What's Race Got To Do With Online Dating?

A woman typing on her laptop with a yellow coffee mug beside herThere are many advantages and disadvantages to online dating. Where does race fit in that spectrum?

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Apparently, race still matters online. People still self-segregate as much as they do in face-to-face interactions; most, that is, still reach out to members of their own racial background. But people are more likely to reciprocate a cross-race overture than previous research would lead to us to expect. And — once they have replied to a suitor from a different race — people are then themselves more likely to cross racial lines and initiate interracial contact in the future.

A study of romantic social networks considered only heterosexual interactions, for apples-to-apples comparison with the majority of previous findings, and only those individuals, for the sake of simplicity, who self-identify with one and only one of the top five most populous of OkCupid’s racial categories: Black, White, Asian (East Asian), Hispanic/Latino and Indian (South Asian).