You Might Not Be Racist But Your OKCupid Habits May Suggest Otherwise

Illustration for article titled You Might Not Be Racist But Your OKCupid Habits May Suggest Otherwise

If someone asked you if you had "racist dating habits," you’d probably say no, as would most (decent) people. But after reading a lot of OKCupid profiles, the site’s founder Christian Rudder found evidence to the contrary, and now he's written a book about it.


The Independent dug into Rudder’s new book Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) which focuses on “race and attraction.” Or how everyone just wants to bone someone who looks like them.

Answering his own question on whether OkCupid users were racist, Rudder wrote: “No. I mean, not any more than anywhere else. All the dating data I’ve seen fits OkCupid’s pattern: black people and Asian men get short shrift.”

Rudder added that people don’t chose their dating preferences so much as that is a natural thing but he does think it’s odd that from 2009 to 2014, OKCupid users have begun to choose more people of their same race than before.

Pulling from 25 million accounts from 2009-2014 and looking at the charts over at the Independent — which you should check out yourself — he's right.

Image via OKCupid.


Are we really going with the word "racist" to describe dating preferences or attraction? Clearly in many cases these preferences are the result of historical and contemporary attitudes towards men and women of different races and ethnicities. That's an important discussion to have. But I'm so uncomfortable with the idea that anyone who isn't a completely equal opportunity dater is racist. Or perhaps ableist or phobic of a particular religion or classist or fat phobic. My partner's history and celebrity crushes suggests he overwhelmingly prefers brunettes, and I don't think that makes him a bigot of some kind.