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I hadn’t been on Tinder for long before I realized something was wrong: Hardly anyone was reciprocating my interest. None of my close friends, many of whom relied exclusively on the dating app to meet singles, seemed to be encountering this problem. Was there a grammatical error in my personal statement? What they found was that users placed a premium on members of their own race. In 2009, Ok Trends, the research arm of the dating website Ok Cupid, parsed user data to determine racial preferences in online dating.Even Asian women, by a small margin, preferred the company of white men to that of Asian men.A related study at Columbia tried to estimate how much men of different ethnic groups would need to earn to become as desirable to a woman as a man of her own race.The only groups not to be categorically discriminated against were white men and Asian women.Last year, Ok Trends updated their research with five additional years’ worth of data, culled from some 25 million users.On Ok Cupid, black and Indian males had the lowest response rates of any ethnic group.Among women, black and Native American women yielded the lowest response rates, but only by a slight margin.
This statistic is less intimidating to a pediatric surgeon or venture capitalist than it is to, say, a freelance writer and part-time house-sitter.Researchers studied whether same-race preferences in online dating could be drawn neatly along ideological lines.Those who identified as politically conservative were more candid in their same-race preference than liberals or moderates.As cultural authorities, magazines and television help define the boundaries of human beauty.The appeal of certain features may stem from some biological imperative, but for the most part physical attractiveness is as manufactured as trends in fashion.