Dating Race | SBS News
Ms. Woodward Pu, who aspired to write her own television show, was then Ms. Woodward Pu put another check in the “yes” box: He liked spicy Asian food. With the universe of so many singles and a busy schedule for everyone. Speed Dating & Matchmaking in 52 Cities Across the World. Featured on Bravo, TLC, VH1. Casually Chic Speed Dating & Personalized Matchmaking. of a Chinese-American father, Dr. A-Wen Pu, a radiologist in Brownwood, Tex., and a mother, Ms. Woodward Pu, who aspired to write her own television show, was then.
But they ask because they have no expectations about what the answer might be. Jermaine is from Jamaica, Karol from Honduras, and both were raised by mothers who couldn't have cared less about the colour of the person their children would spend the rest of their lives with. The couple are raising their two boys in a community that looks very much like them.
Karol and Jermaine are close friends she was a bridesmaid at my weddingand the thing about our social circle is that we're all in mixed unions. As I gauge this topic with them, we're stumped to name anyone among us who's in a relationship with a person of the same race. The couple say they rarely even take notice when they see other interracial couples, but there are exceptions.
You don't see it often. While South Asians and Chinese represent the two largest visible minority groups in Canada, the National Household Survey shows that they are the least represented in mixed unions. The survey also suggests that about 85 per cent of Canada's mixed unions involve a person from a visible minority group and a white person, as opposed to two people of colour, a revealing stat that hints at the discrimination between minorities.
For instance, South Asian or Chinese parents are sometimes willing to accept a mixed union between their child and someone white. But bringing home a Black partner could make them go nuclear. That sort of racial hierarchy, passed down from colonial times, is not just in the mindset of parents.
A younger generation shares those biases. Dating site OKCupid has been reporting its users' racial preferences for years. Those people of colour willing to date outside their race show a strong preference for whites and a troubling disinterest in Blacks and South Asians. So, yeah, even interracial dating preferences can be racist.
They've travelled the world and noticed that shade toward interracial couples comes in all sorts of accents. During their honeymoon in Antigua, some of the hotel staff had a hard time serving a West Indian man who'd married a white woman.
They list a number of racist moments: Getting off a train in Sydney, the couple noticed a construction worker watching them and moving their way as they crossed the platform toward the escalator.
He just stared me down the whole escalator ride. I stood my ground and waited till we got off for him to move along. Every shade of beige, brown, yellow and white were all together as couples. It made me really happy to see that kind of progress. Joanne is Chinese and the youngest sibling in a family that had already broken down the interracial barriers.
But Ari knew his parents thought only a Tamil girl could treat him right. And he was also aware that his dad would worry about what shade the monolithic Tamil community in Toronto might throw at a prodigal son who married out.
When Ari announced his plan to move in with Joanne, with nuptials to follow, his mother cried. But that just took Ari and Joanne to the next cultural battleground: Anyone who's been to a South Asian wedding knows it involves an elaborate showcase and infinite guest list, something the young couple refused to shoulder. The couple instead set up a lovely, intimate, non-denominational ceremony last May with 75 close friends and family. They also gave Ari's parents the opportunity to host a follow-up reception to their liking, provided the parents covered those costs.
It's so nice to hear that others had to suffer about haggling over guest lists, multiple meetings about what tradition or religious deeds needed to be abandoned and why the traditional red sari must be ditched. Putting on a sari isn't like putting on a dress and zipping it up. It's a two-person job. It meant she had to disappear for 45 minutes during our reception, just as the party was jumping off with some sick soca. Their wedding s are behind them, so I warn Ari and Joanne about the final cultural real estate: Everyone has an opinion on the customs and lessons you must instill.
They don't have to deal with that now. Ari's parents have yet to visit their home, but the couple are happy to report some warming-up to Joanne. If you kill them with kindness, what are they going to do? According to data from the latest census report, men usually marry for the first time at the age of 31, while they used to do so at 29 in Women have seen the age of marriage pushed to 29 from 26 over the same year period.
The trend has driven more and more women in the city to look for life partners on the mainland, despite political conflicts between both sides, the census report showed. That was up from 1, inwhen they accounted for only 6.
More couples had managed to put aside their political differences as well. Social impact The city has seen a decline in fertility rates over the past 33 years, according to a census report released in Inonly 62, babies were born in Hong Kong, compared to 86, births in As fertility rates fell, the size of the average domestic household shrank from 3. What will happen when singles and childless couples age? What will be their social support network? Mike, what about you? You have a Croatian, Irish, Scottish background?
Who did you prefer to date? I prefer to date black women, so from all around the world, you know, any kind of culture. Would you look at other races or just black women? I have dated, I have dated, you know, white girls, mainly because in my area in Western Australia, you didn't really have that kind of option, especially around in my area around near the coast. But now that things are changing, demographics are changing around Australia, it's really great to see, you know, that kind of thing happening and more.
So when did this attraction start for you, how did it start? Probably when I was quite young I used to read a lot of books about missionaries and stories of Africa and things like that and it just kind of got me interested.
Probably American movies as well, and TV shows. There's one in particular? Okay, it's the Cosby Show. Mainly, mainly for Felicia Ashard, Claire Huxtable. She just sings to, she was just like my genuine class and like everybody else is like Bill Cosby's really funny, but when I watched the TV show, Felicia Ashard really kind of stood out to me and yeah, the other one is Whoopi Goldberg. Whoopi Goldberg as well, okay, so you saw Whoopi and you thought mmm?
In the movie Burglar, everybody, basically we were watching it over at a friend's place and everybody was like man this is the funniest film, you know, we thought it was absolutely fantastic but I thought that she was really attractive.
Okay, I want you to explain to me a little bit more about what it is about black women that you find so attractive, are there qualities that you see that you find, is it physical, is it cultural, what is it? It's kind of a mix of like the whole lot. You know, there's obvious physical attraction of course. She's married by the way? Just saying, just saying that. I'm too late unfortunately. But yeah, it's just a whole new, just a big mixing of the whole kind of thing.
When did it start Mike? When did this attraction start do you think, I mean in terms of you actually dating someone? It was in high school at a high school dance and basically the entire year was basically all mostly white people from like, you know, Perth, but there was one girl from South Africa who had come over, her family had come over so, yeah, went to the dance and, yeah, took her. So you went to the dance with the one black girl in the school?
And that kicked it off? If I had any kind of reservations before I didn't have any after, so. Sophie Song, you're in South Korea visiting your Korean in-laws at the moment.
Your husband Han is here in the studio. What attracted you to Han? I came to be attracted to him over time. He had quite limited English when we first met but actually he was able to convey his personality and sense of humour really clearly, despite his language limitation, and I came to feel that we had quite similar, I guess, I guess complementing personalities. Had you dated other Korean men before Han? Okay, so had it been a preference for a long time or did you have a preference, or didn't it matter?
I probably have always had more interest in darker haired, darker eyed people, and what I had found, you know, my experience of the Korean people I had met prior to meeting Han was that a lot of them, by their upbringing, are quite family oriented and that was something that very much appealed to me. So how did you meet? We actually met at a pub, we both had gone with our respective friends and we were watching a football final and basically I met him briefly in the queue at the bar.
He just approached me and said hello, he introduced himself and then actually we parted ways but a little bit later in the night there was a guy at the bar who was quite persistently talking to me that I was trying to find a way out of the conversation and really struggling and it happened that Han walked past and I saw him and recognised his face and I thought well, here goes nothing and I grabbed his hand and I said to the other guy: It's a great start, great start.
Han, when this happened in the bar you didn't speak English, did you, very much? I could speak barely, I could just say hi, how are you, I'm fine thank you and you? Okay, bye, that was pretty much.
Okay, so when you met Sophie how did you feel about her? Was it an instant attraction or not? Yes, like when I saw her and she wasn't, she was wearing like a beautiful dress, it was like vintage dress and I thought wow, she's beautiful. Maybe I could see her in a movie or something and, but I thought oh well, but I'm Asian, probably she's not interested in Asian guy so I was just, okay, let's just say hi.
I won't lose anything, it was just hi and then she was, she said hi back to me, very friendly, which I didn't expect at all. So you didn't expect to date a white woman?
Because I was, I grew up in Korea and in Korea, not many Caucasian people in Korea, even though there are some English teachers, I can't meet them personally so I thought they are very hard people to be with, especially as Asian. So I had a kind of fantasy that I want to date a Caucasian woman. Okay, so had you gone out with any white women before Sophie? I just only dated Korean woman before I met Sophie. Okay, but you found white women more attractive or just attractive? More attractive of course.
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It was like a fantasy to me and I thought I can't ever date white woman, I can't ever hold white women's hand or something like that. So it was like fantasy, so I didn't expect at all. I know it was, it was around six months I think before you two could have a proper conversation? But you were going out during this time, yes? So it begs the question of what kept you going during the six months then?
Okay, We used to use electronic dictionary to tell just one word, you know. I was, I want to eat something, I couldn't say what I want to eat in English so I just found a word what I wanted in English, in English dictionary and I showed her, I want to eat this.
Okay, I just wonder the extent, Sophie, to which the physical, the sexual attraction kept you going during that time when you didn't have any language, so I'm just interested in how big the physical attraction was for both of you? Well, the thing is basically his language level was very limited, which obviously caused a lot of problems, but he still could convey humour and still could convey his personality which I think is quite unusual amongst people with quite limited English because of that warm humour, because of the good personality, I did find Han very handsome, very attractive person.
Yuliana, what about you? You're originally from Indonesia, who do you prefer to date and why? I prefer to date Caucasian men. At first I didn't expect to date Caucasian men as well, I always think oh, I'm going to go out with Asian men for the rest of my life.
Why, why did you think that? Because I thought they look so different than me and I don't understand how their mindset works and then I started to work at this global bank and there's a lot of people from the UK and then at that time I just broke up with my ex-partner and then it's time for a change and I got a lot of attention from them.
Okay, so it shifted for you with exposure to people from other backgrounds? Okay, Jennifer Lundquist in Boston you've looked at racial preferences with dating. We know the majority of people find their partners within their own racial grouping, why do some people like these people choose to date outside their race do you think? Yeah, well it's an interesting question. Most people don't explicitly set out to date one race or another and they end up falling into it and what demographers find is that there are certain characteristics that interracial couples tend to have compared to same race couples.
Some of this is, for example, they tend to be more highly educated but a lot of it has to do with exposure. So what we find with interracial couples is they often live in urban environments, large cities where they're exposed to people of many other backgrounds.
Okay, Ida you've been in Australia since you were for four, is that right? And you went to an all white school? And you've never dated a white man? Okay, so proximity just hasn't come into it?
I was going to say I'm going to shoot the exposure theory out because I've been exposed, I obviously had lived here all my life, I lived here when, you know, there was a minority, a real minority of Africans. There's more migration now but back in the '80's certainly not.
So what's your preference Ida? I tend to break it up into two, two things. I think finding other races attractive, that superficial initial sexual attraction or physical attraction, it doesn't matter to me. If I think you're handsome, you're handsome. And where does that lead you? Does that lead you into a particular direction? It leads me to a preference of dating, yeah, races that look like myself so brown skins. Okay, in a sense of a longer term relationship? My preference is for Caucasian white Australian males and I'm from a migrant background so I immigrated quite young, and you're told very quickly you've got to, you know, you've got to work twice as hard, you've got be, you know, twice as good.
There's this "west is best" mentality, and even just the physical value of beauty, even though they don't - like my parents would never say, you know, being white is beautiful. It would be things like get out of the sun, you're getting darker and you know, that sort of mentality that actually is more of a classist thing because for a lot of Asian people being dark skinned is actually associated with working labour class. So that affects who you're attracted to? Yes, because in my youth I would have interpreted that as get out of the sun, you're getting darker, darker is ugly, look at all my white friends, they're not dark, they're white.
When we talk about issues of dating, particularly in kind of a racialised context, it's in the broader context of race relations. Ian, you've done facial attraction research. What are the drivers for physical attraction between people and does race come into it at all? Attraction is a very complex thing, but from an evolutionary perspective, being attracted to someone is thought of essentially as a way of identifying an appropriate mate, someone who is healthy and someone who could potentially give you healthy children.
And where kind of the cross cultural sorts of inter-ethnic aspects of this might come in is that by having children with someone who is less related to you, you actually reduce the chances of your offspring having certain genetic diseases. Okay, Bill Von Hippel in Brisbane, you're an evolutionary psychologist, what do you think are the drivers for sexual attraction and where does race fit in?
Well, there is no evolutionary basis for being attracted to somebody of a different race because in the kind of evolutionary timeframe where these preferences would have evolved, we never actually encountered anyone of a different race. It's very much a privilege of the modern world that I can meet somebody who their group lived thousands of miles away from my own.
In my lifetime, 10, 20, 30 thousand years ago I would only encounter people who looked quite a bit like me. So in response to the earlier question you're asking Ian, and part of the reason why we haven't evolved to prefer other races, even though in fact he's absolutely right, we get a real benefit genetically out of having offspring with people of other races, is that we don't have a history of doing so. As it stands now, we simply are attracted to people by virtue of whether we personally find them attractive, whether they have the features that we personally are looking for.
Okay, is there any evidence that race in itself is a driver for people's attraction to other people? No, in general, no, and in fact even people who claim they prefer X or don't prefer it, often find that when life throws them a curve ball, they meet somebody that they actually are very attracted to who is a member of a different race and they didn't want this for themselves but that's the way it goes.
John Carroll, you used a dating website, Filipino Cupid, to find a wife. Why did you specifically want a Filipino wife? Pure and simply because I wanted someone that could speak English.
There are a lot of people in the world who can speak English. Because from my understanding, it wasn't going to - there wasn't too many Chinese that could speak English very well, there wasn't too many Vietnamese people, Thai people, but Filipino yeah.
Okay, so you're looking for an Asian wife in a sense? So why that, that group, why Asian? Why were you looking only at Asian women and not more broadly at English speaking women? Prior to meeting Edelisa I'd had like a decade plus long relationship with a lady from Malaysia, she'd been here a number of years, could speak English very well, and despite the fact it didn't work out I had a lot of good positive memories of the relationship itself so that basically set it in train for me.
I said that's what I'm looking for, that's what I want and that's why I went down this road. Were there particular qualities that you associated with Asian women and with Filipino women apart from the language issue? Yeah, well the stereotype, one of the stereotypes that is bandied around, well Asian women treat western men better than a white woman might and the belief is, is that yes, that's true, I believe that to be true.
In what sort of ways? Very attentive, very attentive, yeah. But really made you feel, you know, you're, yeah, it made you feel good, complete, yeah.
Yeah, that one relationship so I said well, yeah, I'd like to, go down that road and that's why I constantly chose, you know, to find someone who I could speak with in my own language, who was attractive. Attractiveness is important to me, let who get that point clear, I think for a lot of men that is the first thing that they look at when trying to find somebody, is she attractive or is she not?
Made contact with her via Yahoo Messenger you proposed?
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And it was just a snap decision, I just picked up the phone off the counter and just went to the site, will you marry me, boom and that was it. And you hadn't met her in person?
No, no, only on webcam, like, you know? And Edelisa, how did you feel when that Yahoo message came through? I ask him, like are you serious about it? Because it's like that fast, you know, to ask me. We've been chatting for three months only and then he already asked me to get married. So you were surprised? Were you specifically looking for a western husband? Yes, I'm like, I'm attracted to Caucasian also. And what are you attracted to about Caucasian men?
I could see it in my two brothers-in-law and they are like responsible. They look after my sisters, I mean they are good husbands, better than a Filipino husband. Is there a Filipino man in the audience here somewhere please?