Is race preference in dating really racism?

S inakhone Keodara reached his breaking point last July. Loading up Grindr, the gay dating app that presents users with potential mates in close geographical proximity to them, the founder of a Los Angeles-based Asian television streaming service came across the profile of an elderly white man. He is now considering suing Grindr for racial discrimination. For black and ethnic minority singletons, dipping a toe into the water of dating apps can involve subjecting yourself to racist abuse and crass intolerance. Seeing that all the time is grating; it affects your self-esteem. Style blogger Stephanie Yeboah faces the same struggles. Racism is rife in society — and increasingly dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Bumble are key parts of our society. Where we once met people in dingy dancehalls and sticky-floored nightclubs, now millions of us look for partners on our phones.

Are the algorithms that power dating apps racially biased?

Our Third Rail question of the week delves into relationships: Is it OK to have a racial preference in dating? Email us or comment below with your thoughts. Trish, a year-old marketing consultant, has never dated non-white men. Or is it racist to have a racial preference in dating? In , 39 percent of Americans polled said interracial marriage is good for society, 9 percent said it was bad and 52 percent said it made no difference at all. And yet, five years later, in , just one-fifth of all couples in the U.

The study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior entitled “Is Sexual Racism Really Racism?” took a look at gay and bisexual men and their dating preferences.

When I was in fifth grade, my mother transferred me from a predominantly black school to a predominantly white school. I was afraid at first because none of my new peers looked like me. Thoughts of wanting to change my appearance, such as straightening my hair, began swirling through my head. I felt comfortable. But I had to get used to the silly questions and the touching because I stayed there until graduation. My father never wanted my brother and I to feel as if the stereotypes we saw in the media defined us.

He wanted us to know that we can rise above the names the media called us. So I figure, why not find a black man that is just as proud of his blackness and appreciates the black culture as much as my father and I do? If I fall in love with a white man does that mean I just call it quits and continue my search for a black man that will love me? Yet when I asked some people about their racial dating preference, they say they are into one race and one race only. Very few were open-minded.

Zevallos believes that we have been conditioned to favor some ethnicities and races over others. Zevallos said this white-centric beauty standard is due to certain countries being colonized by white people.

The uncomfortable racial preferences revealed by online dating

The dating app Tinder is shown on an Apple iPhone in this photo illustration taken February 10, Vikram R. His research is on the ethics and policy of business and technology. His research is on marketing law and ethics.

In , user data on OkCupid showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities.

Yue Qian does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. In fact, this is now one of the most popular ways heterosexual couples meet. Online dating provides users with access to thousands , sometimes millions, of potential partners they are otherwise unlikely to encounter.

It is fascinating to see how online dating — with its expanded dating pools — transforms our dating prospects. Can we broaden our social network to a variety of backgrounds and cultures by accessing thousands of profiles? Or do we limit our choice of partners through targeted searches and strict preference filters? When photos are readily available for users to evaluate before they decide to chat online or meet offline, who can say that love is blind?

Political Ideology and Racial Preferences in Online Dating

Yet on many occasions, trapped between these beguiling quirks are often terms of constraint and restriction as racial preferences come into play. When it comes to making friends, race is rarely an issue so why the double standard when it comes to relationships? Perhaps the familiarity is much more appealing than the precarious exploration of new cultures, especially so when it comes to romantic relationships. For many of us, the implications and consequences of dating someone outside of your ethnicity go beyond simple physical preferences.

A person of color preferring not to date white people due to self-preservation is not the same as a white person being like, “No Blacks, no spice.

Of course having a racial bias makes you racist! While it is true that racial preferences in dating can be a result of fetishization and stereotyping, it is also true that they can be employed by people of color to combat white supremacy. And to set the record straight, reverse racism is not a real concept and, therefore, cannot be perpetuated against white people. The importance of cultural norms and familiarity is the reason why many people would limit their dating pool to contain those with shared experiences.

A Black woman might prefer to date other Black people in rejection of the negative stereotypes that tend to muddle the minds of non-Black people and the communities they belong to. There are many cultural nuances that often make it hard for white partners to relate to their counterparts of color. But they can also be used by people of color as a defense mechanism against stupidity, stereotypes, and heightened stress.

It all depends on the reasons behind your racial preference. Are you self-aware enough to challenge generalizations and the commodification of a race outside your own? If you are sitting there questioning yourself as a white person who prefers to only date white people, ask yourself why. There is implied racial prejudice behind any preference, but ones that favor whiteness, white beauty, and white privilege are the most destructive. Feel free to challenge that narrative.

On the flip side, does your racial preference align with any fetishizational tropes associated with people outside of your race?

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Lately, my single, female friends have been telling me about the extraordinary messages they receive on sites like Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge. Pls no foreigners. Jessie Tu has been told by her friends on dating sites that “no blacks, no Asians” is acceptable. Or this: “Only keen on Aussie chicks”.

The findings suggest that heterosexual females and gay males prefer to date Whites over nonwhites. Moreover, respondents from both sexual orientations were.

I hoped his next words would describe some persistent attraction to short, loud girls who always had to be right. I wanted his type to be one of the many elements of my personality. Even the obnoxiousness. Anything to avoid the answer that was almost certainly coming. Being ghosted. Not splitting a bill. To the point where we can even find ourselves glossing over or excusing racial prejudice that would be balked at anywhere else. I’ve even written about it before in my day job for Stylist magazine.

But perhaps we have the rise of online dating to blame — or thank — for thrusting the problem uncomfortably into the spotlight. The act of finding a mate — or just someone to warm your bed — has been revolutionised by tech which allows people to select someone as easily as making a food delivery order. And all of those swipes, hopeful messages and unfunny gif exchanges have been recorded.

‘Least Desirable’? How Racial Discrimination Plays Out In Online Dating

When she goes on dating apps, she screens out anyone from another race. The explosion in the popularity of dating apps — four in 10 adults in the UK say they have used them — has exposed some uncomfortable truths about what we want from our potential partners, particularly when it comes to the colour of their skin. But when does a preference tip over into racism? And what should apps be doing to help combat prejudice on their platforms? Non-black men were less likely to start conversations with black women, they found, while all women preferred men of their own race.

In the decade since, there has been a well-documented problem with racism in online dating.

Grindr and Scruff are nixing the feature in response to Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality.

Skip to Content Skip to navigation. Knowledge about how race governs partner selection has been predominantly studied in the United States, yet it is unclear whether these results can be generalized to nations with different racial and immigration patterns. Using a large-scale sample of online daters in nine European countries, we engage in the first cross-national analysis of race-related partner preferences and examine the link between contextual factors and ethnic selectivity.

We provide a unique test of contact, conflict, and in-group identification theories. We show that individuals uniformly prefer to date same-race partners and that there is a hierarchy of preferences both among natives and minority groups. Notable country differences are also found.

In Online Dating, Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist