How Your Race Affects The Messages You Get

October 5th, 2009 by Christian Rudder

Welcome back, dorks. We’ve processed the messaging habits of over a million people and are about to basically prove that, despite what you might’ve heard from the Obama campaign and organic cereal commercials, racism is alive and well. It would be awesome if other big websites would go out on a limb and release their own race data, too. I can’t imagine they will: multi-million dollar enterprises rarely like to admit that the people generating those millions act like turds. But being poor gives us a certain freedom. To alienate all our users. So there.

When I first started looking at first-contact attempts and who was writing who back, it was immediately obvious that the sender’s race was a huge factor. Here are just a handful of the numbers that illustrate that:

The takeaway here is that although race shouldn’t matter in messaging, it does. A lot.

First of all, how do we know that race shouldn’t matter? Are we just making some after-school-special assumption that “true love is colorblind?” more compatibility usually
means more replies
No, we’re not: we know race shouldn’t matter to replies because the races all match each other more or less evenly, and reply rate correlates to matching. That is, more compatibility generally means more replies.

On OkCupid you create your own unique matching system, and that means your better matches are people you actually want talk to. Below is a graph showing match percentages vs. reply rates for a random sample of 500,000 people.As you can see, in general, the better you match someone, the more likely you are to reply to a first message from them.

We can see this principle in action when we look at our trusty control, the Zodiac. Here are the match and reply rates side-by-side, with similar rates colored yellow. There’s no real need to inspect the numbers; just observe the similar colors.

  • Throughout this post, yellowish colors are short-hand for “neutral” and red and green indicate “strong preference.”

People of the various Zodiac signs match each other all at roughly the average rate, and, as we would expect, they reply to messages similarly. In general, the correlation between match percentage and reply rate means that whenever we compare the match/reply charts for a given breakdown of the population, they should look about the same. However, this, like so many other fine assumptions, totally breaks down when race gets involved:

Again, don’t bother squinting, just check out the colors. We’ll soon look very closely at these tables.

So here’s last week’s compatibility by race table (I explained how we can confidently measure “compatibility” in that post). This is a blow-up of the leftmost table above:

As you can see, the races all match each other roughly evenly: good news. It means all other things being equal, two people, of whatever race, should have the same chance to have a successful relationshp. But now let’s look at the table of how individuals actually reply to each other’s messages. First we’ll examine messages sent by men to women (I know our gay readers are interested in same-sex versions of these tables, there’s a link to them here and at the end of this post):

The numbers on the perimeter of the table are the weighted average rates for each column/row. Here’s what we can know:

  • Black women write back the most. Whether it’s due to talkativeness, loneliness, or a sense of plain decency, black women are by far the most likely to respond to a first contact attempt. In many cases, their response rate is one and a half times the average, and, overall, black women reply about a quarter more often that other women.
  • White men get more responses. Whatever it is, white males just get more replies from almost every group. We were careful to preselect our data pool so that physical attractiveness (as measured by our site picture-rating utility) was roughly even across all the race/gender slices. For guys, we did likewise with height.
  • White women prefer white men to the exclusion of everyone else—and Asian and Hispanic women prefer them even more exclusively. These three types of women only respond well to white men. More significantly, these groups’ reply rates to non-whites is terrible. Asian women write back non-white males at 21.9%, Hispanic women at 22.9%, and white women at 23.0%. It’s here where things get interesting, for white women in particular. If you look at the match-by-race table before this one, the “should-look-like” one, you see that white women have an above-average compatibility with almost every group. Yet they only reply well to guys who look like them. There’s more data on this towards the end of the post.

Let’s see what happens when it’s the women writing the messages to men.

  • Men don’t write black women back. Or rather, they write them back far less often than they should. Black women reply the most, yet get by far the fewest replies. Essentially every race—including other blacks—singles them out for the cold shoulder.
  • White guys respond less overall. The average reply rate of non-white males is 48.1%, while white guys’ is only 40.5%. Basically, they write back about 20% less often. It’s ironic that white guys are worst responders, because as we saw above they in turn get the most replies. That has apparently made them very self-absorbed.

Finally, here are a couple tables that shed further light on our discussion. These are site-wide answers to a couple user-written match questions. They barely need any explanation: one comments on the other, really. Together they shed more light on the theory/practice schizophrenia of people’s racial attitudes.



It’s surely not just OkCupid users that are like this. In fact, it’s any dating site (and indeed any collection of people) would likely exhibit messaging biases similar to what I’ve written up. Any dating site probably
has these biases
According to our internal metrics, at least, OkCupid’s users are better-educated, younger, and far more progressive than the norm, so I can imagine that many sites would actually have worse race stats. But like I said at the beginning, we’ll probably never know. See you next week.


(Addendum to original post)

Same-Sex Data for Race vs. Reply Rates

As promised, here are the same-sex versions of last week’s charts and tables. In general, they show that straights and gays share many of the same inclinations, but the prejudices of the latter are perhaps a bit less pronounced. I should say at the top that some of the sample sizes for the various race/gender slices presented here are rather small (for instance, OkCupid doesn’t have many lesbians of Indian descent), and that accounts, I think, for some of the scatter-shot nature of the color tables. Race preferences are not nearly as stark here as they are with the heterosexual data.

See for yourself:

Still, there are a few conclusions we can draw:

  • Blacks get fewer responses. We saw this with the straight data, too, and here it’s true of both gay and lesbian senders. Black gay men get over 20% fewer responses than non-blacks, which is about how straight black men fared. Black women, on the other hand, do relatively much better with gays than straights. While they’re still the least replied-to group, the discrepancy is much smaller in the lesbian community.
  • Whites respond by far the least to anyone.. Both white lesbians and white gay men write the fewest replies. In fact, across the two charts, whites respond about 15% less often than non-whites, and white gay men show a marked preference for other whites. On the other hand, gay white women don’t have the segregationist tendencies of their straight counterparts; they just dis everyone. Whereas last week we saw that straight white women strongly preferred other whites to the exclusion of other groups, lesbian whites respond to all 9 racial groups roughly evenly, and, in general, the lesbian community seems relatively colorblind. Only Indian lesbians receive a response rate far off the average, and as I said above, the sample size there is limited and the results might be skewed by chance.
  • Asian lesbians are in demand, and they’re picky about other races. Gay Asian females are replied to the most, and, among the well-represented groups, they have the most defined racial preferences: they respond very well to other Asians, Whites, Native Americans, and Middle Easterners, but very poorly to the other groups. Latin women also express a clear preference, for Whites and Asians.
  • Men prefer Middle Easterners. Gay men and straight men both respond best to Middle Easterners, and the preference is quite dramatic. I’d be interested to hear any theories why this is so.

As we did last week, we can see that all groups think, theoretically, that interracial relationships are acceptable, yet again whites are the least willing to have such a relationship themselves. This time it’s the men, not the women, who prefer most to keep to their own: it’s interesting that both in reply patterns and in their answers to these two match questions, the behavior of white straight women and white gay men are so closely parallel.

To our friends in the gay and lesbian communities: thanks for being patient and waiting for this data. We will do gay-centric articles in the future, I promise. Lately, since we’ve been dealing with complex and data-intensive subjects like race and reply rates, we’ve had to restrict ourselves to straight data in the primary post. We felt that adding a discussion of gay and lesbian trends alongside straight ones would triple the length of an already long and dense post and surely more than triple reader confusion. We will keep looking for ways to present the information you rightly expect; for now, it will be in addenda such as this one.

1,557 Responses to “How Your Race Affects The Messages You Get”

  1. AGREEMENT says:

    Clock says: “Black people are better off today than they ever have been. They hadn’t accomplished much of anything before Europeans arrived in Africa. With tribal warfare, rampant disease, slavery already present in Africa and no written language or history, imperialism and social anthropology didn’t have much room to degrade any further.”

    Clocks, your response is so inaccurate and off-point that I’m literally laughing my ass off right now. The Europeans saved the poor, helpless Africans from themselves? Actually, Africa was a fine continent before the Europeans came and fucked it up. It wasn’t perfect (no place is perfect), but it certainly did not need any European influence. To say that Africa has no “written language or history” is so unintelligent and flat out wrong.

    And everyone else, please stop pushing this “black women are obese, strong, aggressive, and have a lot of kids” stereotype, even you white women who keep commenting that you “admire” black women (see my earlier comment about how white women encourage black women to do self-destructive things that they would never do themselves). If you would actually open your eyes and stop being so racist, you would see that not all black women are like this. Hell, most of the black women I’ve seen on OKCupid aren’t even like this, so obviously this stereotype is just another excuse to tear black women down.

    To Katy Berry: I’m not attracted to shy men. I’m a shy person and I feel like my shyness is already enough for the both of us. I want a man who has the confidence and will to message me first. Again, I’ve seen the same men who claim to be “shy” and “intimidated” by black women have no problems messaging women of other races. I feel like we’re already getting off to a bad start if he can’t even contact me because he’s so fearful of my race. That’s my reasoning for not messaging men first, especially white men.

    I’ve been around interracial dating sites that supposedly cater to black women and those sites make you pay tons of money. I agree that they’re not really populated and the mainstream sites have a broader selection.

  2. Chris says:

    These results shouldn’t suprise anyone. It’s just a reflection of US society at large, where racial segregation still reigns supreme (neighborhoods, schools, churches, etc).
    Of course, it’s racism but that’s beside the point.

    OkCupid is about 85 percent WHITE, so non-white people shouldn’t complain because it shows that they came here specifically looking for whites.
    Otherwise, there are plenty of other more diverse dating services that would easily meet their needs.

    If you sign up to a dating service that’s 85+ percent white, it means that you’re looking for white men/women… and don’t be surprised by the racially-motivated rejections.

  3. Chris says:

    These results shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s just a reflection of US society at large, where racial segregation still reigns supreme (neighborhoods, schools, churches, etc).
    Of course, it’s racism but that’s beside the point.

    OkCupid is about 85 percent WHITE, so non-white people shouldn’t complain because it shows that they came here specifically looking for whites.
    Otherwise, there are plenty of other more diverse dating services that would easily meet their needs.

    If you sign up to a dating service that’s 85+ percent white, it means that you’re looking for white men/women… and don’t be surprised by the racially-motivated rejections.

  4. Debra says:

    To tell the truth, I really didn’t consider race when I put my profile on OkCupid. I just thought I’d meet a nice guy. I don’t take the rejection personally because everyone has their preferences. I went back and did an advance search using etthnicity and age. There is a disparity in the number of black men that are using this website but I’ve found that I’ve been contacted by a number of men of every race and every age.

  5. Clock, you're a racist inbred! says:

    I’m not a Native English speaker, English is my 3rd language that I learnt as an adult, so don’t make fun of my writing OK?

    Clock, you’re a racist ignorant! I’m so pissed off reading your message!!! Ever heard of Timbuctoo?? It’s a city in Mali, West Africa, that was part of the Mali Empire and Ghana Empire later on (there were STATES and EMPIRES in precolonial Africa!) which was a center of learning, many people came from all over the Islamic world to study there!

    There are hundreds of thousands of manuscripts there, many of them written by West Africans, about West African history and West African cultures!!!Some of the manuscripts are of a scientific nature too! It’s not true there was no writing in Africa before Europeans. you racist douchebag!!

    There are stone ruins in Great Zimbabwe of fortified cities!

    The Ethiopians have had writings for a long time, and have many impressive ruins!

    Also Subsaharian Africans have been smelting IRON and making pottery since prehistoric times using some of the MOST sophisticated techniques that existed back then!

    What is even more impressive, is that there is a very HIGH possibility that W. Africans INVENTED iron and pottery independently, without influence from Mesopotamia, while Europeans LEARNT iron smelting and pottery making from Mesopotamia! Same for writing, Europeans did NOT invent civilization, Middle-Easterners DID!

    Africans have been smelting iron since 1500 BC, Europeans (the Greek only for 4 or 5 centuries though!!!) since 1100 BC!!!!!!! Saying that Europeans were ALWAYS more advanced than Africans is RACIST BS!

    And BTW, the Greek considered all non Greek Europeans to be uncivilized barbarians! Greek civilization was the first European civilization to reach Mesopotamian class, it too k much longer for the rest of Europe to catch up, mainly through the influence of the Roman Empire and Christianism which imposed writing!!!

    And it’s true that writing was unknown in most of Africa, BUT Europeans didn’t invent their writing systems either, they got them from the Mesopotamians, and why did the Mesopotamians invent writing?

    As a political necessity to keep track of trade, transmit information, maintain financial accounts etc.

    Population density in most of Africa has always been low, and the continent has always been more difficult to move around than the Middle-Eastern region, so the roadblocks to the invention of writing were HIGHER, because there were less chances of trade, and less chances a civilization would reach a critical size for the political authority to feel a need to write down things.

    If Europeans hadn’t lived close to the Middle-East, they might have been civilized MUCH later, since Greek and Roman civilization is basically Mesopotamian civilizing influence!

    This is an unfair prejudice against black Africans!

  6. hmmm says:

    Thanks for calling White males shitty. I am sure you would have said the same thing about other races…more reverse racism…
    Time for me to not use this site anymore…

  7. Katy Berry says:

    Where’d you get your stats from, Chris? Are you sure? Also, for POC, there are three choices… overwhelmingly white mainstream sites like OKC, ethnic niche sites focused on same-race dating*, or interracial dating sites where the minorities are even more primarily interested in dating whites. As a minority who is exclusively interested in interracially dating other minorities, there’s nowhere for me to go, unless I interlope on a site that’s geared towards a minority group that’s not my own.

    *Which are almost always paysites.

  8. omnivore says:

    I dont date herbivores.

  9. Kurt says:

    I dont get it, why are white guys “shitty” and “self absorbed” because they don’t reply often? Particularly when, as you point out, they respond at similar rates to women of different ethnicities. (If you want to fault them for not replying to black women that seems more fair) This just seems like the author’s personal bias slipping through. If I read the charts right, men reply to 42% of emails while women only reply 27.6% of the time. Does that mean women are even worse? More likely if white men (or anyone really) get a lot of replies to their emails they’ll be less likely to reply to others and focus more on writing to people their attracted to. I don’t see what’s so surprising about that.

  10. Peter Johnson says:

    I’ve read and listened to alot discussions pertaining to “ethinicity” over the years. I don’t want to unfairly characterize worthwhile discussions by making a general statement but I will. It seems to me that discussions regarding ethinicity, still rate as the bogeyman (or women) in the closet. It doesn’t bother me that Clock “seems” to have a fringe point of view regarding ethinicity. It doesn’t bother me that Chris “seems” to think that non-whites deserve rejection and alienation because they came to a site predominantly white. It doesn’t bother me that OK Cupid’s research highlighted that white women and men “seem” to think interracial dating or marriage is not a good idea and this was more specific when it came to white women who just want to have someone that looks like them. I could go on: Black men don’t “seem” to want to give black women the time of day and of course the big one, which would “seem” to be a widely held view point even in 2010…BLACK MEN JUST WANT TO **** WHITE WOMEN. There are numerous examples, throughout history, from accross the globe, where the human beings don’t just “seem” to have but have demonstrated a SINGULAR talent for doing…FINDING WAYS TO SEPARATE PEOPLE.

    Every act of violence ever committed (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, religious) was committed…could have been committed, because someone or some group made a decision and then made a choice to not only highlight differences they had with other people but “do” something about it. Human beings in general “seem” to have always made those choice and they’ve always had disasterous results for entire populations of people. Racism, Bigotry or even a “seemingly” innocent choice, perhaps even unconciously made to separate or segregate or alienate based on phenotype is like a great golf swing…the right mechanics and alot of muscle memory produces a swing that performs well under pressure and over time AND you can win alot o’ money. Bad mechanics + Reinforcing bad mechanics = Good muscle memory for bad execution every time.

    We human put ourselves behind the 8-ball when we made ourselves comfortable with the practice of separating each from the other and given the weight and force of history, it’s not much of a stretch at least for me, to generalize that analogy to the socioeconomicgeopolitical global climate we find ourselves in today.

    Suffice to say, I find any energy devoted to separation counterproductive but at the pace we’re going, unless “WE” have a moment of clarity at some point, you should date who you want…

  11. Peter Johnson says:

    Oh yeah, the person that called Clock a “racist inbred douchebag?” Calm down. As informative as you were (I enjoyed your post), you may not have changed his mind. Sorry.

  12. Peter Johnson says:

    PPLEASE FORGIVE THE SPELLING MISTAKES YOU’LL PROBABLY SEE, I WAS HAVE ASLEEP…BUT QUITE MOTIVATED

  13. John T says:

    Why is it that a discussion about race can never be had without a bunch of racist assholes who hide behind their computer screens invading the conversation. Fuck race, everyone’s blue, then what would all these bigots do? Instead of your race, they’d hate your size, and that’s why we must pluck out all of their eyes.

  14. Diva Bleu says:

    WTF??? it’s really sad that the responses i’m reading here are so vicious and angry. Yes, OKCupid seems, in my opinion, to have more White users (male and female) than other races, but, Chris, I didn’t come to OKCupid SOLELY LOOKING for White men. I came looking for INTELLIGENT men who were NOT bound by their choices in music or their ideas about race and religion that would find a normal, sweet, funny woman attractive. I wasn’t thinking that once I got here, there would be these kinds of emotionally charged debates about why racism in America has become so insane. Yes, while that may be true, I’m not here for that. If you like me, get over yourself and say hello. If not, get over yourself and keep it moving. That is all.

  15. Chris says:

    @ katy Berry:
    OKC owners admitted it as such when this study came out (also that members are mostly liberal, northeastern and well-educated).
    You’re right that most dating services geared towards minorities are paysites (and they don’t necessarily have the same rate of well-educated members as OKC).
    But my point is still valid: OKC is an overwhelmingly white website and if you’re not specifically looking for white members, your chances of striking gold with another minority are pretty slim. The logical conclusion is that minorities who use this service are just looking to date white men/women… And if not, they would’ve quit using it.

    You’d still have a better chance finding a suitable minority in ethnic dating services or outside the internet.

  16. slug says:

    From the last two charts, you seem to have sampled way more whites than non-whites, and also far more males than females. I also felt white responses were not as extreme as the non-white responses. Are you sure your sample space was fair enough for a study such as this? This is also a study based on messages on dating sites, and not a good sample of society in general.

  17. Annoyed says:

    Like the matching technique (rating the importance of your answers) this study is flawed and has no scientific validity whatsoever. The sample sizes for many non-whites especially Black females and Indian, and Native American females is too small to generalize from and is therefore not statistically significant. The other problem is location is not mentioned which is very important considering some people in other countries may be on the site looking for foreigners namely American men who are generally considered to be White and cowboy-like. It would’ve been more useful to try and study the responses to the questions about race instead of undertaking a so-called social research study that you are apparently not qualified to do. The only real conclusion we can take away from this article is that Whites generally prefer to marry other Whites.

    In response to all the ignorant comments about the Black women responses. The analysis in the article is dead wrong. This person is apparently completely unaware of certain statistical rules. Namely, in one chart we see immediately that Black women respond more often than all other groups. That should immediately tip us off that their response rates are going to be lower assuming their initial contact-making also follows this trend. It is simple math. Think of it this way, if one woman randomly sends out 100 letters and receives 40 replies, the reply rate is 40%. If another woman selectively sends out only 50 letters and gets 30 replies, her reply rate is 60%. So the raw data suggests the second woman has a higher response rate; however, this tells us nothing except that the first woman is apparently playing the numbers game, perhaps leaving no stone unturned while the second woman is trying a more targeted strategy. Is it better to have 40 replies in your inbox vs. 30? That totally depends on the woman. There is nothing statistically significant to see here except Okcupid writers have little or no formal social research training.

  18. Aleks says:

    Oh I’m sorry, this is a European American people’s club? I thought it was a dating site. Here is a shocker, most dating sites will be predominantly European American unless otherwise specified. The United States is full of European American people. This doesn’t mean you get to put others down and alienate them because you feel like we should know better than to fraternize. Well I’ve fraternized with plenty of European American women. You lose racist.

  19. Whatever says:

    Hello my fellow OkCupid users.

    I am a non-white female who holds a preference for Asian
    and Hispanic men. That being said, I don’t only message
    or reply to Asian or Hispanic men. My view on life is that
    regardless of personal preferences, my soul-mate or the love
    of my life might very well be Caucasian, African-American,
    Middle Eastern, or of any other ethnic background. There’s
    nothing wrong with being more attracted to a certain race of
    people than another, but to blindly push all others out
    because of that fact is ignorant. You are only limiting
    yourself.

    Before (about) March of 2010, I had never even heard of
    OkCupid. Up until 2 or 3 months ago, I never bothered with
    making an account. Though, now that I’ve had the chance to
    experience this place for a bit, I will say that I don’t need a
    website or anyone on it to tell me about how my race influences
    who talks to me and who choses not too. I KNOW that my race
    affects how people respond to me, whether on the internet
    or in person.

    I didn’t sign up knowing that majority of the OKC population
    was white (i don’t even know if that is even true). This is
    actually the first “online dating” site that I’ve really been
    apart of and somewhat active on. I don’t look at my time here
    as “how many Asian/Hispanic men messaged me or replied to
    me vs. how many Caucasian/African-American men”. There were
    guys who I wanted to talk to that never replied back to me, and
    there were guys who messaged me who I honestly didn’t want to
    talk to. That’s all it is for me. That’s all it is for anyone.

    I’ve read informative and intelligent comments on this report, but
    the fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, everyone is going
    to feel the exact same way they’ve always felt. It’s sad that people
    cannot get along or accept and be tolerant of each other, but it’s
    a fact of life. Not only in the US, but all around the world.
    You have people that care for all colors and skin tones, and you
    have those that don’t. That’s just how it is, and I’m not going
    to waste my time on any website telling someone they’re a
    racist douchebag/inbred, or that they need to get their facts
    straight. For most people, some very personal (sometimes
    life-changing) event has to occur for them to open up their eyes
    and see things differently. It’s a shame that it even has to come
    to that. Personally, I think Peter Johnson summed it all up
    pretty well.

  20. batman says:

    We might as well have everyone’s pictures to be either blue or red skin tone colors.

  21. JRM says:

    What could you possibly justify for your response against “Is interracial marriage a bad idea”. Note the question doesn’t ask whether you have an interest in those of the other race, but whether the concept in itself is acceptable.
    This should be good.

  22. Antonio says:

    Everyone is entitled to their preferences. Does it matter if they prefer a certain skin color?

  23. Racial Profiles says:

    Hello, white male here. Tempted to put “fried chicken” in my 6 things I could never do without. For statistical purposes, of course.

  24. okpeople says:

    Of course more people on this site are white. We are in America and it is primarily white. I am an Asian male and have dated almost every race, but mostly white women (just because I am surrounded by them)…So to all of you who are so so very angry “WHERE DA WHITE WOMEN AT!” just kidding I thought dating was supposed to be fun.

  25. Dave says:

    Once again assumptions are being made. Maybe members of certain races are simply not as attracted to certain races as other races.

    Who are you to say that based on your compatibility model that certain races should be attracted to certain other races in a certain percentage? Don’t you realize that this is a tired, old, liberal social-political argument that people are getting tired of?

  26. Christian Alexander Tietgen says:

    Now I’m going to write all black girls back.

  27. MissKenn says:

    I am an African female. I always suspected black women get the least response, however the numbers are shocking. That black women respond better to non-black male uhmn…
    These numbers would make a lot of sense if it is true OKCupid demographic is predominantly white and people come to this site to date white people.

  28. EbonyIvory says:

    Honestly, I am a woman of color, and this is a discussion, that will never end. Its sad that we focus on color but that is society. I enjoy simply a good conversation and an open mind. Yes, some of the comments are highly ignorant, but it something we also need to keep in mind is UP BRINGING. Honestly how we view races merely changes as WE produce our offspring. They are still the product of societal views of interracial dating resistence and inequalities.

    As for a cure for Ignorance, is education. However ultimately in the end you cannot change a person mind unless they want it to be changed.

    ** It saddens me to know that black woman get less responses, and yet are more likely to respond. It almost destines one to “get them as they come along” not a factor I want to live by.

  29. Karla says:

    This article like all other ones like it, has left a bad taste in my mouth and not much hope in my heart as a black woman who is interested in finding love in whatever form it comes. I guess being the favored majority has given whites the ability to be selective. Whatever. Its been hammored to death. We all know. Some of us wont admit it, but we all know. My problem? What point is there for me? Seriously. At what point do you resign yourself to the fact that finding a mate is almost an impossible challenge already, and then with the added social stigmas completely unattainable. Why BE on a site like this. Progression in this country is a myth I swear. Because all the so called progressives are still harbouring traditionalist mentailities when it comes to things that are close to home. Like families, and mates, and social orders. Whatever. You have the right to be choosy I guess. And clearly you have done nothing but prove to me once again that the chances that I will find love, even with those most compatible with me (according to your system and your research) will NOT overcome the racial barriers placed in front of us. AND whats worse? The men of my OWN background prefer others! So thank you oktrends for taking the obvious and attempting to make it scientific. Excuse me while I attend to my 5 children ages newborn to toddler by 10 different men, cook my fried chicken, eat my watermelon, and comb my unruly ass hair. *Puke* You know what? I cant even blame you. Your findings arent revolutionary, they just support a stigma that was well in place before science came in to prove it. Your just reporting it. Things really dont change at all. The old messages are just reformed into more politically correct representations of racism. Its sad. Its not everybody. But there is enough to represent truth in your findings. And that is bad enough.

  30. Damien says:

    I didn’t really need this to tell me that my chances of finding someone that’s interested in me on OK Cupid are slimmer than those of a good looking white guy. Why? Well, I happen to live in a place called the real world. Stand me next to a taller, white, blonde haired surfer, and

    Now, if you give me and the surfer a chance to sit down with the prospective date, that will assuredly change. I’m funny, witty, upbeat, and eternally optimistic, and highly confident in who I am, which goes a long way. None of that matters, however, to someone (a woman, in my case) making a snap decision based on four pictures and a brief, written profile.

    The simple fact of the matter, however, is that you have no idea why the woman on the other end of the interwebs is not writing back. Maybe she loves black guys, but sees that I “only” make 40,000 a year and clicks away. Or she sees I’m Christian and clicks away. Or she reads that I just read Harry Potter and goes “ew, immature” and clicks away. There’s actually so many random factors that a person could use as an exit hatch to not write back, that it’s actually kindof amazing anyone writes anyone at all.

  31. Annie says:

    Oh…so that is why I don’t get than many messages?
    I would hope someone would be able to look past a person’s skin color and try to get to know them as a human being.

  32. Aimee_girl says:

    Just read this & it’s like someone went & pissed in the sandbox – playing’s not too much fun anymore being a member of that apparent leper colony ‘black female’ OMG. It’s quite hilarious too bec all the white guys who visit but never msg almost now automatically get a sideways squint that asks ‘racist are we/’ and the brothers ‘self loathing’ are we? Funny, but I really do think that attraction/taste etc goes way further than that. But just as I love my stony ice maiden alter ego that sifts out the boys from the men – guess for this site we’ll now be adding flawless deep caramel skin… modesty OVERRATED ; )
    And then the whole issue of fetishism enters the mix. Whoa may cause circuit overload for a brown girl from a place where everyone else is, so these baser instincts/social chasms don’t come up that much.
    Actually what I really want to say is this is freaking insulting to an immodest hottie like myself! Can’t we just get along *smirk*?
    Better wink your arse back if I flirt with you s’all Im saying! *cue angry black female stereotype* lol whatever.
    Honestly, non replies kinda add to the thrill. It’s like walking through a club cupping some stranger’s ass & breezing past before he can even figure out who did it. So unless a girl’s really desperate to run off into the sunset with every random profile that comes up, the sandbox remains quite charming. Mild sexual harassment zero penalties ; ). Ciao lovers!

  33. Broscientist says:

    i can’t stop laughing. Everyone has some form of preference, it could be height, race, hair style, once you can admit that you have a preference you have no right to then argue against someone elses preference whether you consider their preferences valid or not.

    if you are able to filter out hundreds of thousands of people and only message handful of people you have to be an idiot to actually expect a message back because chances are you’ll get caught up in someone elses filter. That being said, if you are truly attractive and or interesting you’ll have no problem getting people respond to your message.

    what exactly are the “non-white” females complaining about? the conclusion of all the number crunching is fairly simple, EVERYONE on this site has a white bias, including you.

  34. Scorpio6673 says:

    I have a comment about what i’ve just read on the comment blog.
    Real talk I think OkCupid is a bullshit online dating website.
    I said that because a person’s skin color or a person’s weight
    should not have no roll in this. You have to love the person inside and out. A peron’s features have nothing to do with it. If it does then women in general are mentally screwed up. Not physically screwed up
    their minds are screwed up. And i’m hearing things about OkCupid
    that I know now about them that real talk they’re racists also.
    Every man and every woman was supposed to be created equal not
    racially divided. If I was the creator of OkCupid I would set up everybody on a date with anybody. So to all those at OkCupid.com
    can commit suicide by hanging a rope around their necks and hang
    themselves because for every man one woman/for for every woman one man. If OkCupid have some sense in their brain they wouldn’t be having questionaires right up some dumb ass questions, stop matchmaking and let people come together instead of who matching who, the world is beautiful again. But OkCupid don’t see it that way.
    So why is it that white women only date white men, black men only date black and latina women, asian women only date white men,
    latina women only date whoever, european women only date white men. It doesn’t make sense. This world we’re in wouldn’t be racially divided everything would be beautiful. GOD created all of us to love one another no matter what color we are or how much all of us weigh.
    OkCupid have no right to divide us men and women. F*ck that!
    Martin Luther King said it best in his speech when the protest was in Washington D.C.: “America is not supposed to be divided. We are one nation under GOD.” I’m gonna say it again. We are one nation under GOD. And that’s what every woman and every man was supposed to be on OkCupid. Now shut the f*ck up and let’s love one another. OkCupid shouldn’t be matching up anybody anyway.

    Peace.

  35. OutKast says:

    I didn’t come to OKC to interracially date. I signed up because it was “Free,” because I thought that it would be a more convient way for someone my age to meet women my age and because I thought it would be easier to find a woman that was seeking the same type of relationship I am. BTW, I have no problems with dating a woman because of their skin color. Deterrents for me would be weight, appearance and attitude, not money, status or COLOR.

    I’m a black male and on both sites I’m a member of, 10 out of 10 women who write me are overweight. I even included the fact that I’m not into women bigger than myself on my OKC profile. Didn’t stop them from writing. I should be happy. They were the only ones to write me, but it has been split down the middle between white and black women. Not one Asian or Latina/Hispanic female has written (as this article suggest).

    The “match” program OKC uses is terrible. OKC should try to come up with a way to allow people who interracially date to do so without having to state it on their profile. Some folks still like to separate their professional and personal lives. It should also try to match based on body size/preference. Right now, I believe it just randomly throws women at you based on silly words that match in the profiles. You can do better than that OKC!

  36. David N says:

    Haha. I figured the Asian dudes get shafted. Frigged stereotypes and cultural bias. But you what, I get what’s coming to me. The charts are definitely a true representation of this societies cultural tendencies. I am exactly what that chart says I am. Shitty for us Asian dudes and Black women. /shrugs Someone will get lucky sooner or later.

    Ciao!

  37. Paul says:

    I think this website is for people of the “WHITE” race only.

  38. Shyaporn says:

    Amusing that Asian males even get excluded from the first list/chart in this report on race affecting message response.

  39. Matt_Musoni says:

    Great piece! Obviously no statistics are flawless, or tell the ENTIRE story… But they certainly tell a large part of the story. And with the amount of data this site collects, through questions, etc., they at least seem to have a lot to work with.

    Some of the hateful and amazingly ignorant assertions and comments made here [and anywhere the hot topic of "Race" is discussed] verify just how much of a problem “race” remains, and how subjective it can be. This is why I appreciate looking at the “cold equations” once in a while. Sometimes they can be dreadfully misleading, such as when being manipulated by eugenicists and other racists with agendas. But other times they can offer some accuracy, as well as an opportunity for learning.

    Obviously such opportunities for learning are lost on the hateful. But I do hope the rest of us will take the opportunity to think about what is being said. Even if we don’t come up with all the answers, perhaps we can come up with some intelligent questions. Not necessarily questions to ask each other… but perhaps questions to ask ourselves, as we keep an eye out for the answers life shows us over time.

    A very bold and illuminating piece!

  40. datanggou says:

    I love this article cus it’s so factual and logical. I think it’s good people see what’s happening behind the scenes and it makes you think about social issues. Good job!

    As for people feeling angry or defensive. Come on, if the truth makes you so uncomfortable that you have to defend yourself, then maybe you should reflect on why you’re feeling this way. If you’re not guilty of it, why get so defensive?

    The truth is everyone is selfish and judge others in their minds. But we’re so used to denying it we think it doesn’t exist. I think I judge others too. Instead of getting angry at the person who expose the facts, try to take some responsibility. If you want democracy, then have the gut to live with the truth. That guy who says he’s leaving the site because of this article. Please, are you sure women want a guy who can’t even take a joke or the facts? Grow up.

  41. Patrick says:

    Ok from what I learned so far, we’re all hypocrites lol,true. I know who I’m looking for but havn’t found her. friends of course I’m just more open, it’s who I am.
    Messageing, I did it all wrong, but you know what it was honest, is’nt that what women want, you’d think so, but according the examinations of okcupid it isn’t. I call women Beautiful if I really think are, even though I hav’nt met em, and I hav’nt lied an ounce about my looks, but because I don’t have a picture, it turns out I don’t get many replies. So its tough to believe when a woman says looks don’t matter. For those ladies who match who I’m LOOKING for, if you are honest you’ll write back. I’m sure I’ll have more to say later : p

  42. young says:

    Some crazy racism is being expressed here. FYI chris I am Black I joined this site because it is free and I saw no race statistics when signing up so I would have no idea this site is 80% white as you claim. I joined because it is a dating site period. Also I chose to live in my current city because the university is cheaper and I also chose this university because they offered the program I wanted and the others did not. I did not research any racial statistics before coming here. Get over your racism people. The crazy thing is only white women have messaged me so far. From reading these statistics I rather not message any woman I’ll wait to be messaged.
    I realize okc wants to eliminate race as a factor however these charts for what they are worth prove that race is a big factor so it would be beneficial and easier for everyone if the site had a private option where members can select their preferred “race” or ethnicity and those who are not interested in a specific set of people do not get any results from that set. Why? Majority of my matches are White and I’m definitely not going to waste my time and message anyone who might or might not be interested in interracial dating, and this goes for every race. So just cut to the chase people have preferences whether it be a racist motivation or a simple attraction motivation at the end of the day people want to get to someone who they would like to date and thus having a race/ethnicity filter would make this easier. We accept their is racism but we are more interested in finding a good match than bridging racial barriers that wont be bridged by okcupid (judging from your charts). Come on OKC you can do this I bet you will get more productive results unless your goal is to get more hits, even then better matches based on race will mean more messages and possibly more hits. It isn’t like we are in circa 3011 it’s only 2011 we have a few hundred more years until earth is populated only by blasian looking people, Let the racialist have an easy going away party you can do it.

  43. young says:

    25 of my top 30 best matches are white women. do you see the predicament I am in? It would make life easier if I could filter the ones who have a race preference. Or do you really expect me to message twenty five of them? or just message the 4 blacks and one Asian who might also have racial preferences judging from this article. If it is a known fact that people choose based on race why not make things simpler by having those people state so? They should be proud to check mark a box saying I’m only interested in White and Asian or black and Hispanic or Native American and Indian.

  44. mika says:

    This very sadly confirms something I’ve felt for a long time…

  45. Chris says:

    @ Young: I meant no offense but I was just stating the facts based on these charts, US society and the interviews that OKC founders gave last year (where they acknowledged the 80-85 percent white figure btw). You’ve probably noticed it too by now.
    My search results were always over 90 percent white women despite not having many filters to begin with. Eventually I decided that it would be a waste of time to email these women, considering that an overwhelming majority of them wouldn’t even click on my profile because of I’m black.

    I agree with you on the need for a race filter though (I heard that match.com has it but I’m not gonna spend money on a dating service). It would have to be a hidden feature, otherwise it probably won’t eliminate the problem because most people like to present themselves as more open-minded than they really are.

    Anyway, you’d probably be better served on a more “black-oriented” dating site or offline in the REAL WORLD :)

  46. MostlyMaria says:

    I checked “other” because I’m half latino and half white. I don’t search by race, but there are very very few people on the site (at least within 100 miles of me) who are non-white. Fact is….I like diversity and wish there was more outreach to non-white’s to get them on the site. The other thing is that I wish one had the option of choosing “human” under race, so that at the very least, I could search for people who are like-minded.

  47. This Rhino is Black says:

    What a great debate-building article! Thanks to those (e.g., Matt M. above) who added a little calm to the comment maelstrom.

    There’s not much left to say on the content itself, which I’m sure is accurate, based upon my own experience in the “REAL WORLD” as a black woman. However! I want to encourage all my black sisters (and, apparently, my Asian brothers!) who are searching and feeling discouraged by these stats. Ain’t nothing new here. In fact, what’s lovely about these numbers is at the least, when we initiate contact, we DO receive responses: according to this estimate, at rates anywhere from 31% to 41%! I’d say that’s pretty darn good, considering the scale starts at 0%.

    Yes, life ain’t fair. Yes, history is bloody. Yes, wrong-headed stereotypes are vomitous. But given the world we’ve inherited, I’m encouraged that glimmers of hope exist, and more, that one can have a good time while re-enforcing one’s own bravery and sense of self, even with the remaining 69% to 59% of non-responders. Change is slow, but worth it. And, as has been mentioned above, there are many, many more factors than just race that influence a person to explore new territory or stay in with the known.

    Good luck! : ]

  48. jess says:

    i get that everyone is sooo up in arms but to be fair sexual attraction preferring certain races is preference not racism. yes im sure some of those answers were seeded in a racist based place, but for me race is like physical build, hair color, personal style while unchangeable like the aforementioned (before someone else says it) its something we see and it affects our physical features in face and body which lets not be liars and keep spouting oh real love is on the inside… bull we look at people decide whether we’d EVER want to be naked with them and go from there, if someone doesn’t want to date you strictly bc of your skin color you probably wouldn’t want to date them either, if someone doesnt want to date you bc they cant picture having sex/ being sexually attracted to you YOU PROBABLY WOULDNT WANT TO DATE THEM EITHER.

  49. Torry says:

    Chris, your logic is faulty. While your point that the chances may be better for minorities to go to a specific same race or interracial dating site is a valid point. You had no evidence to the reasoning on why minorities joined this site. Personally, above all, I joined it because it was free and that plenty of fish alternative site is pure crap. I think the freeness of okc is a major reason for everyone really. But more importantly, the only way your reason “conclusion” would be logical is if population numbers across races were equal amongst english speaking dating site users or if there was a free race specific alternative, which there isn’t.

    On another note, I am a minority as well but I’m open to dating any race, but I would be thrilled if I meet girls of my own race that are compatible but its just scarce in real life as well as online so I HAVE to be open. Can’t I find a black chick that likes electronic music, is intelligent, likes to go out, unreligious, doesn’t want a “thug”, somewhat healthy and comparably attractive? Are those few qualifications too much to ask for? And I’m willing to bend on the electronic music but its always the religion or the fact that they’re prudes that appears to be the big pitfalls.

  50. Peacan Puerto Rican says:

    Can we Shock and Awe!!!!! OKC Threw the rock in the pond that caused the ripples. Like puppets of the master strings we all responded. Another means of sensationalism to stir up the community. Read between the lines, we are all being played as pawns in this game. They (OKC) sit on the side line and like an experiment thrown in a petri dish they watch what develops. The question you have to ask yourself is what Monster are you?? With out knowing any of you. I love you too much to let OKC use you for their own personal gaine.

    I must die one day, you lowlier people say.
    Yet praying for salvation, in corrupt meditation.
    Storing up wealth, ignoring their health.
    But a tree is known by it’s fruits.
    There is no life in lies, it’s all in the truth……