Are we using racial stereotypes as an online dating strategy?

Posted by James, 24 Mar 11

online dating strategyIs 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?

    Your perfect partner could be online right now...

    What are you looking for?

  1. I love having Soul Food once in a while.
  2. I love getting down to some Salsa, Bachata.

  3. I am a simple guy pursuing a career in software engineering.

  4. I love sashimi, listening to Alicia Keys and surfing the net.

  5. I enjoy Nicholas Sparks, thunderstorms and horse back riding.

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?

8 responses to "Are we using racial stereotypes as an online dating strategy?"

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  1.   Lunaedea77 says:
    Posted: 03 Jun 11

    Okay, who are the people writing these blog entries?!?! They are ABSOLUTELY ridiculous! Really? You're going to do a short, ill-researched, and (quite frankly) pathetic piece about stereotypes...on THIS website, of all places?! God...this is just...atrocious. You offer no solutions- you are simply recycling the same, tired arguments that have been made time and time again. It's really sad that people are coming to this blog for dating advice and this is what they get. Please people, if you need advice, you'd be better off messaging me instead of reading any more of this tripe.

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  2. Posted: 14 May 11

    It's all about who you are, not what you type. Those are just words.

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  3.   mazc says:
    Posted: 14 May 11

    *says a lot lol. It's too early in the morning for stiches XD

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  4.   mazc says:
    Posted: 14 May 11

    'Racial stereotypes affecting our dating lives' LOL seriously. This article made me laugh so much, I matched all 4 without looking, says a lol.

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  5.   justsaying says:
    Posted: 02 Apr 11

    I doubt it. I think majority(maybe men more than women) look at photos, and talk to them anyway even if they aren't their type, if the person is really good looking to them.

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  6.   LadyAddi says:
    Posted: 27 Mar 11

    I question your premise about racial stereotypes and the conclusions drawn relative to profile content. We learn social behavior from those around us, so enjoying types of food is a reflection of that and not a bad thing, just our thing. Including these in profiles says we are proud of who we are and what we like, also a good thing.

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  7.   dizzydean69 says:
    Posted: 27 Mar 11

    As a woman online dating symbolism doesn't really mean that much. Each man I talk to or chat with is an individual. I am attracted to white men and they have become my preference in a mate. What I look like is very important because chemistry does come from the physical, but to say I have to have a typical black woman body to be attractive to a white may be a bit of a stretch. White men online are looking for the "black woman's body" may be trouble. Black women like any other ethnic women are individuals not cookie cutter people with the same body types. The bigger question for me is once a interracial couple have become committed to each other will they stay together and overcome society's negative stereotypes and familial strive?

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  8.   CremeU says:
    Posted: 26 Mar 11

    Hard as it is to admit, I I like to be associated with the positive stereotypes people have about black women... just the way most black men don't mind people saying they have huge ding-a-lings. So if thinking all black women are curvaceous will make you holla at me, I wouldn't mind one bit. People believe latino women have the hottest bodies on earth. I do not think there is anything wrong with letting a man imagining your hot body tangoing against him. So if using a positive stereotype gets you attention online, I say "GO FOR IT".

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