The difference between preference and prejudice may be a subtle one on the individual scale, but when you look at the trends, it's clearly a problem.
As well as race, online dating is famous for all kinds of social faux pas. A thoughtful online dater sends a pic of their face first.) In fact my time on dating and hookup sites is notable for the fact that only one person ever indicated through his initial contact that he had in fact read to the end of my advert, and dear reader, I married him.
When I was single and dating at least I didn't have to contend with the horror of people fetishising my background, but that didn't stop a breathtaking number of penis pics making their way to my inbox. The impression that online dating is like online shopping, and lists of qualities add up to the perfect mate, goes against what we all know to be true in the real world: lists of stereotypes don't work.
Among men, all races preferred a race different than their own. Think again - more like open season for racial objectification.
Men across the board all preferred Asian women, apart from Asian men, who preferred Latinas. Cue a million stereotypes about how some groups of women are magically and uniformly "gentle" and "feminine". Go to Google, and start typing in "[race] women are…" and see what the autocomplete suggests as the most popular way of completing this statement.
Dating site OK Cupid has carved out a nice little sideline in blogging about the statistics of their more successful users, to try to help people along the way, busting myths about what does and does constitute a good profile photo and whether eating oatmeal correlates with people you'll like or drinking beer correlates with sex on the first date.
But noting trends is not the same as endorsing them - and some trends are simply disturbing.According to his results, in some cases it may be fear of rejection playing a part in that reluctance.And that in its turn may be because some people online have had bad experiences with feeling fetishised when someone contacts them: a real chicken-and-egg situation.You get these gems: 'Black women are repulsive' 'Asian women are gold diggers' 'Latin women are loyal' It's pretty depressing stuff.Admittedly, the dating game is not equal and it is not kind.And many men are really interested in meeting an Asian woman because of their beauty and sex appeal, but also because of the traditional view of marriage that most Asian women still have.