Are we using racial stereotypes as an online dating strategy?
Is your race a great determinant of your hobbies and the things you love? Does the description you give on your dating profile (about yourself, tastes and interests) confirm society’s racial stereotypes?
Having gone through quite a number of profiles, I have come to realize that there are some common phrases that seem to come up in profiles of members of a particular race. This can also be confirmed by a dating research... that was done by OkCupid some time back. Take a look these few lines extracted from some dating profiles listed below. Can you guess the race of the individual that wrote that profile?
- I love having Soul Food once in a while.
I love getting down to some Salsa, Bachata.
I am a simple guy pursuing a career in software engineering.
I love sashimi, listening to Alicia Keys and surfing the net.
- I enjoy Nicholas Sparks, thunderstorms and horse back riding.
Your perfect partner could be online right now...
What are you looking for?
Let’s see if you got it: (1) Black (2) Latino (3) Asian Male (4) Asian Woman (5) Caucasian woman
In most of our dating profiles, some of the phrases we use tend to give an indication of what race we are before someone even confirms it. Not to sound stereotypical but, in most African American profiles, there is the mention of “Soul Food” or “Mandingo”. In Latino profiles, the dancing of Salsa, merengue has to appear among the top 3 interests. Then there is Asians and software engineering.
See, when it comes to online dating, most people's profiles are a reflection of what they want to be or what they want their potential mates to think about them as opposed to who or what they really are. So going by the above research, does this mean people prefer to be identified by racial stereotypes society has formed about them? Are racial stereotypes affecting our dating lives so much so that people are actually willing to use them to lure potential mates?
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