Now that I’m four years into professional matchmaking, I’ve seen clear patterns emerge when it comes to race and attraction. Women of every racial background seem to strongly prefer dating you.Asian and Latin women are most popular with the gents.The couple kept their relationship a secret for about 18 years until Takei came out publicly in 2005.In 2008, they got married at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.Q: Are you saying that because I prefer to date [whatever race], I’m a racist? There are many situations that might not be explicitly romantic, but are nonetheless a lot like a first date. In short, “beautiful people” receive a lot of the same built-in benefits in our society that white people do. Beauty is a cultural idea as much as a physical one, and the standard is of course set by the dominant culture. One interesting thing about Ok Cupid’s interface is that we allow people to select more than one race, so you can actually look at people who’ve combined “white” with another racial description. In fact it goes a long way towards undoing any bias against you.On an individual level, a person can’t really control who turns them on — and almost everyone has a “type,” one way or another.
The night Obama was first elected was a moment of catharsis. All the dating data I’ve seen fits Ok Cupid’s pattern: black people and Asian men get short shrift.Move one square to the left, and you see that they think Latinos are 1% above average, and so on.The color is there to make the big trends easy to see. Ok Cupid users are certainly no more open-minded than they used to be. Here are the numbers for 2009 till now — view each graph below to move through time.It really felt like something had changed about the way America perceived and thought about race, and for at least that brief moment, the nation appeared united. For example, below are the numbers from Date Hookup, a site that we acquired a few years ago (but that still operates independently.) Date Hookup has a distinct userbase, a distinct user acquisition model, a distinct interface, yet their data reflects the same basic biases: While Ok Cupid is large enough that its demographics reflect the general Internet-using public, Date Hookup is a niche site particularly popular with Latinos and blacks (those groups comprise 13% and 20% of the site, respectively.) Other sites in our portfolio, with still different demographics and business models, show the same attraction patterns.No less than Karl Rove captured the moment well: “an African-American candidate who was aspirational and inspirational…is very powerful. Q: Is it possible that some small number of users is throwing off the averages? For example, 82% of non-black men on Ok Cupid show some bias against black women.