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Stereotyping in Online Dating

Hundreds of years ago, a playwright named William Shakespeare wrote that love is blind. Love is blind because in an ideal relationship, it would not matter what the one you love looks like, what kind of person he or she is, or what color of skin he or she has.

Apparently, the reality is different from what is the ideal. According to a study made by researchers from the University of California in Irvine, our mind is predisposed towards certain ethnicities when we go out searching for love, even along the avenues of online dating. And stereotypes created by the media are largely to blame.

For instance, white men are shown in the study to go more for Asian-American women and for Latinas because of the media-driven notion that these women are passionate and ultra-feminine. Afro-American women, on the other hand, are often passed over by these white men because the media has portrayed them to be too strong and too bossy.

On the other side of the fence, the study revealed that white women prefer Black males to the Asian ones because the former tend to be portrayed in the media as strong, alpha-male types and the latter as wimpy or nerdy.

It does not matter that these singles, whether they are Hispanics, Asian-American or Afro-American, have individual personalities. In a medium as anonymous as the Internet, where you should not be judged on any category, much less the color of your skin, the fact that racial stereotypes apply when it comes to online matchmaking is a little short of appalling.

There is a reason why many singles prefer to go online than to go bar-hopping in search of dates. The assumption is that on the Internet, love is blind and it is much easier to be yourself and to reveal the kind of person you really are beneath your skin. To be snubbed because of your skin color and your ethnicity is a missed opportunity to explore the possibilities. And if nothing else comes from it, consider it an enrichment process to getting to know your fellow man (or woman).

Posted at 7:27 PM on May 14, 2009 By

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