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'Least Desirable'? How Racial Discrimination Plays Out In Online Dating

He is gay and Filipino and says he felt like he had no choice but to deal with the rejections based on his ethnicity as he pursued a relationship. But I started to think, I have a choice: Would I rather be alone, or should I, like, face racism?

Jason, a year-old Los Angeles resident, says he received racist messages on different dating apps and websites in his search for love. Jason says he faced it and thought about it quite a bit. So he wasn't surprised when he read a blog post from OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder in about race and attraction. Rudder wrote that user data showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities.

Similarly, Asian men fell at the bottom of the preference list for most women.

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While the data focused on straight users, Jason says he could relate. The OkCupid data resonated so much with year-old Ari Curtis that she used it as the basis of her blog, Least Desirable, about dating as a black woman. Curtis works in marketing in New York City and says that although she loves how open-minded most people in the city are, she didn't always find that quality in dates she started meeting online.

After drinks at a Brooklyn bar, one of her more recent OkCupid matches, a white Jewish man, offered this: Curtis describes meeting another white man on Tinder, who brought the weight of damaging racial stereotypes to their date.

Most Americans Marry Within Their Race

Answers to match questions have been getting significantly less biased over time:. This data sparks a couple questions.

While we hope to help daters look beyond appearance and connect on a deeper level, there is an evident trend showing that race is a factor for many individuals, and in a consistent way. This might say more about the cultural biases passed down in our society than individuals within it..

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All this data is from a dating site. What does that have to do with my life? In my head, our races created a power dynamic and the pendulum swung more in favor towards my partner.


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My mother is very adamant and not discreet in her disappointment that I have not yet found a nice Vietnamese man to date. Not only do I not wish to date within my own race, I prefer to date my own gender. Even before I came out to her, I had a black boyfriend. She was not happy about that.

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I feel like Asians fall into that gray area of not being accepted as a person of color while being seen as a weird fetish. As for my experiences with the others? Full of white guys. I tried East Meet East. I was on it for less than 30 minutes and deleted my account.

How Racial Discrimination Plays Out in Online Dating : NPR

Bumble and OKC have been the best so far in terms of matches and responses. However, I get the sense that not many women that make their way to Pittsburgh are looking for a guy who looks or thinks like me. I grew up practicing self-defense and playing competitive sports, but I also cooked and cleaned and sang and danced in musicals. The women I have dated understood that I desired equality within a relationship, that we would be partners.

What have your experiences been like dating newly arrived Asian immigrants? Physical appearance is something they always bring up and they always come on extremely strong and in your face from the beginning.


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  • Yes, because my parents have two pretty different perspectives: The fetishization Asian-American women have to deal while dating is pretty widespread. Has that affected your dating life? One of my biggest gripes with the fetishization of Asian women is that it reduces us to purely physical objects, associated with being docile and obedient.