When it comes to initial online dating preferences in America, multiracial individuals, in particular multiracial Asian Americans, have moved to the top of the racial hierarchy of dating preference patterns. In a new study about to be published in “American Sociological Review,” researchers from the University of Texas and University of Massachusetts examined 6.7 million initial messages sent between heterosexual women and men from 2003 to 2010 on one of the largest dating websites in the United States to see how often daters of different races received responses.
“How Asians are treated in the dating market is highly gendered,” University of Texas Austin Assistant Professor of Sociology Ken-Hou Lin told NBC News, “Asian women often receive similarly favorable treatment as white women do, while Asian men experience a level of discrimination that is comparable to black men.”
Now, however, multiracial Asian Americans who self-identified as “Asian-white” were among the most popular of the racial groups. According to Professor Lin, “Both [multiracial] Asian-white women and men receive acceptance that are similar to those of whites. In fact, our studies find that white and Asian men are more likely to respond to [multiracial] Asian-white women than either Asian or white women.”
Multiracial “Asian-white” men were also preferred by Asian American women over (monoracial) Asian men and over white men.
White women responded to multiracial “Asian-white” men and white men most frequently, and they responded to (monoracial) Asian men and to African American men the least.
“One potential explanation of these preferences is that contemporary media promotes certain mixed-race appearances as chic, fashionable, or post-racial,” suggested Lin, “while simultaneously portrays mono-racial Asians as being passive, sly, effeminate, and nerdy.”
Researchers did not have enough data to study reactions to multiracial Asian Americans who were also Hispanic or also African American.