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Stereotypes and Surprises Found in Online Dating Preferences

online datingThe online dating site Are You Interested allows users to connect their Facebook profile to the AYI app and browse through friends and friends of friends in the hopes of finding a romantic spark. According to AYI, their app has been installed 70 million times, which makes for a lot of users, though how regularly those users browse Facebook connections is unclear. As with other sites like HowAboutWe and OkCupid, AYI breaks down user data to help those looking for love understand what types of people are interacting with one another and how, ideally resulting in more successful interactions across the board.

AYI recently analyzed over 2.4 million interactions among its current U.S. users “to discover the likelihood of users to respond to other users based on race,” they say on their site. They called the results “eye-opening” and say that people’s stated dating preferences when it comes to race don’t always match their behavior – and for the most part, that’s a good thing. People are dating – or at least talking about dating – across racial lines. Here’s how AYI user data breaks down regarding interracial interaction:

  • Asian women are the most preferred by all men except Asian men — who prefer Hispanic women.
  • Asian, Hispanic and Caucasian women prefer Caucasian men while Caucasian men are more likely to respond to everyone but Caucasian women.
  • Caucasian women are twice as likely to respond to Caucasian men than African-American men.
  • African-American men are more likely to respond to women of different races but receive three times more responses from African-American women than a non-black woman.
  • African-American women prefer all races over Caucasian men but are the least likely to get a response from all men.

***

So the stereotypes present in this data are as follows:

1. Everybody thinks Asian women are hot.

2. White guys want non-white women because they think white women are demanding and non-white women will be subservient. Non-white women want white guys because the world is run by white guys, so duh.

3. White women want white men but white men don’t want white women.

4. Black guys don’t want to date black women. (See the recent criticism of the “Best Man Holiday” cast.)

5. Black women have trouble finding love/getting married.

But, you can always look at all of this data another way:

1. Everybody thinks Hispanic women are hot.

2. White guys are less racist than ever.

3. White women like black guys.

4. Black men love diversity.

5. Black women are actively trying to dismantle the white, hetero, patriarchy, cuz they know it’s bunk. Right, bell hooks?

***

If you focus on the rejection related to this data, it’s depressing, especially for black women. But the fact that interracial dating is happening to such a great extent is a pretty remarkable one, considering that just 46 years ago it was still illegal in parts of the U.S. for interracial couples to marry. The problems black women face in the dating world have been written about and dissected countless times in the past few years, and when I went searching for news that the data had been overblown and their problems weren’t as bad as they seemed, I couldn’t find any. I did find several articles that suggest that black women should consider interracial dating as a solution.

For everyone out there looking for love, try to remember as I do that you are not a data point. Your life doesn’t have to live up to a negative statistic, as Babble’s Krishann Briscoe recently pointed out about the success rate of second marriage. Good luck out there, lovebirds!

Photo credit: Flickr user dustinjmcclure

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