Friday, November 9, 2007

Slate figures out why we think white men tend to date Asian women.

OK, first let me say this isn't MY recurring obsession - the politics of inter-racial dating. I know lately it seems I post a lot about it (definitely more than when I was at Vertical). It just so happens the world is very interested in interracial dating and so it sees fit to let me know when someone is writing about it...and yes, I find it's relatively interesting blog fodder.

Nonetheless, the myth of a ubiquitous tendency- white men and Asian women having some preferential chemistry. I want to say for the record, once again, that the gender distribution of inter-racial dating among my friends at least, is equal. I.e. I know as many white men with Asian women as white women with Asian men. To say nothing of all the other combinations that are not so obvious but much more telling - why are native Asians so disinclined to date Asian-Americans, for example?

Anyhoo, Slate has taken one of my favorite lenses to the issue - economics. Logic is a thing of beauty. It's why I don't knit. I'd rather untangle knots than make them.

Slate figures out why we think white men tend towards Asian women:

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; 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.

You see, so it's not that white men fetishize Asian women. It's that Asian women aren't averse to their come-ons.
(Thanks Jenny)


Assholier Than Thou said...

this was the last interesting thing i read on the topic.

personally, thinking/worrying/being upset/not upset/considering the topic just makes me tired. i like to just focus on what is before me. it makes my life much easier and happier.

morelikespace said...

It might be an issue of sampling -- in my particular "group," whatever that might be, a lot of the Asian-American women still say they're not attracted to (or don't want to date) Asian-American men. I think it's not as bad now as it was, say, when I was a teenager, but the phenomenon is still there. A corollary of the above economist's explanation is that Asian guys are just more shy about trying to pick up Asian women than their honkey brothers are, which is certainly plausible. I dunno. I still think there are subtle class perception issues at play.

Anonymous said...

"That's why I don't knit. I'd rather untangle knots than make them."



C said...

i was way ahead of the game, as it was an angry bitter 19 year old aZn revolutionary version of me that theorized that it wasn't that white men were stealing our women--but that our women hate us (and their fathers) and themselves.

now i don't care and can't wait for humanity to be a uniform shade of brown, because you know we'll all be better looking...