The role of media in shaping desire shouldn’t be overlooked.As cultural authorities, magazines and television help define the boundaries of human beauty. In 2009, Ok Trends, the research arm of the dating website Ok Cupid, parsed user data to determine racial preferences in online dating. My dalliance with Tinder lasted for four weeks before I boarded up the account and returned to the world of low-tech, meat-and-potatoes courtship.So, while users exercised greater discretion in their stated preference, in practice their actions remained the same..Researchers studied whether same-race preferences in online dating could be drawn neatly along ideological lines.A speed-dating event was organized at Columbia University to examine the behavioral patterns of participants.The event, which corralled graduate students of all backgrounds, provided each pairing with four minutes to strike up a conversation.
When asked if they would like to see the person again, women were 33 percent less likely to respond affirmatively to Asian men than to members of other races.
The data suggested a different narrative: Their biases had become even more pronounced.
Paradoxically, when surveyed, fewer users answered “yes” to the question of whether they preferred to date someone of their own race.
The appeal of certain features may stem from some biological imperative, but for the most part physical attractiveness is as manufactured as trends in fashion.
The scarcity of Asian men in Western media creates an imaginative lacuna in the minds of men and women in dating situations.