‘Is Tinder Racist?’ Experiment Reveals the Challenges of Dating as an Asian Man
It’s no secret that Hollywood, with its stereotypical portrayal of Asian men and whitewashing of masculine Asian roles, has heavily contributed in the cultural castration of Asian American men.
Decades of cultural stereotypes of Asian men, portraying them as either villainous, undesirable, exotic, or outright devoid of masculinity, have long made them less attractive to women of all races.
Just a few years ago, Asian women would have preferred White men “even more +”, according to a 2009 review of dating site OKCupid’s data; in fact, women of all races seemed to strongly prefer White men, save Black women who were the only ones to rate Black men positively. Asian men were considered the least desirable race overall, with even Asian women choosing White men over them.
While an updated study from 2014 showed a significant increase in preference for Asian men among Asian women, Asian males are still rated negatively overall by women of other races.
To test this, the folks at ZMDEA devised an informal study to determine the reality of the Asian man’s dating woes via a social experiment. The group posted nearly-identical profiles of an Asian man and a White man on Tinder to find out which one would receive the most matches.
The experiment, featured in the YouTube video “Is Tinder Racist?”, was run twice with four different profiles (two models, two friends) each having 5,000 swipes observed within a 24-hour period.
While their friends remained anonymous for the study, for the White Male model they used photos of Matthew Noszka and for the Asian Male, they used Godfrey Gao’s images.
The results were unsurprising:
Both profiles with White males scored significantly higher than their Asian counterparts despite the only differences being their respective races.
“I almost feel like I don’t want to be brown,” one of the participants said of the results. “I feel ashamed to be myself. Because I understand that if I am myself…apparently, I’m not valued at the same level. Now that f*cks with me.”
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.