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.
Until recently I had had no need for them, it was only when I started writing this that I finally got round to downloading Tinder, Bumble and Happn.
I wasn’t sure what to expect: it was almost like I was in the throes of the break-up all over again wondering 'will anyone fancy me?
Instead, they characterize it as “yellow fever” and accuse people like me of having some sort of fetish, think that we’re looking for an easy way out, that we’ve taken mail-order brides, or that it’s just “because we couldn’t get a white woman.” Or worse, they assume the Asian woman is a victim and is being taken advantage of. Or contrarily, it means that she is taking advantage of him for a green card.
I’ve gotten the raised eyebrow from men who have never left the Rust Belt when I tell them I used to live in Bangkok, a city they believe to be one big whorehouse filled with Thai women who were born to serve.
Lewis found similar patterns: "Most men (except black men) are unlikely to initiate contact with black women, all men (including Asian men) are unlikely to reply to Asian women, and although women from all racial backgrounds tend to initiate contact with men from the same background, women from all racial backgrounds also disproportionately reply to white men." Ok Cupid, like so many places, is good place to be a white dude.
Lewis suggests that one factor in online dating's racial segregation could be what he calls preemptive discrimination.
Most of the time we get the evil eye from people who are otherwise accepting and liberal refuse to accept the fact that I may just be in love with an Asian woman. Although they may not say it out loud, their looks say,“… There is an inherent assumption that if a white man is with an Asian woman, it automatically means that he is taking advantage of her and she is unable of making intelligent decisions on her own.
That is, more compatibility generally means more replies. As you can see, in general, the better you match someone, the more likely you are to reply to a first message from them.
On Ok Cupid you create your own unique matching system, and that means your better matches are people you actually want talk to. We can see this principle in action when we look at our trusty control, the Zodiac.
We’ve processed the messaging habits of over a million people and are about to basically prove that, despite what you might’ve heard from the Obama campaign and organic cereal commercials, racism is alive and well. When I first started looking at first-contact attempts and who was writing who back, it was immediately obvious that the sender’s race was a huge factor.
It would be awesome if other big websites would go out on a limb and release their own race data, too. Here are just a handful of the numbers that illustrate that: The takeaway here is that although race shouldn’t matter in messaging, it does. First of all, how do we know that race shouldn’t matter?