Ashley Brown. In , user data on OkCupid showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities. That resonated with Ari Curtis, 28, and inspired her blog, Least Desirable. Kholood Eid for multicoingames.com hide caption. These were the types of messages Jason, a year-old Los Angeles resident, remembers receiving on different dating apps and websites when he logged on in his search for love seven years ago. He has since deleted the messages and apps.
So he wasn't surprised when he read a blog post from OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder in about race and attraction. Rudder wrote that user data showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities.
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Similarly, Asian men fell at the bottom of the preference list for most women. While the data focused on straight users, Jason says he could relate. The OkCupid data resonated so much with year-old Ari Curtis that she used it as the basis of her blog, Least Desirable, about dating as a black woman.
Curtis works in marketing in New York City and says that although she loves how open-minded most people in the city are, she didn't always find that quality in dates she started meeting online.
After drinks at a Brooklyn bar, one of her more recent OkCupid matches, a white Jewish man, offered this: "He was like, 'Oh, yeah, my family would never approve of you.
Curtis describes meeting another white man on Tinder, who brought the weight of damaging racial stereotypes to their date. Other dating experts have pointed to such stereotypes and lack of multiracial representation in the media as part of the likely reason that plenty of online daters have had discouraging experiences based on their race. Melissa Hobley, OkCupid's chief marketing officer, says the site has learned from social scientists about other reasons that people's dating preferences come off as racist, including the fact that they often reflect IRL - in real life - norms.
And in a segregated society, that can be harder in certain areas than in others. Curtis says she relates to that idea because she has had to come to terms with her own biases. After growing up in the mostly white town of Fort Collins, Colo. Hobley says the site made changes over the years to encourage users to focus less on potential mates' demographics and appearance and more on what she calls "psychographics.
She also points to a recent study by international researchers that found that a rise in interracial marriages in the U.
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Curtis says she is still conflicted about her own preferences and whether she'll continue to use dating apps. For now, her strategy is to keep a casual attitude about her romantic life. Jason is out of the dating game entirely because he ended up finding his current partner, who is white, on an app two years ago.
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