Skip to comments.Racial preferences in the dating world
Posted on 05/11/2007 9:18:14 PM PDT by teldon30
One of the more delicate areas I dealt with while running a dating service for more than two decades was the issue of race, and more specifically racial stereotyping by prospective members.
Stereotyping in itself is a volatile issue, and at some point during intake interviews, I often repeated the phrase While there is some truth to all stereotypes, there are certainly many exceptions to every single one.
However, when one is dealing with a sample of more than 20,000 single, divorced, and widowed men and women, I feel confident and comfortable making certain statements in a column titled The Truth about Dating.
Yet I was still hesitant to write this column, until a reader sent me an article from The New York Times, in which the author, John Tierney, published a story about racial preferences in the dating world.
Moreover, the article cited a study titled Racial Preferences in Dating that documented the preferences of more than 400 participants in speed dating sessions at Columbia University. A quick reading of both the Times article and the Columbia study seemed to support my own anecdotal findings.
(Unfortunately while reading the Columbia study I was overcome by the academic verbiage that authors of such studies feel compelled to use. Do they teach Boring Writing 101 at Ivy League institutions of higher learning? I found it impossible to read more than a few pages without getting a headache. Here is a sample sentence: Rates of inter-racial marriages thus capture both preferences and socio-geographic segregation. Huh?)
Anyway, here is what I found in 23 years of interviewing singles, and I will attempt to communicate in my best non-academic language. When we interviewed prospective members, we always asked what their preferences were in terms of meeting people of different races.
Overall, women of most races preferred to meet men of their own race. Most Caucasian women wanted only to meet Caucasian men, the exceptions being women who were more educated and well-traveled, who considered themselves somewhat worldly.
Of all the races, African-American women were the most insistent about wanting to meet only African-American men. But most of those women excluded black men who had recently moved to New England from Africa or the Caribbean.
The one major exception to the finding that women wanted to meet men of their own race was Asian women, a vast majority of whom stated that they strongly preferred meeting non-Asian men.
The primary explanation offered by most Asian women was that they wanted to be matched with tall men, and they insisted that practically all of the Asian men they knew were short. But when I would ask if they would be willing to meet an Asian man if he were tall, most would simply shake their head and say they would rather not.
And what about Indian women? To be honest the sample of Indian women who joined my dating service more than 23 years was too small to determine any general statements about them.
As for men, overall they were far more open to meeting women of other races. In fact, and I find this especially interesting, the race of women most in demand were, you guessed it, Asian women. Therefore, almost all of the Asian women in my dating service had a very high Dating Quotient.
When I asked men to explain their preferences for Asian women, many shrugged and admitted they were just extremely attracted to them. But I also believe that many of these men, consciously or subconsciously, wanted to meet women who fit the stereotype of the submissive Geisha girl, whose primary purpose is to entertain and please men.
Interestingly enough, though, most of the Asian women we interviewed could not have had personalities more opposite than that passive stereotype. Many had Ph.Ds., M.D.s, or law degrees, and were extremely assertive. (Especially when I tried in vain to persuade them to consider meeting Asian men!)
Unfortunately for African-American women, most of the African-American men who joined stated a strong preference for meeting either white or Asian women. Many expressed the identical view, I dont have to join a dating service to meet women of my own race.
The two groups of men who were the most difficult to match (and therefore had the lowest DQ) were Asian men and Indian men. Like African men, this was especially true of Asian and Indian men who had grown up overseas and relocated to New England, usually to pursue careers either in computer science or medicine. In a few cases I could persuade women to meet men of different races, IF the men were totally Americanized.
Of course Asian men were difficult to match because, as I previously stated, the one group of women who did not want to meet men of their own race was Asian women.
As for Indian men, they were the hardest people to match of any group of men or women of any race. And, with so many Indian men moving into the Boston area for jobs in high tech, rarely a week passed without several inquiries from men from India or Pakistan.
One reason they were difficult to match is that only a handful of Indian women joined over the decades, compared to hundreds of Indian or Pakistani men. But another is that many women, even the self-described worldly ones, expressed the stereotypical belief that Indian men had antiquated views of women.
To some extent, these women were correct. For example, of all the men I spoke with who wanted to meet women much younger than themselves, the largest group was, in fact, Indian men. Many told me that it was quite common back home for men to date and marry women at least a decade younger than themselves. And they wondered why they could not do the same here which further lowered their DQ.
So that is the story from my own anecdotal experiences. Again, I am sure there are exceptions to every statement I made in this column. On the other hand, if you want scientific proof of what I am stating, just Google and download a copy of Columbia Universitys Racial Preferences in Dating study.
But I suggest that if you do, make sure you have a bottle of aspirin nearby.
My wife is an American of Chinese ethnicity. I am a white American. I encouraged our daughters to date white, asian or “hapa” (white/asian mix) boys. Both were adamant in not wanting to date an asian boy, but neither would tell me why.
Stereotypes do not occur by ‘magic.’
I'm gonna let you field this one.
I would tell you why but this is a family website so let’s not go there.
Haha that is a delicate subject. Speaking total truth will get this comment removed.
May I suggest one of the more prevalent stereotypes??? (flame retardant suit on)
Size matters ;-)
Smallcox. If you must know...
“Race” is a misnomer.
“Ethnic Heritage” is more accurate.
Unless one accepts the “evolution” arguments.
If one goes by the Biblical account, we are all one race, going back to Noah, then further back to Adam.
(I’ve only dated girls from the HUMAN race, albeit a variety of ethnic heritages.)
Good. Not dating outside one’s own species is good...
Funny. And some of it true.
This mirrors my own preferences and experiences perfectly.
In my experience, North American and European women are a pain in the patoot. Asian women are caring, beautiful and attentive to their man’s wants and desires.
That last sentence is anathema to N.A. and European women; that’s why the men like women from other countries.
Mmmmm Ahem... stalls.... uh.... ask your wife...... (hint) (everything is bigger in texas.
I want this guy’s database of Republican women.
My asain girlfriends told me they didn’t want asian men because 1.) they were short and 2) they didn’t have money back in their home countries and 3) they also had antiquated views of women (specifically, one said ‘Vietnamese men get drunk and beat women’). (no offense meant to Vietnamese people by me)
They also said often that they liked white and asian mixed kids, which includes my wife currently. They think the mixed kids are more beautiful than asian or caucasion only.
Aloha, from a haole. I’ve spent a lot of time on the Big Island, though.
Hawai’i, despite the words, isn’t so hung up on race as the mainland.
Both of them?
I HAVE met a couple of space cadets though...
But technically, these were probably merely a *lunar* ethnic variant...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.