Friday, December 19, 2014

What dating preferences tell us about ourselves

“Some white people hate black people, and some white people love black people, some black people hate white people, and some black people love white people. So you see it's not an issue of black and white, it's an issue of Lovers and Haters.” — Eden Ahbez (George Alexander Aberle), known as Eden Ahbez, American songwriter and recording artist whose lifestyle in California was influential on the hippie movement

I'VE BEEN blogging away on average every other day for four years, and what's interesting to me is that the ones I've written about racial issues are among the least popular. 

Most popular? Sports, diseases, and famous people — although one I wrote about the Southern Poverty Law Center is only 11 reads away from surpassing a sports post to become the most read at 503. That cheers me up.

Friend Karl Schilling found this interesting piece on Quartz (, and with his permission I'm sharing it with you. Draw your own conclusions.

The uncomfortable racial preferences revealed by online dating
By Ritchie King
November 21, 2013

The data shown above come from the Facebook dating app, Are You Interested (AYI), which works like this: Users in search of someone for a date or for sex flip through profiles of other users and, for each one, click either “yes” (I like what I see) or “skip” (show me the next profile). When the answer is “yes,” the other user is notified and has the opportunity to respond. It’s very similar to another dating app, Tinder.

The graphic shows what percentage of people responded to a “yes,” based on the gender and ethnicity of both parties (the data are only for opposite-sex pairs of people). Unsurprisingly, most “yes’s” go unanswered, but there are patterns: For example, Asian women responded to white men who “yessed” them 7.8% of the time, more often than they responded to any other race. On the other hand, white men responded to black women 8.5% of the time—less often than for white, Latino, or Asian women. In general, men responded to women about three times as often as women responded to men.

Unfortunately the data reveal winners and losers. All men except Asians preferred Asian women, while all except black women preferred white men. And both black men and black women got the lowest response rates for their respective genders.

Perhaps most surprising is that among men, all racial groups preferred another race over their own.

AYI analyzed some 2.4 million heterosexual interactions—meaning every time a user clicked either “yes” or “skip”—to come up with these statistics. Its users skew older than Tinder’s—about two-thirds of AYI users are older than 35, according to a spokesperson.

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