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The night Obama was first elected was a moment of catharsis. All the dating data I’ve seen fits Ok Cupid’s pattern: black people and Asian men get short shrift.It really felt like something had changed about the way America perceived and thought about race, and for at least that brief moment, the nation appeared united. For example, below are the numbers from Date Hookup, a site that we acquired a few years ago (but that still operates independently.) Date Hookup has a distinct userbase, a distinct user acquisition model, a distinct interface, yet their data reflects the same basic biases: While Ok Cupid is large enough that its demographics reflect the general Internet-using public, Date Hookup is a niche site particularly popular with Latinos and blacks (those groups comprise 13% and 20% of the site, respectively.) Other sites in our portfolio, with still different demographics and business models, show the same attraction patterns.
As such, it’s different from a look at, say, unemployment numbers or test scores. the average.” Think of them as how people weigh race in deciding attraction.
So, for example, in the bottom-right corner of the lower table, you see that white women think white men are 17% more attractive than the average guy.
Move one square to the left, and you see that they think Latinos are 1% above average, and so on.
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We looked at race in one of our very first posts, and today I’d like to revisit the topic with fresh data.
The color is there to make the big trends easy to see. Ok Cupid users are certainly no more open-minded than they used to be. Here are the numbers for 2009 till now—use the slider to move through time. These numbers reflect different people year-to-year. Together the charts fold in data from some 25 million accounts.
One interesting thing is to compare what you see above with what those same users have about their racial attitudes.
Answers to match questions have been getting significantly less biased over time: And yet the underlying behavior has stayed the same.
You can use other online data to see this split personality play out elsewhere.