2016 Research in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies has analysed data from the Match.com profiles of over 1,200 biracial individuals.
Using a logistic regression, the study investigated the dating preferences of the USA biracial demographic – a population which has been underrepresented in previous research.
The biracial population represents 2.9% of the US total at present, and the study notes that this could increase to over 20% by the year 2050.
Among other lines of inquiry, the researchers looked to test the assumption that because of their mixed background, biracial individuals would be more likely to date outside of their race than monoracial individuals.
While this assumption appeared to be supported in general, the findings suggested important differences between different biracial groups. These specificities may be the result of a ‘racial hierarchy’, the study suggests.
Partly-white biracial individuals are less likely to date outside of their racial groups than non-white biracial individuals (e.g. black-Hispanics), for example.
Similarly, white-other biracial individuals were more likely to date someone from the ‘other’ ethnicity category than white-Asians were.
Many of the findings were fairly striking – the study writes, for example, that black-Hispanics were over 26 times more likely than Asian-whites to identify someone African American as a “suitable romantic partner”.
The study concludes that “Although our findings indicate that biracial individuals are more likely to seek potential partners outside of their same racial/ethnic identity, their dating preferences also reflect a distinct racial hierarchy that may account for why some racial/ethnic categories are more desirable than others”.