Does your race affect what you enjoy? It's a question everyone ponders, but that people rarely try answering for fear of non-PC implications. Enter the popular free dating site, OKCupid. Earlier this week, the company released a trend report, titled "The REAL 'Stuff White People Like,'" which used infographics to present the hobbies, tastes, interests and self-descriptions of various ethnic groups. To complete the study, OKCupid analyzed the personal essays in half a million of its user profiles to isolate words and phrases specific to each racial group.
The results were funny, though expectedly stereotypical and a little pop-culture heavy. White males like Tom Clancy, Harley Davidson and Van Halen, while white females went the escapist, sentimental route, claiming to enjoy Nicholas Sparks, bonfires and horseback riding. Tips On Interracial Dating
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Asian males described themselves by the phrase "I'm a simple guy" while laying out their careers: software development, engineering and investing. Asian women, who also described themselves as "simple," listed surfing the net, sashimi and Alicia Keys among their interests. Online Dating: 7 Signs You Shouldn't Date Him
"Soul food" was the most common phrase in black men and women's profiles. Black people's profiles were twice as likely as any to mention faith.
Latino men and women apparently love to dance: merengue, bachata, and salsa were among the top five most common interests written in their profiles. Indians, Pacific Islanders, and Middle Easterners also received the treatment, which you can see on the trend report itself.
Since the commentary made by OKCupid's blog writers is, at best, offhand and funny, we'd suggest that readers try not to take their "findings" too seriously. After all, self-descriptions from dating profiles often reflect who the person wants to be more than who he or she actually is.
As far as practical applications go, we'd recommend that you put aside these stereotypes when dating in real life, especially if you're dating outside of your race. As an Asian woman, I can't tell you how annoying it is to have non-Asian men rely on "Asian things" in order to flirt with me. "Sashimi" might be one of our interests, but who doesn't love raw fish these days? Is Interracial Dating Racist?
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While it might be tempting to use OKCupid's report as a crutch or a primer to dating interracially, what's more important, especially when it comes to online dating, is to use interests individuals list out as a means of getting to know the person, not the race as a whole. It's presumptuous to assume that a Latino woman will take you bachata dancing just because she's Domnincan, but if her profile specificially lists bachata as one of her interests, then by all means, ask her to teach you a couple of moves—so long as you don't have two left feet.
Do racial stereotypes affect your dating life?