A new study into race and online dating says that some mixed race groups are messaged more than those with a single racial background.
Scholars at the University of Texas and University of Massachusetts used data from one of the largest dating sites in the US, and analysed almost 6.7m messages sent between 2003 and 2010.
By looking at the contact made by heterosexual men and women, they found that in some cases, multiracial singles were being preferred.
The researchers found that women who were Asian-white were messaged more often by white and Asian men.
In addition to this, Asian and Hispanic women were more likely to contact Asian-white and Hispanic-white men, than those from their own racial group.
And for white women, they showed a preference for Asian-white men, but were least likely to respond to either solely Asian or black men.
The researchers found that white women were just as likely to respond to Asian-white men as to white men.
Still a racial hierarchy?
However despite these findings, the authors of the study said that “some cases seem to be closely linked to a continuing partiality for lightness or whiteness.”
White men and women were found to be less likely to respond to someone who identifies as part black and part white, than they are to a fellow white person.
The researchers also said that black women send few messages to people who aren’t from their own racial group, but are more responsive when they receive messages from outside their own race.
This led the authors to conclude that “black women expect rejection if they initiate contact with men of other ethnicities.”
Stereotypes when online dating
Alongside this, the researchers said some of these trends were likely influenced by cultural stereotypes.
Sociologists Celeste Curington, Ken-Hou Lin and Jennifer Lundquist said: “The preference of white and Asian men for white-Asian women may reflect the influence of longstanding cultural representations of multiracial women as unique and sexually exotic.
“Likewise, Asian and Hispanic women may have been influenced by the media’s increasing portrayal of multiracial men as attractive, chic, and trendy.”
They also said that Asian and Hispanic women might think a man who is part white and part Asian or Hispanic may represent an “attractive mix of both worlds when it comes to gender and cultural norms.”
The study, called “Dating Partners Don’t Always Prefer ‘Their Own Kind’: Some Multiracial Daters Get Bonus Points in the Dating Game” was recently presented to the Council on Contemporary Families.
Read the full study here.