and foremost only to white men and this is true regardless of race, of the woman's racial identity. So white women respond primarily to white men and we also find that African American women, Asian women and Latino women also respond primarily to white men first. Okay, so is there any explanation, do you have an explanation for why that hierarchy is as you describe it in America?
We can speculate that men, male daters tend to be more racially open generally, but what I do have to say, however, there are more men than are there women on these websites and men are much more likely to send messages and to respond to messages than women are.
So some have argued, well it's not necessarily that men are more racially open, it's that they have less of a market to interact with. What about gays then in terms of their preferences and their choices because there's a smaller pool to start with in terms of, in terms of choice? Yeah, that's exactly right and because the US census just started collecting information on gay and lesbian cohabitation, and it looks like gays and lesbians have higher rates of interracial unions and the argument is that okay, is it that gays and lesbians have more, are more racially open than straights?
Or is it exactly as you just said, a thinner dating market, you know, less of a choice. We find again a very gendered effect. The effect is more about gender than sexual identity. Lesbians look very similar to white men in their racial preferences.
That is being more open racially, whereas gay men look much more similar to straight women, being less open to racial groups. Sen, I wonder what you think about hearing that, you've got a Tamil background.
Does that sit with your experience. Do you find you have preferences for certain specific groups? Well certainly when I was growing up I used to kind of dream of the prince charming, the knight in shining white armour, you know, where effectively, you know you've got these kind of representations and so your fantasy of, you know, the perfect guy is white in your head. Now it's changed, I've had a kind of a broad dating history now which we won't get into.
But certainly, but certainly, you know, growing up I've managed to kind of confront that and kind of mix it up a little bit. Mike, what did you want to say? I just wanted to basically say that the reason that a lot of black women in the US are actually dating out now is because of the demographics.
Within the black community, there's a lot of cultural enforcement for a term called "nothing but a black man". You want to basically marry a black guy and basically within, stay within your community. However, you've got to the point now in the United States that if every single black man and every single black woman that were available met up together and got partnered, there'd be 1.
Okay, okay, over here, yes? Hi, I just wanted to comment on that.
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I think my preference is for black men and that's simply because I don't want to be someone's fantasy or fetish and I think for a lot of black women the main thing is when men come up to you, they're dating you solely because you're black. But you want someone who dates you because they like who you are. I think I'll disagree with that because that's also another stereotype, because you're saying a black man's going to date you because you're also black.
My husband had absolutely no preference for black women, he just wanted someone that he connected with and we met and we got on and we got married. My question is then are you not stereotyping Caucasian men by saying that you only date Caucasian men because they're less, less patriarchal than African men?
Is that not a stereotype as well? Not my only reason for dating Caucasian men. It's just a question. You know, we live in a society full of choice, why does somebody like dark chocolate instead of white chocolate? Why does someone like milk chocolate instead of peppermint chocolate? You know, I'm very proud to be black because I think there is this stereotype, but if you prefer to date outside of your race, you've got self-loathing, you've got self-hatred issues.
I don't, I'm very proud to be black, I'm proud of my African heritage.
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I just like what I like and that's all there is to it. I don't think I have to justify my choices to anyone. I just, I'm more attracted to Caucasian men. Anyone else, yes Ida? I was going to say you're right, you don't have to justify your choices, but I think that's one of the things that if you're about to go into an interracial relationship, you have to consider because society does judge you.
They judge the motives behind the two people that happen to be in love. This article therefore examines inter-ethnic relationships of all people who are in a couple. Inter-ethnic relationships are defined here as a relationship between people living in a couple who are married, in a civil partnership, or cohabiting and each partner identifies with an ethnic group different from the other partner within any of the 18 ethnic group classifications used in the census.
For example, if someone who identified as Black Caribbean and someone who identified as White British were in a relationship then that would be an inter-ethnic relationship. An inter-ethnic relationship can also be between groups within the broad ethnic group categories, such as someone who was a Gypsy or Irish Traveller and someone who was White British.
Exploring inter-ethnic relationships provides further insight into the patterns and trends of an increasingly ethnically diverse population and how ethnic identities are changing over time. The analysis explores some of the different factors which may affect the number of inter-ethnic relationships including ethnic group, gender, age, type of relationship and dependent children. There are likely to be other factors that affect inter-ethnic relationships such as religion, geographical concentration, country of birth and length of time in the country which are not fully considered in detail in this article and would require further analysis.
More details about the definitions used in this article can be found in the background notes. Notes for introduction Minority groups in most instances are all ethnic groups bar White British which is the largest group.
Back to table of contents 3. Patterns of inter-ethnic relationships Inthe total household population in England and Wales aged 16 and over was Around 7 in 10 White Irish were in inter-ethnic relationships and around 6 in 10 Other Black.