Racial preferences in dating in may 2016

People may prefer same-race relationships for reasons as diverse as religious beliefs, social or cultural expectations, a sense of shared identity, or race-related physical attributes.Though explicit racism is likely also a factor — as highlighted by the backlash against Cheerios for airing a commercial featuring an interracial couple — it is by no means the only one.The plot below shows same-race preferences, broken down by sex, race, and political ideology.Strikingly, even among political moderates, the majority (52%) of white women declare at least a weak (“nice to have”) preference to date someone of their own race.By contrast, about one-fifth of moderate white men state a “nice to have” same-race preference.I realize that I live in a bubble — likely exacerbated by the fact that I’m part of the one-third of Asians who married outside my race — but still, I find the number of women willing to explicitly state a same-race preference remarkably high.Key for our analysis, members also declared which attributes they would prefer to see in a potential mate, as well as the strength of that preference on a three-point scale: “no preference”, “nice to have”, or “must have”.

Specifically, conservative white women are about 30% more likely to express a preference for same-race partners than their liberal counterparts (56% vs. Similar patterns hold for black women and white men, though the effect is not as pronounced.

Finally — and somewhat surprisingly — even though men and women claim to have very different race preferences, they in fact behave quite similarly, clicking on members of their own race at roughly the same rate.

So it looks like the folks at Avenue Q got it at least half right: Everybody’s a little bit racist, but conservatives are a bit more.

[2] For those who don’t know, I am indeed married to the blog’s illustrator, Kelly, who happens to be white.

[3] In case it’s not clear, I’m joking about the “racist” part.

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