Race matters in online dating

With Valentine’s Day two weeks away, there’s still plenty of time to find your soul mate.

But daters beware: nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court ruled bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional, race still matters.

To investigate the relationship between political ideology and racial preferences, we examined member profiles of over 250,000 heterosexual users of a popular online dating site.

Each individual in our sample answered a variety of questions about themselves, including specifying their race, political ideology, age, education, income, height, and body type.

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In particular, across demographic groups, users who claim not to have racial preferences are in fact two to three times as likely to click on a member’s photo if he or she is the same race as them.

The plot below shows same-race preferences, broken down by sex, race, and political ideology.

Strikingly, even among political moderates, the majority (52%) of white women declare at least a weak (“nice to have”) preference to date someone of their own race.

However, you should still validate your partner’s experiences – don’t say that racism doesn’t exist just because you don’t see it, and never tell them that they’re overreacting.

And if they’re racist on purpose, then you should drop them off at the nearest KKK rally and find yourself someone educated.

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