University Study Examines Racial Preferences of Online Dating Site Users

Heart-thumbNew research conducted by scholars at Stanford University and Yale University studied the racial preferences of participants at an online dating site. Using data for more than 250,000 people from the now defunct Yahoo Personals website, the researchers compared users’ stated preferences for the race or ethnicity of potential partners with their actual selections for possible partners.

Participants were asked whether they considered a partner of the same race as a “must-have,” “nice-to-have,” or “unimportant.” The results found most participants stated they preferred a partner of the same race. Those who indicated that race was unimportant were still overwhelmingly more likely to open profiles of potential partners that were of the same race or ethnic group.

The author of the study stated, “We find not only that a large proportion of our population states a same-race preference and acts on it, but even individuals who state that they do not have a preference, act as if they do.”

The study, “Political Ideology and Racial Preferences in Online Dating,” may be downloaded by clicking here.

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