Dating Across Race

Man, you must be exhausted after traversing the ENTIRE GLOBE searching for just ONE black person that you could get it up for! Do you need to lie down? But this kind of racism is so deep-seated, so ingrained, that people genuinely believe their attractions are chemical. We are not the passive victims of our own internalized biases. We have governance over our actions. Of course it is hard to parse out what turns you on due to pheromones and what turns you on due to cultural influence, but even allowing that both play a part is a huge step in the right direction.

That is a real sentence that someone said. That would never fly. Whether workplaces adhere to their goals of diversity is another, much longer, discussion, but the guidelines are there. The ethics have been agreed upon. And our society has tacitly decided that those guidelines only apply to your professional life. People are happy to acknowledge that hiring someone based on their skin is racist. But somehow, dating someone based on their skin is not. This is too insidious not to acknowledge.

But you can develop awareness and create a new pattern. I think that should do the trick. In some ways, no. OkCupid users are certainly no more open-minded than they used to be. If anything, racial bias has intensified a bit. Here are the numbers for till now — view each graph below to move through time. These numbers reflect different people year-to-year. Together the charts fold in data from some 25 million accounts. One interesting thing is to compare what you see above with what those same users have told us about their racial attitudes.

Answers to match questions have been getting significantly less biased over time: And yet the underlying behavior has stayed the same. You can use other online data to see this split personality play out elsewhere. The night Obama was first elected was a moment of catharsis. It really felt like something had changed about the way America perceived and thought about race, and for at least that brief moment, the nation appeared united.

No less than Karl Rove captured the moment well: Anyhow, whenever I talk about this data or the race data in my book, Dataclysm a few questions always seem to come up. Are people on OkCupid just racist? I mean, not any more than anywhere else.


Yes, Your Dating Preferences Are Probably Racist


When it comes to dating sites, race matters

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