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From "America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek)—a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space.

Race matters in online dating

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Here are the match and reply rates side-by-side, with similar rates colored yellow.

There’s no real need to inspect the numbers; just observe the similar colors. In general, the correlation between match percentage and reply rate means that whenever we compare the match/reply charts for a given breakdown of the population, they should look about the same.

However, this, like so many other fine assumptions, totally breaks down when race gets involved: Again, don’t bother squinting, just check out the colors. So here’s last week’s compatibility by race table (I explained how we can confidently measure “compatibility” in that post).

This is a blow-up of the leftmost table above: As you can see, the races all match each other roughly evenly: good news.

We’ve processed the messaging habits of over a million people and are about to basically prove that, despite what you might’ve heard from the Obama campaign and organic cereal commercials, racism is alive and well. When I first started looking at first-contact attempts and who was writing who back, it was immediately obvious that the sender’s race was a huge factor.

It would be awesome if other big websites would go out on a limb and release their own race data, too. Here are just a handful of the numbers that illustrate that: The takeaway here is that although race shouldn’t matter in messaging, it does. First of all, how do we know that race shouldn’t matter?

The only groups not to be categorically discriminated against were white men and Asian women.

Last year, Ok Trends updated their research with five additional years’ worth of data, culled from some 25 million users.

This was especially true of white users and women users.

To investigate the relationship between political ideology and racial preferences, we examined member profiles of over 250,000 heterosexual users of a popular online dating site.

Each individual in our sample answered a variety of questions about themselves, including specifying their race, political ideology, age, education, income, height, and body type.

I hadn’t been on Tinder for long before I realized something was wrong: Hardly anyone was reciprocating my interest. None of my close friends, many of whom relied exclusively on the dating app to meet singles, seemed to be encountering this problem. Was there a grammatical error in my personal statement? What they found was that users placed a premium on members of their own race.

In 2009, Ok Trends, the research arm of the dating website Ok Cupid, parsed user data to determine racial preferences in online dating.