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Yes, sexual preferences based on race are still racist

So you have a preference for partners of a certain race to the exclusion of other races? Maybe you like Asian guys. Maybe Latinas are more your thing. Maybe you prefer partners who look like you.

Do these sentiments make you a racist?

The evidence is compounding, and may now be fairly conclusive, that sexual racism is a form of racism and therefore indefensible by claims of “preference.” While some people invariably have racially defined predispositions and tendencies, it seems self-evident that discriminating against certain races in romantic or sexual circumstances is actually categorically racist.

A recent study of gay and bisexual men in Australia found that racially discriminatory dating beliefs were inextricably connected to higher levels of racial bigotry in general. Titled “Is Sexual Racism Really Racism?” and published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, the study compared responses to questions about race and dating with a parallel questionnaire about general racial tolerance. There was an undeniable correlation linking those respondents who were discriminatory in their dating preferences to more obvious forms of racial bigotry. While the problem is usually understood as being concentrated in the gay community, it would be flippant to deny that sexual racism is an issue regardless of sexuality.

When someone expresses a preference for partners of a certain race they usually won’t admit that their tendency has racist implications. The more odious corollary — excluding certain races outright — is a very questionable commitment to have. If one recognizes or confesses to a racially discriminatory approach to prospective romantic or sexual partners, then one is obligated to consider the origins of this discrimination. In Canada at least, our society does a comparatively decent job of condemning most forms of overt racism. If someone openly states their aversion to doing business with Arabs on a purely racial basis, a severe majority of us would be disgusted and say as much. But, if someone mentions in passing that a certain racial group is not their “type” most people don’t bat an eye. Why does society fail to admonish racism when it happens to be cloaked in terms of “taste?”

There are preferences that are actually just that, preferences. You can prefer brunettes to blondes and not be racist. You can prefer men to women and not be racist. But the specific exclusion of people from your dating pool based on race can only be described by one word. At the distinct risk of sounding like a broken record about this, it’s racist to take every member of an ethnic group (that you’ve somehow defined in your unyielding sagacity) and neatly set them on the shelf never to be considered as humans to be courted, dated, loved, fucked, married, whatever. Seeing it trite to suggest that anyone is under the obligation to increase their amorous diversity, I propose a humane compromise. See people as individuals before you see them as a caricature of some race you supposedly “don’t date.”

45 Comments

  1. I’m not attracted to my own race so I guess now I know that I’m racist to my own people on the inside…

  2. Really stupid article. You contradict yourself at the end. RIGHT after you say “you can prefer brunettes to blondes”, you say, “the specific exclusion of people from your dating pool based on race can only be described by one word.”
    So it’s okay to have preferences, but only when it comes to hair color, not when it comes to every single other feature? Asians have flatter faces, blacks have stronger facial features, brown people have more hair, whites are in between.

    Garbage article.

    1. It’s more of a message to those who constantly ask “AM I RACIST IF?” and the answer is “yes”. What you do about it doesn’t matter to me. It’s just that the same type of people who propose that question, also have a problem against racism… while endorsing racism. It’s hypocritical, and doesn’t work to “stop” racism- despite that being their supposed goal.

  3. I think there were a lot of good points made in this article, and I resonate with many of them. While most of the comments here state that one should have the rights to like whoever they want, or to prefer certain physical features in a mate, most of them also unconsciously connect such preference to a particular “racial group”. Some may argue this, but there are always societal influence on one’s ideal of attractiveness and beauty, which is programmed into us at a very young age.

    The notion that sexual preference is innately biological aren’t completely valid. Up to now, there had yet to be a conclusive published paper correlating one’s sexual preference to their heredity. Meaning sexual preference is not an allele you can find on a gene locus on your chromosomes. More likely, it is learnt through media, social exposure and one’s upbringing.

    Lets put aside all the angry debates and arguments here, i understand why everyone is getting all heated and defensive, perhaps they feel blamed and wrongfully accused as a racist. That’s not what the article is trying achieve here! I too agree with many of you that having sexual preference is not racism, but if you dig deeper, it may not be so clear.

    I assume many the commenters here have rarely experience such form of prejudice first-hand. I hope at least some of you can put yourself in my shoes. Being an Asian male at the UofA, I have been rejected countless times because of my “race”. I have tried online dating, where girls said to my face that they aren’t into “Asians”. I have seen many of my friends(also of oriental descents) being ignored on Tinder/OKcupid/POF, with zero matches for months on end. Can you picture yourself being reject over and over again? It really damage your self-image and self-worth.

    Are we truly so undesirable that there is something fundamentally wrong with our race or physical features? So much so that our personalities, characteristics, or individuality aren’t even worth a chance? Its depressing when you are disqualified even before your first introduction to a girl. Just picture yourself being me at a bar, a social event, or a blind date.

    Please try not to take this as a personal attack on your integrity as a human being, but rather, see it as an invitation to be more critical of your “sexual preference” in the future. Try to see where these preference are stemming from. Even if you continue to only date a certain “race”, at least realized how the other person might feel.

    Thank you!

  4. I have no control over the women I’m attracted to. [Ex.: I’m attracted to Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans] Are all straight people homophobic? Are all gay people heterophobic? Are the people who prefer a certain height considered heightist? This article is nonsense. People shouldn’t feel obligated to be attracted to certain races. People don’t “choose” to be attracted to certain physical features (race) or size of other people.

    1. People shouldn’t feel obligated, but if one is going to ask “am I racist for doing this” while wanting to “stop racism” then you’re going to have to face the hard truths about yourself that you don’t want to face.

      Have you ever asked why you’re attracted to Asians/Pacific Islanders? You probably think of them as having certain attributes that are more superior to you, than other races (i.e. slenderness, youth, good skin, etc). You probably think that other races do not encompass these traits nearly as often, or at all.

      Would you then not say that yes, it is racist to say you don’t prefer a certain race, or that you prefer a certain race? What images build up in your head, towards your non-preferential race? Probably negative or undesirable ones, correct? Have you ever asked why?

      1. Its not racist. Is person heightist if he like tall or short person only. Is person sexist if he like one gender only. OP was just saying that he has preference for certain girls based on physical features. As a vietnamese woman I don’t see the problem. Now he deleted the post because he felt guilty.

  5. It’s amazing that people care most about this in the gay community, but I guess gay thinkers are the only people tolerant enough to admit that being racist is racist.

  6. asexuals are prejudiced against those of us who have sex
    how dare they remove themselves from the sex pool when there are those of us they ought to find attractive

  7. You know in my life I have never heard a man with a pulse ever say he was NOT attracted to a pretty girl of any race. It is obvious men are not racist. When you reduce everything down you will always find that it is just not always practical for a man to date a girl whose cultural and also political views are diametrically opposed to their lifestyle. That is not racism. And social pressures doesnt not mean it is racism either. Societies dont live in a vacuum.

  8. This is bullshit. Not liking black culture doesnt mean someone is racist against black people. It has nothing to do with race. Often people find other races attractive physically but they do not gel with that culture or they dislike their culture. There is nothing wrong with disliking or being incompatible with other cultures or behaviors. It has nothing to do with someones racial makeup. Stop twisting things and trying to make people feel bad for their preferences already. The lame story about asian men getting no dates is tiring. My chinese friend dates hundreds of pretty white girls and has no trouble scoring on a weekly basis. Its because he blends into white culture and is confident which is what the white girls prefer. He is not even especially attractive. A fresh off the boat asian guy wont have a chance because his culture is completely alien to an american girl. Its very simple. In any event I still dont see how it is racist to like olive skin over white skin based on pure racial type. Why do people buy a ranch house over a colonial. Do you think people who prefer stick skinny girls are bigoted against heavy girls? Its ridiculous. People are entitled to be attracted to what they like. Also attraction preferences can often change and physical preferences in men change as they get older. This article is trying to prove something erroneous that doesnt exist.

    1. Racism has to do with prejudice based on skin color. Race itself is a social construct. No biologist or anthropologist recognize race as a biologically valid classification because the genetic evidence doesn’t support it. Humans are not divided up based on skin color because all humans are one single species and all share the same common ancestor. Skin color is merely an adaptation due to natural selection. Culture is also a social construction. Not all people share the same culture that’s associated with their particular group. Not all blacks share the same views of what’s considered “black culture”. Saying one won’t date an entire group because they presume that person shares the same views on culture that’s associated with that person’s skin type….is a prejudice stance. There are people are various skin colors who share the same culture. Preferences are learned behaviors and often tied with social factors.

      1. Its not racist. No one is obliged to date anyone ever for any reason. Even if it is racist, SO?? Our bodies are not open to regulation. No one can dictate who we date or sleep with. Its not open for debate either. Its a personal, private matter solely for the individual. Unless you want arranged, forced marriage, which is disgusting fascism and a human rights violation.

        1. “It’s not racist.Even if it is racist” okay. Anyone can date whoever they want but, to have not like someone because you have some preconceived notion about who they are is on you. At the end of the day, those people benefit by not having to deal with whatever prejudices you have against them. And like seeker said preferences are learned behaviors.

          Like this article said, it wasn’t attacking people for who they date but questioning the underlying prejudices some people might have which is perfectly fine because if some people formed an opinion against a group of people because all they ever knew about them was through stereotypes and that extended to “I don’t date ___ because they’re ___” then it’s perfectly fine to examine how these people think because most likely it extends to how they view those people on a day to day interaction.

          There’s nothing wrong with calling out people for their prejudices. I mean there are plenty of people who have done that like Jane Elliott, Jorge Ramos, and Oprah who have questioned why people hold these prejudices.

          I get the feeling that the reason you’re going so hard to defend those with prejudices by saying “it’s not open for debate” is because you don’t want your own prejudices questioned.

          1. I have a feeling you are a nosy twat. Its none of your business who people date, and its not open to debate. People’s bodies are not open market places. And though its none of your business, I’m in an interracial couple. Go SJW somewhere else because you are just looking to judge.

  9. In general, I don’t like Muslims or Blacks.
    Sexually, I like Whites and sometimes Asians.

    Am I a racist? Yes. Does sexual racism and actual racism the same thing? No.

    Obviously I’m not going to sleep with someone I’m racist against, but even if I liked Muslims, I’m not going to find them attractive, am I?

    1. There’s no basis to support that. One person noted they previously only exclusively dated and had sexual partners with whites. That changed when that person moved to an area that was far more socially and ethnically diverse and that person realized that other ethnicities and skin color types can be sexually attractive which they previously didn’t find attractive. It supports the data that preferences are tied to social environments and can change with more exposure to alternatives. It tends to show people in more diverse areas and social groups are less exclusionary. That doesn’t mean they found every single person of a particular group sexually attractive, but they weren’t exclusionary to a whole entire group.

  10. Of course this study finds correlation. If you ask racists a bunch of questions if they are sexually intrigued by the race they are racist to… OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE GOING TO SAY NO. Do you think in a questionnaire they are going to suddenly have some revelation that they don’t like a race but for some reason get boners around them? No.

  11. Hey, I rewrote your shitty article for you. Made it a lot better, too. You’re welcome.

    Yes, sexual preferences based on gender are still sexist

    Cole Forster

    Sexism, Sex

    6 Comments

    Sep 15, 2015

    So you have a preference for partners of a certain gender to the exclusion of other genders? Maybe you like cis men. Maybe trans femmes are more your thing. Maybe you prefer partners who are panromantic genderqueers like you.

    Do these sentiments make you a sexist?

    The evidence is compounding, and may now be fairly conclusive, that sexual sexism is a form of sexism and therefore indefensible by claims of “preference.” While some people invariably have sexual orientations other than bisexual, it seems self-evident that discriminating against certain sexes in romantic or sexual circumstances is actually categorically sexist.

    A recent study of gay and bisexual men in Australia found that sexually problematic dating beliefs were inextricably connected to higher levels of sexism in general. Titled “Is Sexual Sexism Really Sexism?” and published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, the study compared responses to questions about sex and dating with a parallel questionnaire about general sexual tolerance. There was an undeniable correlation linking those respondents who were discriminatory in their dating preferences to more obvious forms of sexist bigotry. While the problem is usually understood as being concentrated in the gay community, it would be flippant to deny that sexual sexism is an issue regardless of sexuality.

    When someone expresses a preference for partners of a certain sex they usually won’t admit that their tendency has sexist implications. The more odious corollary — excluding certain genders outright — is a very questionable commitment to have. If one recognizes or confesses to a sexually discriminatory approach to prospective romantic or sexual partners, then one is obligated to consider the origins of this discrimination. In Canada at least, our society does a comparatively decent job of condemning most forms of overt sexism. If someone openly states their aversion to doing business with women on a purely sexual basis, a severe majority of us would be disgusted and say as much. But, if someone mentions in passing that a certain gender is not their “type” most people don’t bat an eye. Why does society fail to admonish sexism when it happens to be cloaked in terms of “taste?”

    There are preferences that are actually just that, preferences. You can prefer brunettes to blondes and not be sexist. You can prefer #tallguys to eww… short guys, and not be heightist. But the specific exclusion of people from your dating pool based on sex can only be described by one word. At the distinct risk of sounding like a broken record about this, it’s sexist to take every member of a gender (that you’ve somehow defined in your unyielding sagacity) and neatly set them on the shelf never to be considered as humans to be courted, dated, loved, fucked, married, whatever. Seeing it trite to suggest that anyone is under the obligation to increase their amorous diversity, I propose a humane compromise. See people as individuals before you see them as a caricature of some gender you supposedly “don’t date.”

    1. And your comment won the internet.

      The fact of the matter is that sexual preferences are things we can’t control.

      Of course, there’s a difference between not being into particular features, and refusing to date people with said features because you judge them differently as a person. The former is natural, and the latter is bigoted.

    2. Well yes, because a penis is not much different from a vagina right?
      And male chests are not much different from female chests right?
      Well damn it all I didn’t know!

  12. Is any form of physically-related sexual preference, therefore also prejudiced, in an ethically relevant manner?

    If a girl likes tall guys, is she being prejudiced against the short, and must she work to overcome this prejudice?

    If a guy likes larger girls, is he prejudiced against the thin, and must he work to overcome this prejudice?

    If a person buys into traditional norms of beauty (symmetry, fitness, etc.) are they prejudiced against those who don’t fit into these categories.

    Is all of sexual preference even tangentially related to one’s physical appearance “problematic” and we must “transcend limits of physical attraction” in order to have a truly human relationship?

    I think it’s fine to say that precluding dating someone based on race is prejudiced, but that an aesthetic preference that correlates most strongly with a particular ethnic group is far from racist.

    1. I have to agree, the study may have found correlation but I think it’s dangerous to jump to the conclusion that someone’s physical preferences make them a racist. It seems eerily similar to the rationality that justifies vilifying gay people based on their ‘choice’ of ‘immoral’ dating preferences.

      1. Furthermore, the article fails to make a clear distinction between having a “type” that you like and an exclusionary preference that you refuse to stray from.

        1. If you’re only dating the “type” that you like….how’s that any different from exclusionary practices?

      2. The question is whether or not there is such a thing as dating preferences based on race. When someone is saying they only prefer such and such based on skin color….that is a racist stance. That’s just an acknowledgement of reality. Furthermore data shows this tends to change with more exposure to other ethnic groups so there’s no viable basis to declare it something based on biological factors for attraction.

    2. Let me give you an example.

      I like black guys and not white guys or asian guys.
      I like asian girls and white girls, but not black girls.

      The author is asking, well… why? What makes you attracted to this specific ‘preference’? The unavoidable answer to this question is: Because X believes that a specific race has traits/attributes that they find to be superior. Which also leads to the exact definition of what racism is. You don’t get a “free-pass” when you exempt people based off of race when it comes to business, why would you when it comes to dating? Oh… because it questions whether or not you’re actually racist (hint, we all are, to varying degrees- the difference lies within whether or not we admit it).

      1. People’s bodies are not open to interstate commerce like a business. Its private, and no one EVER has to justify why they don’t want to date or sleep with another. Sexual preferences are not open for debate. Its personal and nobody else’s business due to privacy and personal autonomy. Nobody has the right to regulate another person’s body period. And there is no such thing as the thought police. Freedom of association.

        1. Of course they’re not open for debate. They’re sacred, taboo, and everyone’s head would do a 180.
          Looks like I triggered something that you’ve been reluctant to address. Feeling uncomfortable?

          1. Um what are you even talking about? I’m not triggered, but clearly you are and are trying to project. Freak.

      2. Thank you for clearing that up for a lot of people. I’m reading the comments and noobody gets where you’re coming from. Lol. I was just talking to this black girl and she went on about how she is only attracted to white, hispanic or mixed men. I’m like “you do realize that you yourself are a person of color right?!”. Going out sad #selfhatred #wheredoesitend

    1. Stop beating around the bush and just state your racist thoughts already (:

      We all know the stereotypical jokes, the irony is that people do believe in those stereotypes, they act upon those stereotypes, and they refuse to admit that they’re doing so.

  13. They say they are anti-racist, but really they are just anti-white.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white.

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