Is Only Dating Within Your Own Race Racist?

Is It Racist to Date Only People of Your Own Race?

Slate's Reihan Salam writes that a reluctance to date outside your race often reveals deeper prejudices.

In a somewhat similar vein, one of OkCupid’s questions reads as follows: “Would you strongly prefer to go out with someone of your own skin color/racial background?” I was struck by the not inconsiderable number of people who answered “yes”—including some people I know “in real life,” many of whom are hilariously self-righteous about their enlightened political views.

Keep in mind that OkCupid users can skip a question with ease. The people who answered this question had every opportunity not to do so. What I found surprising about the fact that a fair number of people answered that they would indeed strongly prefer to go out with someone of their own skin color/racial background was not that this phenomenon exists in the world. Racial preferences in dating are quite common, and women appear to exhibit stronger same-race preferences than men.

Rather, I was surprised that people would be willing to openly state that they had strong same-race preferences. One assumes that many people who do have such preferences would either chose not to disclose them publicly, or chose to skip the question entirely. Is a strong same-race preference something one ought to be ashamed of? Or is it enough to say that the heart wants what it wants and to leave it at that? This is a more important question than you might think.

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