What do tennis star Serena Williams, U. Kamala Harris and businesswoman Mellody Hobson have in common? But despite these real-world examples of interracial relationships, a Pew Research Center report found that black women are the least likely group of women to marry, especially outside of their own race.

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Qualitative interviews were conducted in as part of the Pathways to Marriage study. The authors analyzed the data in a collaborative fashion and utilized content analyses to explore the relationships in the data which were derived from qualitative interviews with the men. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

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They're the men most likly to leave women of their own race.


A few weeks ago a girlfriend of mine, who happens to be a black woman, sent me a screenshot of an exchange she had with a man she came across on an online dating app.

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I'm accustomed to friends sharing their 'WTF' moments, and generally I love living vicariously through their dating experiences. My friend was in the early stages of a chat with a man she'd matched with and he straight away asked about her ethnicity — projecting his assumptions of her by focusing on her race.

I made a documentary about the role race plays in online dating, Date My Racea year ago. So I empathised with the frustration my friend felt by having to explain her blackness to this complete stranger.

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Dating is a challenge for most people, but it's even more challenging when you're from a racial minority background. If you're not being judged for what you look like, you're being asked to explain your 'difference'.

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For example, the data collected by one of the many online dating websites in Australia, Oasis. They also found that the least contacted groups were black women and Asian men.

Why one sociologist says it’s time for black women to date white men

And as if it wasn't interesting enough, black African men were unlikely to contact black African women. So, if black men aren't even looking at sisters in Australia based on these stats, the chances of dating within one's race by preference take a ificant hit.

I also met people that had specific racial preferences, and either dated only within their race or specifically sought out people of another race. The reasons varied, from unfamiliarity with certain races and cultures, to just down to what they found themselves attracted to.

Is it racist then to have a racial preference, you ask?

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Surely, it's the same as preferring brunettes or tall men, right? Experts studying behaviour have found that we tend to repeat real-life behaviour of self-segregating online. That is, for whatever reasons we don't interact with certain groups offline, we also repeat this behaviour online — even though the barriers that exist in the offline aren't there online.

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And it's this collective behaviour that sees repeated outcomes for certain groups that constitutes as racist behaviour. On an individual level, it may seem innocent enough.

But the fact that figures suggest that certain groups are missing out because of their race means we have to look at the situation more closely. When we don't acknowledge racism in our communities, we can't be too surprised to see its manifestations in our dating lives, too. There is good news, though — many of the experts I spoke to for Date My Race talked about how we have been socialised to be attracted to certain groups, whether it's within our own race or outside of it.

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And because it's something we learn to do, we can also unlearn whatever ideas we may have about certain groups of people. Greater representation in the media could also help reduce the bad experiences people of colour have on online dating sites. Being exposed to different experiences of people from different backgrounds through film, TV and other forms of media challenges our own biases and stereotypes we may have.

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Sure, stereotypes exist for a reason, and there may be some truth to them. But they're just that: stereotypes. Reducing large groups of people and dismissing their individuality limits what should be an enjoyable dating experience.

Married black men’s opinions as to why black women are disproportionately single: a qualitative study

It's hard enough being judged online, but to be dismissed because of your race seems rather harsh. In Australia, for example, even if I wanted to date within my own race, the probability of meeting someone in the same age group with shared values is not that great because of the small population of black Africans. But importantly, limiting myself to my own race also means that I get to miss out on the wonderful experience of meeting someone who has had a different lived experience to me, and being able to look at the world differently.

The more we interrogate our choices a bit more online, then, just maybe, love won't be too far off.

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ABC Everyday helps you navigate life's challenges and choices so you can stay on top of the things that matter to you. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. ABC Everyday. Print content Print with images and other media.

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Print text only. Print Cancel. This particular exchange, though, was slightly different to the usual ones. Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. Watch Duration: 2 minutes 44 seconds 2 m 44 s.

Racism in online dating is rife for women of colour

When you date within and outside your culture. The pub dare that helped comedian Steph Tisdell find her voice as an advocate. Nail your online dating profile with these 7 tips from experts.

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Feeling comfy in your own skin when you've grown up thinking it's the wrong colour. An Aboriginal woman's guide on how to avoid dating a racist.

Ghosting, kittenfishing and orbiting: A glossary of modern dating terminology. Racial dating: Why you swipe right for some and not others.

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Horror, action or rom-com? The best and worst films to watch on a first date. Back to top. address.

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