Are Asians The “Most Desired” Racial Group In America?

Last week, we asked “Is Race Just A State of Mind In Online Dating?” This week, we find out how online dating would look if there “weren’t so many white people” inundating the market.

OKCupid analyzed 82 million messages sent by members of their free online dating site to form their conclusions, focusing on their four largest single-race groups: whites, asians, blacks, and latinos.

According to their data: “white people actually prefer themselves the least, but right now there’s just so many of them. It’s interesting to think what things would be like if the shoe was on the other foot; if another race outnumbered whites 19:1.”

Read the article here, and don’t forget to check out the interactive visualization charts. In your experiences, do you agree that race affects both quantity and quality of messages? Please share your comments below.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Djohariah

    Well, that confirms my suspicions.  White men do not have an overwhelming preference for white women, especially as they age, and neither do other races. 

    As a pasty-skinned person of mostly Irish ancestry, I have a healthy self-esteem, but I think it’s tough to “compete” with generally curvier women with more pigment.  I think — in general — that those qualities are more in demand now and since online dating is primarily a visual medium, it confirms my belief that for my own dating search, I need to come up with alternative dating strategies where people can get to know me in person rather than just “see” me online.

    This article also motivated me to contact more black men since I frequently find them attractive and have had very positive relationships with them in the past.

    By the way, that is an excellent picture you found to accompany this article!  :-D

    1. 1.1
      J

      Djohariah, no I don’t think skin color has to do with anything in your situation.  I’m Asian, and I don’t care about the lightness or darkness of skin tones.  I would like to add though,  Asian women are desirable, but asian men don’t have a chance here in the states (unless if they’re famous or super wealthy).  I think even in the future, 50 years or 100 years or whatever from now, the desired mate is always going to be someone that looks really healthy (regardless of race).  Right now, asian men are being left out because they are perceived as being small in stature and the overwhelming negative stereotypes by non asian men who keeps promoting it in the media, etc etc.  Smaller people don’t look as healthy.  Asian women don’t have this problem because women in general are supposed to be smaller than men.  Conversely, black women are left out in the dating world because they are perceived as being ghetto and aggressive (masculine).  I’m not saying this is true, because I’ve seen some very attractive black women, but the negative stereotypes are overwhelming…similar to that of asian men.

    2. 1.2
      J

      Also too, usually light skin people are perceive to be wealthy, so you’re privileged.

  2. 2
    Steve

    @Djohariah
    I happen to like pasty white women of mostly Irish ancestry.  If you have long curly hair give me a call :)
     
    I guess I have been on another planet.   I don’t have a particular physical type.  I didn’t know about the “Asian fetish” thing until an Asian friend told me about it.  I do tend to date other Caucasian Americans.  Partly out of cultural fear and partly out of knowing them better/being able to relate to them better.

  3. 3
    SS

    That is a pretty good picture choice!  :)

  4. 4
    detha

    I don’t think Asians have that much pigment in thier skin. 

    I think the attraction may be more cultural than physical. Not to mention financial where some non american women see white men as financially better partners.

  5. 5
    starthrower68

    I may have been under a mistaken impression: I would have said that white men generally prefer Asian women because they think Asian women are seen as being more defferential toward men than their caucasian counterparts.  Interestingly enough, plus-size women seem to be more desriable to African American and Latino men.  That one confuses me, as plus-size women are constantly given the message that they have no worth because they don’t fit the desired physical type. 

  6. 6
    hunter

    It is my  theory that all of those made in the orient/asia goods, that americans buy, has made the asian passageway to the U.S. more affordable.   I know men who date asian females,, some of these women, are well to do, financially. 

  7. 7
    Karl R

    Since this data is based upon messages sent, it’s going to be skewed toward male behavior. Men send far more messages than women. 

    I found it quite interesting to compare the data to a related OKCupid blog post, which breaks down how likely you are to get a response based upon your race, your sex, and which race you sent a message to.

  8. 8
    Jadafisk

    Why is it confusing that different cultures have differing beauty standards? According to the dominant culture in the U.S. – white American culture – plus sized women are not the desired physical type, but other groups may disagree. Multiple perspectives, multiple truths. As a result of the conflicting narratives, black and brown men are seen as having lower standards when it comes to white women, but the men in question are applying different standards than the dominant one, standards that they apply to women in their own communities as well. Likewise, I think that Asian popularity is partially due to white male inclination towards a body type that’s more common in and/or easily attainable by that group.

    Like many in the article comments, I’d like to see a gender breakdown. As a person who does have a strong preference for Asian men, I can say that it’s rare in the U.S.

  9. 9
    Steve

    I don’t know where the belief in the submissive Asian woman comes from.  Almost every Asian woman I’ve been friends with has been a real ballbuster.
     

  10. 10
    Sherell

    Starthrower68  I don’t think Black and latina men prefer plus size women.  They just don’t like skinny women where as white men may.  They prefer a Beyonce, Jlo, Kim Kardashian type. More curves and not a size 2,

  11. 11
    Sayanta

    great pic!

    Karl- thanks for posting that OK Cupid post. Very interesting to read- and it helped me decide how I should go about e-mailing. Right now, my focus when I e-mail men has been evenly split between white dudes and men of color- but I probably should focus solely on the latter for a higher success rate (online).

  12. 12
    Sherell

    Hmm I don’t see many women looking for  Asian men.

  13. 13
    The InBetweener

    Not to get TOO much off the subject but where do multi-racial people fit into the equation?
     

  14. 14
    Rich Women Wanting Men

    Well, actually, I totally agree.  I see lots of women I know looking for Asian men.  And many men looking for Asian women.  Great post, Evan!

  15. 15
    BeenThruTheWars

    I’m white and plus-sized, and I can tell you from 30+ years of my own experience – the vast majority of men who’ve ever hit on me and tried to pick me up when I’ve been out and about have been black men – often very good looking black men.  Since I find them attractive, I’m always flattered.

  16. 16
    Lance

    @Steve #9, that is a hilarious comment!!

  17. 17
    Steve

    @Lance #16
    Thanks Buddy, but I wasn’t trying to be funny :).

  18. 18
    Jadafisk

    9. I don’t buy that either. One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is how the Asian-American community doesn’t seem to have the narrative present in white and black communities where women are told “Career or family, you have to choose! If you go to grad school, you’re just running the clock down! If you become a doctor, men won’t feel like you need them!” Since they come from a set of cultures where a significant amount of female accomplishment and professional success is expected and celebrated, the men who date them can’t be the types who would run around behaving as if it it’s a problem. Also, from anecdotal evidence, I can also say that none of the women that I’ve met have been particularly passive, and the men who find them appealing appreciate their independence and assertiveness. That being said, I run in younger circles… I think stereotypes about Asian women were more widely held in the past, and I’ve heard from older men who do have those ideas and cite them as the primary impetus for their interest in Asian women. These men acknowledge a difference, however, so they tend to focus their attentions on recent immigrants instead of Asian-Americans. They also strike out quite a bit. One thing about admiring people who adhere to the traditional traits (real or merely idealized) of a culture outside of your own – endogamy is tradition, too. Furthermore, it’s often considered the foundation for the successful propagation of all of the others. 

    10. I think that difference in the ideal creates a skew across the spectrum of preferences. If J. Lo is the standard, there’s probably going to be more men in the group who are interested in Christina Hendricks and Toccarra Jones types, as well as more men who are interested in women who are indisputably plus sized. While men who are interested in the latter may not constitute the majority, IMO, they compose a larger minority with views that are openly accepted as part of the range instead of relegated to the fringes, shamed into closets, or reduced to fetishism.

  19. 19
    sherell

    A sad stereotype about plus size women is that they are desperate and will do anything sexually without much work on the man’s part.

  20. 20
    Rose

    #15, I think that may be because black men are more comfortable hitting on women, as are men from Latin cultures (French, hispanic/Spanish, Italien). At least this has been my experience, especially after living in and around Paris for four years a few years ago. I wish white American men were a little more bold in this way… I’d really like to date more men from my culture, but they seem boring to me. Maybe they’re just unattracted to a girl who looks too much like she could be their sister. The few who aren’t afraid to show their interest have found me very attractive and sexy, so I’m baffled about the rest!

  21. 21
    starthrower68

    @ Sherrell #19,

    Yes, thank you! I’m considered not to be desirable because I’m more than just curvy but not exactly as large as some.  However, I’m hardly desperate. I own a house, am raising three good kids, working on a master’s degree, earned my bachelor’s with honors, and have a good career.  I’m not stupid or lazy.  But I’ve long since stopped caring if men perceive me that way.  It’s not my problem. 

  22. 22
    Sherell

    @ Starthrower good for you!!!  Having a full active  enjoyable life is good for women of all sizes.  That keeps them from focusing so much on a particular guy or not having a man in their life and its what attracts many.

  23. 23
    Djohariah

    I don’t think Black and latina men prefer plus size women.  They just don’t like skinny women where as white men may.  They prefer a Beyonce, Jlo, Kim Kardashian type. More curves and not a size 2,

    FYI, “skinny” is a pejorative term just like “fat” is.  For some people, thinness is their natural and healthy condition.  It does’t mean they are anorexic or unfeminine.

  24. 24
    Liz

    Starthrower, you weren’t aware that African-American and latino men don’t have the weight hangups that white men do? It’s definitely true. Generally.

  25. 25
    Nicole

    @Liz #24…
    I think it’s a big myth that black men are okay with women being fat. As the previous poster said, they want curves, so a pear or hourglass shape on a SMALLER woman is sought after but most black men are not cool with people being really heavy. So many people have jumped to the conclusion that talks about booties means that black men like fat women.  They don’t.  They want a tiny waist, a round bottom, and a big chest is optional;  I hate that a few glimpses of pop culture have given people that impression about the black community and black beauty standards.

    So yes, Beyonce is a yes, Queen Latifah and Mo’nique are regularly and cruelly mocked for their size by black men(visit some blogs or forums with a lot of black male members).  One term used to describe that ideal is “skinny thick.”  You’d better be a size 8 or smaller with nice curves if you want to be popular. Now it is true that maybe for a lot of black men, a size 2 is too small, but that stops being true as you move up the socioeconomic ladder (people do after all get indoctrinated by their surroundings and what the norm is for them-in the same vein, you’ll find a lot of educated, professional black women dieting down to the new smaller ideal as well).  

    They DO seem to be okay with larger women of other races, in my experience, but a lot of the men that you see with larger white or non-black Latino women, for example, would NOT pick a heavyset black woman.  

    For some, not all, the whiteness of trumps the weight. (not that everyone is fetishizing white women but for some that’s the ONLY attribute that matters).

    I’m not surprised Starthrower gets hit on by black men, but I’d be shocked if those same black men  hit on black women her size.

  26. 26
    SS

    Uh oh Nicole… you went there!  :)

  27. 27
    Nicole

    @SS #26, well I hope it doesn’t ruffle any feathers but I’ve just heard or read too many conversations where non-black women marvel over how black men don’t care about their size, and it’s weird that they always assume that it’s b/c the men prefer that.  I mean, given their exalted status as the beauty standard and the degree to which that standard has permeated cultures all over the world, it’s odd that they associate the attention with figures and not their skin.  A lot of those men will compromise on a LOT of things that they’d normally insist upon if you have the right skin color.  But in my experience, few people seem to be aware of the colorism issues that plague people of color of just about every race.

    As I said, they need to pay attention to how those men talk about black women who are plus sized.  It’s not pretty.  

    It’s also just a form of confirmation bias b/c if I jumped to conclusions based on the kind of men who approach, compliment, and contact me(and stated them here-X type of men just love Y), I could come up with something that sounds equally silly (and I would be promptly told so by many commenters) because if would fly in the face of what they know to be true or have experienced.

    It’s like that experiment that was done with black dolls and little black girls.  I almost feel that to demonstrate it properly, you’d need to have a bunch of pictures of women of different races and sizes and see how black men ranked them.  I think the results would surprise everyone.

  28. 28
    SS

    Nicole, no feather-ruffling from me… don’t know about others though!
     
    I’m a black woman, so, I get ya.  I’ve heard directly from some of these men how much they’re tired of seeing “fat black women” and my larger black female friends struggle for attention. Now, I can’t say these particular men are then chasing larger white women, but I agree that there is a disconnect between what people often believe that black men like (larger women) and the women that those black men actually pursue.
     
    And actually, I was a size 2 for the majority of my life… and I only had ONE black man ever say that was too small for him… my attention from black men certainly did not suffer because I was a tiny girl… which tells me that while black men might not be as closed off to larger-sized women as white or Asian men, black men aren’t that far off in their preferences either… and when exceptions are made in regards to size, those exceptions are not necessarily applied to women across the board… otherwise, I’d say we’d see a lot more larger black women paired up with black men. It’s almost a running joke with some people that if you’re a larger white woman, your best bet is to give up on white men and date black men exclusively.
     
    I’m ALL for people finding love wherever they can, so if larger white women find their bliss with black men, good for them. Honestly, good for them. But I do like, Nicole, that you brought attention to the bigger picture as well and pointed out the inherent contradiction in the idea that black men are forgiving of size. Maybe so, but it definitely helps if the woman is of a much lighter hue.

  29. 29
    BABYSHAM!!

    Interesting!!, I’ve always thought Americans had a thing for Asian people!!…think they find us cute!! ha ha. I’m a half Asian, half white girl (look more Asian but am very pale skinned) and LOVE it!!. But I have noticed that I’m strongly attracted to white men, my ideal man would be white. Don’t know what it is but at the same time I LOVE my friends who consist of all nationalities and beleive we are all 100% equal, still when it comes to……I prefer them!!. The heart wants what the heart wants I always say. Any white man who wants me I play hard to get.

  30. 30
    A 20-Something Girl

    You know why Asian men aren’t desirable?
    Because of spectral mother-in-laws. Asian tiger mum in laws are just not what you want. At all. Those with sons are liable to be extremely possessive too. And it’s still common in asian culture for a daughter in law (or girlfriend, at least) to be deferential to her boyfriend’s parents, and she’s expected to care for them after marriage. And god forbid you should disagree with how your mother in law does things.
    Why would any woman want that?

    1. 30.1
      J

      @A 20-Something Girl
      hmm…Not all asian men have tiger moms, in fact I know a lot of asian men’s parents who are very supportive of their son to date (regardless of race, although they prefer an asian lady).  Don’t think of the downside of a whole group because of your experiences…everyone’s different.  Asian men are struggling right now the most to be noticed here in the States…negativity doesn’t help things…no offense.

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