Gendered Racial Exclusion by White Internet Daters

Cynthia Feliciano, University of California, Irvine
Belinda Robnett, University of California, Irvine
Golnaz Komaie, University of California, Irvine

Acceptance by the dominant group is an important indicator of the current standing of racial groups in the U.S. hierarchy, as well as of the possibility for future assimilation. However, few researchers have addressed the gendered nature of racial exclusion by whites in dating situations. We examine the degree to which white internet daters exclude blacks, Latinos, Asians, Middle Easterners, East Indians and Native Americans as possible dates, using a sample of profiles collected off of an internet dating website. We find that white men and women most often prefer to date whites, followed by Latinos. However, white men are more likely than white women to exclude blacks as possible dates, while white women are more likely to exclude Asians. Gendered patterns of racial exclusion in dating preferences are consistent with census data on inter-cohabitation and inter-marriage, suggesting that whites’ racial preferences help shape union formation.

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Presented in Session 171: Assortative Mating