News - Special Coverage When it comes to dating sites, race matters There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but when it comes to dating, birds of a feather flock together. Look no further than Where White People Meet, a new dating website marketed toward you guessed it white people. Wednesday, January 13th , Com," founder Sam Russell says on the website. There are various dating websites that promote and cater to just about every origin, race, religion, and lifestyle out there.
So again, why not Where White People Meet. Reactions varied from amused to bewildered. Doesn't majority-white America offer opportunities for white people to meet each time they leave home? Amid debate over its offensiveness, the billboard came down on Tuesday, the company said on Twitter. Will have another soon," the company said. Data indeed suggest that users of online dating sites tend to favor people of their own race -- and not just white people.
Hence the popularity of dating sites targeting niche interests and lifestyles -- farmers, pet-lovers, Democrats, Christians, baby boomers, divorcees, and millionaires -- as well as various races and ethnicities. The trend continues in marriage.
It may not sound like much, but those numbers are a good sign "considering we're talking about couples that face more marginalization than the rest of the population," said H. Colleen Sinclair, an associate professor of psychology at Mississippi State University whose research focuses on interpersonal relationships and social influence.
What's more, the numbers are changing rapidly. Despite the odds, an emerging body of research shows that interracial couples report significantly higher relationship satisfaction compared with those in intraracial relationships. All of which makes Where White People Meet puzzling to psychologists, social scientists, and relationship experts. As long as whites are the majority race in America, the odds favor them in just about any dating scenario.
It could be a byproduct of racial tensions in the United States, Sinclair said, with "competitive victimhood" playing out among parts of the white population as minorities gain ground in arenas such as politics and corporate America.
Social segregation, also called social homogeneity, is a universal American experience, whether you're white, black or Latino, and it has a greater impact on who you're likely to end up with than personal choice, Sinclair said. Online dating has the potential to create a more diverse pool of potential mates to draw from by removing the structural and environmental barriers entrenched in our communities. However, data show that social homogenization is showing up in online dating platforms through racial preferences and the proliferation of niche dating sites, even as the rate of online daters who say they "strongly prefer to date someone of their own race" decreases.
Studies show that African-Americans are at the greatest disadvantage on major dating sites, especially black women. Within this gap, some enterprising matchmakers see a business opportunity. One of those people is year-old Gianni Coleman, a recent graduate of the University of Southern California.
He's the co-founder of Soul Swipe, a location-based mobile dating app targeting black singles. Similar to Where White People Meet, the website says anyone can join, but typical users are is black women and men "looking for love or others with a desire to meet black singles," Coleman said. In the end, science says that most of our actions and interpersonal relationships are motivated by those same old biases that nearly everyone displays, whether they know it or not.
As the tongue-in-cheek saying goes, "everyone's a little bit racist.