Thursday, November 08, 2007

Race and dating preferences

I think this is mildly surprising, and even a bit encouraging ...
An economist solves the mysteries of dating. - By Ray Fisman - Slate Magazine

...Another clear gender divide, this one less expected, emerged in our findings on racial preferences, reported in a forthcoming article in the Review of Economic Studies. Women of all the races we studied revealed a strong preference for men of their own race: White women were more likely to choose white men; black women preferred black men; East Asian women preferred East Asian men [jf: note the next paragraph contradicts this statement!]; Hispanic women preferred Hispanic men. But men don't seem to discriminate based on race when it comes to dating. A woman's race had no effect on the men's choices.

Two wrinkles on this: We found no evidence of the stereotype of a white male preference for East Asian women. However, we also found that East Asian women did not discriminate against white men (only against black and Hispanic men). As a result, the white man-Asian woman pairing was the most common form of interracial dating—but because of the women's neutrality, not the men's pronounced preference. We also found that regional differences mattered. Daters of both sexes from south of the Mason-Dixon Line revealed much stronger same-race preferences than Northern daters.
So it's the women who decide how much inter-group mating occurs ... at least among Northern American daters.

It's odd that the editor didn't notice that the paragraphs were contradictory. White, black, and Hispanic women were group specific, east asian women were ok with east asian or white men.

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