What she fails to note, however, is how factors like race can have a significant impact on how millennials navigate apps that are supposed to help us find love.
How racist are Americans when it comes to selecting a mate? He only included heterosexual interactions between users who self-identified with the site's five largest racial categories: Black, White, Asian (East Asian), Hispanic/Latino and Indian.
From my first double date in sixth grade to a couple of women in college and various male “sleep friends” (a term my mom came up with because she finds f-ck buddy unsavory), none of my romantic encounters turned into a real relationship, despite my best efforts.
I met one of those sleep friends at a bar during my twenty-seventh birthday party.
It was idyllic in some ways—I can’t thank my parents enough for busting their asses through far more intolerant times than my own to make it our home—but being an “other” in a nearly homogeneous community had a profoundly destabilizing effect on my identity.
I didn’t recognize myself in the portrayals of black life I saw in pop culture, the few other black kids at my schools couldn’t understand why I “talked so white,” and nobody got why my first celebrity crush was Jeff Goldblum in (so scary, so sweaty, so sexy—am I right? And while I went full Becky in my youth, my older brother fell deep into Asian culture—Asian drag racing and, yes, Asian girlfriends.
Men answered messages from other women—Asian, white, Hispanic, everyone—with average reply rates between 42 and 50 percent. And then there was my own baggage: Up to age 25, my attempts at dating—and I say “attempts” because they weren’t working—had almost exclusively been with white folks (men and women; I’m queer).
I found black people attractive, but I didn’t feel I had much in common with them.
Lewis suggests that one factor in online dating's racial segregation could be what he calls preemptive discrimination.
"In other words, part of the reason site users, and especially minority site users, do not express interest in individuals from a different racial background is because they anticipate—based on a lifetime of experiences with racism—that individuals from a different background will not be interested in them," This, according to the paper, could be a mediating factor in why people are more likely to reply to users of another race than message them first—they're sure the person is interested in them if they receive a message.
With traditional dating networks, scholars have found it hard to qualify how much of self-segregation in the dating pool has to do with internal prejudice, versus structural issues in an already-segregated society.