This Valentine's Day, more of us than ever will be looking for love online. And if recent studies are any guide, relatively few women on mainstream dating sites will bother to respond to overtures from men of Asian descent. Likewise, black women will be disproportionately snubbed by men of all races. Yes, even though America has been flirting intensely with a postracial label for some time, color blindness is not upheld as an ideal in the realm of online romance. On some sites, it's not even an option. Chemistry.com requires users to identify their ethnicity; like eHarmony, it considers members' racial preferences when suggesting matches. Match.com lets users filter their searches by race. The site's profiles include space to indicate interest (or lack thereof) in various racial and ethnic groups. But after Jennifer House, a black woman in Los Angeles, perused one too many profiles only to find the guys had checked off every box except African American, she changed her strategy. "Now I look at that section first so as not to get my hopes up," she says.
Racial preferences — or, as some call them, biases — are easier to observe on these sites than in offline settings. Behind computer screens and cutely coded user names, people clearly communicate things about race that few would ever say aloud in a bar. For example, a study published last year in Social Science Research examined 1,558 profiles that white daters living in or near big U.S. cities placed on Yahoo! Personals, which, much like Match, lists 10 racial and ethnic groups users can select as preferred dates. Among the women, 73% stated a preference. Of these, 64% selected whites only, while fewer than 10% included East Indians, Middle Easterners, Asians or blacks. The story is a little different for the men, 59% of whom stated a racial preference. Of these, nearly half selected Asians, but fewer than 7% did for black women. ( Collapse )
there's been a lot of disussion about this. is being more physically attracted to a certain race racism/prejudice or just a preference? can one help if theres a racial phenotype that one finds more appealing?