The rate of interracial marriages in the United States has doubled in the past 30 years, but according to online dating habits, racism is still pretty prevalent.
University of California at San Diego Sociologist Kevin Lewis analyzed messages sent by more than 126,000 OkCupid users over a two-and-a-half month period in an effort to examine how racial prejudice affects our romantic decisions.
He only included heterosexual interactions between users who self-identified with the site’s five largest racial categories: Black, White, Asian (East Asian), Hispanic/Latino and Indian. He found that people from all racial backgrounds disproportionately contacted users from their same racial background. However people were more willing to reply to a user of a different race than they were to initiate contact. And right after they did so, for about a week, they were more likely to start a conversation with someone of another race.
On its OkTrends blog, OkCupid detailed the prevalence of racial prejudice on its own service in 2009. According to internal statistics on the site, white males get the most responses to their messages than any other group.
The analysis also found that white, Asian and Latino women reply to non-white men less than 25 percent of the time.
In Lewis’ findings, he also noticed that most men, with the exception of black men, are unlikely to initiate contact with black women and all men are unlikely to reply to Asian women.
What can be the cause of these findings?
Do they signify a racist climate or is it more that like attracts like?
Sound off below!