Earlier this month there was a study published written by Columbia Business School professor Ray Fisman on theories of dating or choice-making based on data collected from speed-dating experiments in Chicago. Part of the study looked at interracial dating preferences. As you may know I have a major interest in this area. Looking through some articles and the Fisman study there are upsides and downsides.
I guess the good news for some would be that people generally choose to marry within their own race. It is perceived widely in Asian American culture that Asian women increasingly tend to outmarry. I think this study does offer some practical and logical insight. For starters, the study notes that Asian women exhibit a strong same race preference than their male counterparts. There is no evidence of the stereotype of a White male preference. But throw in that attractiveness factor and Asian men fall last.
“For male partners, our main finding is that Asians generally receive lower ratings than men of other races. In fact, when we run the regressions separately for each race, we find that even Asian women find white, black, and Hispanic men to be more attractive than Asian men. “
Ouch. That hurts a bit.
If the controlling factor is preference based on attractiveness…then Asian men are the least desirable. If you’re a good looking Asian dude. . . you’re to be envied.
However, the bias runs both ways…
“female Asian partners are consistently rated as less attractive, though we also find that black females receive significantly lower ratings relative to whites. As above, we find that when these regressions are run separately for each race, even Asian men find white, black, and Hispanic women to be more attractive than Asian women.
Asians received low marks on attractiveness from all races including Asians themselves.
For a long time many Asian men and bloggers have wondered why it appears that more Asian women out-marry. Is it really true? Does this study prove that there is a preference or none at all?
One conclusion about preference that the study demonstrates is simply this, who you spend the most time with you end up choosing. Our choices are really more rational than anything. Lawyers with lawyers. Doctors with doctors. These are the people you meet on a daily basis and spend the most time around. Perhaps the factors are more geographic/social integration rather than specific racial preferences. What choices do you have? This tendency goes for race and religion as well. The bloggers at Poplicks summarizes these findings well.
The full study can be downloaded here in pdf form.
Other research by OSU’s Zhenchao Qian [pdf download].
Slate.com Article by Ray Fisman, An Economist Goes to the Bar, and solves the mysteries of dating
This reminds me of a story from pioneering pastor David Gibbons of NewSong who’s a Korean-White mix. He attended Bob Jones University south of the Mason-Dixon line at a time where he was one of a handful of Asian faces. He had to indicate what race he would date and so Dave thought his chances were higher if he would check off White. This was a very practical and logical decision not because he had a preference for White women. BJU didn’t look too favorably upon this but how could Gibbons decide? If you’ve seen David Gibbons in person, he don’t look very mixed at all. He looks very Korean.
Sorry Dave if I butchered your story. I love you man.
The school only lifted its ban on interracial dating in 2000.
So is it tough to be Asian? or not?