Here’s why racism prevails on dating apps

The author of a new book is arguing for race-blind dating apps – and the removal of filters for race and ethnicity.

Finding love, they say, is not so much black-and-white.

In a new book, “Dating Divide: Race and Desire in the Era of Online Romance,“Sociologists Jennifer Lundqvist, Celeste von Curington and Ken Hou-Lin show how online dating sites exacerbate racial divides.

They found that race-related “preference” filters on digital dating platforms promote racist attitudes – particularly toward black women.

“Filtering people based on race is a common practice on dating apps,” Lundqvist told The Post.

“The idea of ​​having racial preferences is unacceptable and illegal in any other area,” he said. “But it is literally built into the structure of these dating apps.”

a 2014 study about dating preferences along racial lines A similar conclusion was reached on OkCupid: Black women had a harder time matching on the dating app, as did Black and Asian men.

(The 2014 study also found that prioritizing dates within one’s race was fairly common. Black women, for example, preferred black men, leaving only Asian women’s choice for black men. )

Filtering for race on dating apps has led to mass racism.
Filtering for race on dating apps has led to mass racism.
Alami Stock Photo

For his book, Lundqvist and his co-authors analyzed large-scale behavioral data from one of the major dating sites in the US. The authors refused to publicly state which digital dating platform they used to have a data-share agreement with the website for their data.

He conducted more than 75 in-depth interviews with datars of diverse racial backgrounds and sexual identities.

The authors found that racial filtering on mating forums exposed black women to greater exclusion and disapproval than white, Latina, and Asian female daters. Black women were the most likely to be excluded from searches, as well as the most likely recipients of offensive messages.

The research trio found that discrimination is placed in the algorithms of mainstream dating apps and websites.

“[It’s] The idea that it’s okay to say, ‘I like this race of people, and I don’t like this race of people for my romantic interest,’ “Curington explained to The Post.

Hinge, OKCupid, lots of fish and Mach. Com Race and ethnicity provide filters, while Tinder and Bumble do not.

While many people have “one type” when it comes to dating, researchers found that filtering for race also “allows people to express their biases and racial misconceptions toward women of color in a way.” Feel free, which is usually not in a face-to-face battle, ”Lundqvist said.

In a new book,
Dating divide

So, how did ignoring users bother? One possible explanation: When the average dating-app user does not see black women because of the filters they set, you end up with a higher percentage of black women as “fetish” users.

For Nicole, a 39-year-old Afro Caribbean single mother from Brooklyn, receiving excessive sexual engagement from non-black men on apps has become an unwelcome norm.

He said, “Right off the bat, these people are contacting me, ‘Hey, sexy chocolate,’ or ‘I love your beautiful black body. Can you twitch?'” The registered nurse told the Post.

Nicole and other black daters who have tolerated racist attitudes, while online dating refused to share her full name with the post for privacy reasons.

The Brooklyn resident said, “I’m hoping to find a meaningful relationship on these apps and these people are treating me like a sex object before raising a proper ‘hello’.”

The authors found that black women on matchmaking platforms often struggled with racist stereotypes such as the sexually intelligent “Jezebel”, which has roots in slavery, and “angry black women” – a belief that black women are unruly and ill-tempered .

“We used to talk to many educated black women who were thriving in their careers and were looking for comparable partners,” Currington told The Post. “But there is a disconnect between what they are in real life versus the Jezebel stereotype they are subject to online.”

“I’m hoping to find a meaningful relationship on these apps and these people are treating me like a sex object before extending a proper ‘hello’.”


A black executive assistant for C-suite business administrators, Mish told The Post that his digital search for companionship led to a poultry handful of poor love affairs.

The 53-year-old Bronx native insisted, “Now I’ve become far away from dating sites.” “They make me feel uncomfortable. Like I’m not being seen as a beautiful queen.

She recalls a relationship with a Hispanic man who quickly turned sour.

“When we first met, he made a point of telling me how much he loved black women,” Mish told The Post.

He was sexually aggressive during his first person-to-person meeting last year. Eventually after consensual sex, he ghosted her

He later learns that he had an old history of fooling black women for his personal pleasures, then once mocking them and dumping them.

“They targeted black women because we are seen as sexual objects, nothing more”, he said, never speaking again.

The authors found that black gay men were subject to hypersexual stereotypes.

Clark, a 26-year-old urban contemporary choreographer, told The Post his brush with racism was eventually banned from a major dating app.

The Manhattan-based dancer explained, “At first this white man was sweet.” “But after a few messages, he asked for nude pictures to see if ‘rumors about black people are true.”

Clarke responded to the request with a hawk of exile. The man reported Clark to app administrators for “cyber bullying”. Clarke’s dating profile was immediately disabled.

“When I saw that my profile was gone, I couldn’t believe it. I had to create a new account, ”Clarke told The Post. “It was like I was attacking twice, once by the white man and once by the app.”

The authors suggest doing away with racial filters on the app to end the crime of racial stereotyping and discrimination.

However, they note that their purpose is not to kill people for “dating”, nor is it to excite people to dating outside their race.

“We’re not dumping on dating apps or people’s personal choices,” Curington told the Post. “We want everyone to be aware of the long-standing social problems on this platform.”

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