Lin and Lundquist found that when Internet daters search for potential mates, they are more likely to approach those of the same racial identity as themselves, and a clear racial hierarchy dominates the response process.White daters’ messages are likely to elicit responses from daters of other groups, but white women respond mostly only to white men.Generally, white gay men and straight women avoid non-white daters.In a study published in the upcoming issue of the journal , UMass Amherst associate dean Jennifer Lundquist and University of Texas Austin assistant professor of sociology Ken-Hou Lin analyzed the racial characteristics of 9 million registered users and 200 million messages from one of the largest and most popular U. dating websites that offers both heterosexual and same-sex dating services for millions of active users. – A new study presented today by scholars at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Texas at Austin, reports that online daters often prefer mixed-race over mono-racial individuals, challenging the common belief that people with a white parent and a parent of a different racial-ethnic group, especially ones with a black parent, are always treated as “minorities.” In their paper, “Dating Partners Don’t Always Prefer ‘Their Own Kind’: Some Multiracial Daters Get Bonus Points in the Dating Game,” which they presented to the Council on Contemporary Families and will appear later this summer in the , sociologists Celeste Curington and Jennifer Lundquist of UMass Amherst and Ken-Hou Lin of UT Austin used 2003-10 data from one of the largest dating websites in the United States to examine nearly 6.7 million initial messages sent between heterosexual women and men.They found that the historic preference for whites in the dating market has been replaced in some cases with a preference for multiracial individuals.They found that same-race preferences are common, but when people decide to contact daters of a different race there is no clear tendency by gay or straight identity.Minority men are less desired by white gay men and straight women, while minority women suffer far less of a penalty from white lesbians and straight men.
More detailed evidence in the report demonstrates further how racial barriers to dating are shifting, yet the authors found considerable evidence of a persistent color hierarchy – especially between blacks and whites.
The final sample consisted of data from 32,351 lesbians, 51,606 gay men, 405,021 straight women and 528,800 straight men taken from November 2003 to October 2010.
In this study they examine the preferences of white daters; their ongoing research also examines the racial preferences of non-white daters.
“Our findings suggest that straight men and women differ significantly, and that more race-open preferences held by heterosexual men are similar to lesbians while gay men’s less race-open preferences are more similar to heterosexual women,” Lundquist says.
“The general pattern for inter-group interaction is that all four white groups are most likely to contact or respond other white daters; however, when interactions do occur with non-white daters, it is initiated most often by straight white men, second most often by white lesbians, third most often by gay white men and least often by straight white women.” The study found some variations in the specifics of interracial relationships.