Race Preferences in Online Dating: Fetishes, Stereotypes or Just Personal Choice?


Love is not blind. And certainly not colorblind. The Facebook dating app Are You Interested (AYI) recently released data on dating preferences based on race for its 2.4 million heterosexual users in the U.S. The results are quite interesting:

The odds favor Asian women and white men.

Women receive three times the interactions that men do.

All men seemed to be more interested in people outside their race.

Black men and women get the lowest response rates to their messages.

All women except black women are mostly drawn to white men.

And men of all races prefer Asian women.

Quartz graphed the findings.

But are these findings actually due to personal preference or rather fetishes and stereotypes hidden behind the mask of a computer screen?

Kat Chow, covering race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR, said the results are “remarkable” to her. She often feels the popularity of Asian women, and dating as an Asian woman, is like this:

Elise Hu, covering the intersection of technology and culture for NPR, in conversation with Chow said:

I actually do think there must be some of the Asian fetishization, er, “yellow fever" at play here. This just really gets in my craw, because it becomes a problem for the Asian women — Am I just loved because I'm part of an ethnic group that's assumed to be subservient, or do I have actual value as an individual, or is it both?— and it's a problem for men who love them — Is my husband only with me 'cause he's a creepster who makes certain assumptions about me and my race, or can he legitimately be attracted to me as an individual?The results of this study only perpetuate social problems for both sexes involved.

What do you think?