Women Are Less Likely To Date Outside Their Own Race

Via the NYTimes (via Kimberly) comes an interesting report about racial preferences in the dating realm:

Consider “Racial Preferences in Dating,” a study of more than 400 graduate and professional students who participated in speed dating sessions at Columbia University organized by Raymond Fisman, Sheena S. Iyengar, Emir Kamenica and Itamar Simonson. The researchers conclude: “Even in a population of relatively progressive individuals who have self-selected into participation in a multi-cultural Speed Dating event, we observe strong racial preferences.”

There’s also a clear gender divide, as the researchers note: “Women of all races exhibit strong same race preferences, while men of no race exhibit a statistically significant same race preference.” You might think the gender gap is the result of different dating goals: perhaps the men are more interested in short-term flings, whereas the women are looking for a lasting relationship and are concerned about potential complications from cultural differences. But the researchers conclude otherwise after looking at the data: “Since older subjects (who are more likely to attend the Speed Dating sessions in hope of starting a serious relationship) have a weaker same race preference, this gender difference is unlikely to result from differential dating goals between men and women.”

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