People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Game_boy » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:53 pm UTC

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/a ... 9/5864/813

Having children is genetically most successful when you do it with people who are related to you, but not too close (the study says third or fourth cousins are optimal). So an evolutionary preference for one's own race is understandable as they are more likely to be closely related to you. This may not be so applicable in a time where people can move from country to country in hours, but the preference will persist for as long as the relevant genes survive.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby somebody already took it » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:48 am UTC

Griffin wrote:Discrimination based on race does not equal racism. Racism requires a belief in the superiority or inferiority of one race when compared to another. Having a personal preference of appearances is not the same is racism, even if those preferences are acted on. One could conceivably argue that preffering the appearance of one race over another requires a certain amount of supposition of superiority, but that would be like arguing that if I don't like mushrooms, I must believe they are an inferior vegetable, while in reality such issues never enter the picture - the matter is internal to myself rather than indicative of the abilities and potentials and traits of some category.

Wiktionary:Racism wrote:For many speakers, the term racism implies conscious belief or behavior, but this distinction is not universally held.

Wikipedia:Racism wrote:[Barbara Trepagnier] argues that the oppositional categories commonly used to think about racism—Racist and Not Racist—hide silent racism and other insidious forms such as color-blind racism. Replacing the outdated categories with a continuum labeled More Racist and Less Racist would expose these subtle forms of racism that are more closely linked to racial injustice than outright bigotry is.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby General_Norris » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:52 pm UTC

Somebody already took it, I think your arguments can be used to prove this:

All heterosexuals and homosexuals are sexist because they only date based on physical appeareance!


So, sorry I disagree. Also choosing who you are attracted to is not an option. I can't help being attracted to big boobies and shot haired girls. How is this any different?

Also if you want to use other definition of racism or sexism or whatever you want please say it so first. I think the idea of "everything that can contribute to sexism is sexist" to be illogical because it leads to contradictory results because not being sexist can contribute to being sexist and viceversa.

Do you agree that with out definition of racism, the most common, this is not racist?

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby somebody already took it » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:48 am UTC

General_Norris wrote:Somebody already took it, I think your arguments can be used to prove this:

All heterosexuals and homosexuals are sexist because they only date based on physical appeareance!


Would you care to demonstrate how?

General_Norris wrote:Also choosing who you are attracted to is not an option.

In general or just for you?
Have you ever tried to be attracted to someone you were not initially attracted to? If so what methods did you use?

General_Norris wrote:I can't help being attracted to big boobies and shot haired girls. How is this any different?

Different from what? I think you mean different from being attracted to people based on their race but I try to avoid making assumptions.

General_Norris wrote:I think the idea of "everything that can contribute to sexism is sexist" to be illogical because it leads to contradictory results because not being sexist can contribute to being sexist and viceversa.

What axioms would you use to express the idea of "everything that can contribute to sexism is sexist"?

General_Norris wrote:Do you agree that with ou[r?] definition of racism, the most common, this is not racist?

Wikipedia:Loaded question wrote:Loaded question ... is an informal fallacy or logical fallacy. It is committed when someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved. This fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to be those that serve the questioner's agenda.

In this case you are presupposing a definition of racism that I have not accepted.
You also presuppose your definition of racism is the most common.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Griffin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:46 am UTC

I can totally get behind all you homos and heteros being good for nothing sexists. You could learn to love someone of any gender romantically if you just tried hard enough and believed you could.

Mmm, that sense of superiority is wonderful.

Of course, seriously, the definition of racist that pretty much everyone but college humanity majors accept (and then even a number of those) is the one that is
at the front of wikipedia:
Racism is the belief that race is a primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

and at the beginning of a great many dictionaries:
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement,usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

Or, by extension, and system which fosters or supports such.

I don't know what yours is, because you haven't actually defined it, but if it isn't roughly one of the above you need to accept you're in the minority, and either explicitly define at the start of every conversation you enter, or use the context of generally agreed upon language to communicate.

Of course, you REALLY only implied that its possible to be racist unconsciously, which is true. Some beliefs and prejudices can be held pretty deep. So you could be using the language most of us use, its just hard to tell because your arguments so far have mostly consisted of not saying much.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Rockberry » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:51 am UTC

I think it is a form of racist discrimination but a relatively innocuous one. As long as people don't make global judgements about others based on physical/sexual preferences I don't really have a problem.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby somebody already took it » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:04 am UTC

Griffin wrote:I don't know what [your definition of racist*] is, because you haven't actually defined it, but if it isn't roughly one of the above you need to accept you're in the minority, and either explicitly define at the start of every conversation you enter, or use the context of generally agreed upon language to communicate.

Why is that?

*I noticed in the original text you put the word yours in italics. I was just wondering what the purpose of that was.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby neoteric » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:42 pm UTC

somebody already took it wrote:
Griffin wrote:I noticed in the original text you put the word yours in italics. I was just wondering what the purpose of that was.

It seems likely that he wanted to place emphasis on the word 'yours.'

Additionally, I think removing the ability to specify a preference as to race on a dating site would just lose customers, not encourage individuals to drop this preference. Additionally, I don't see how preferring a specific race is much different from being attracted to people with a certain color hair or who have a specific body type.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

I can accept that there may be societal factors which influence what people find attractive. I mean we're bombarded with sexualized imagery nowadays. Its going to likely affect what you consider attractive. And a lot of that imagery can be racially biased. That said, what you find attractive I'm fairly certain is not only determined by this. There has to be SOME innate factors to what people find attractive. I mean anything that goes against the media norm of "big breasted, long blond hair" would seem to be be some sort of indication of this. Attractiveness is one key factor in choosing a mate. Even if what people find attractive is racially biased, I don't see any inherent problem with it. I suspect even in an ideal world, where all societal racial biases were removed, individuals would still discriminate when choosing mates, based on race (as at least one factor).

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Jessica » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:09 pm UTC

It's provable that culture affects what you find attractive. The fact that on average the "most attractive" waistline changes between generations. The fact that in one generation tanned skin is attractive and the next likes milky white skin. The fact that people who were considered attractive aren't attractive in subsequent generations.

Also, just because you don't follow the mainstream norm doesn't mean that culture doesn't affect you. We're all affected by culture.

There have been some studies of attractiveness. Generally symmetry is attractive, and so is youth. But, other than those two most standards change over time.

Finally, notice how it's not a different race that's important. If you look at Asian races, in general in the west these are fetishised, and many find them much more attractive. It's not an innate dislike of other races. It's a cultural effect.

Does that mean that people who prefer a partner of the same race are racist? In one way yes, and in another way no. They're not necessarily consciously racist. But, since our society is racist, people reflect that in many ways, including who we date.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:18 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:Also, just because you don't follow the mainstream norm doesn't mean that culture doesn't affect you. We're all affected by culture.


I never said this. I said it wasn't ONLY culturally based.

I don't find it to be that large a leap to say that what racial preferences (or height, hair color, eye color etc) I'm attracted to, is somewhat innate just like the way that I'm attracted to females over males is innate.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:21 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I can accept that there may be societal factors which influence what people find attractive. I mean we're bombarded with sexualized imagery nowadays. Its going to likely affect what you consider attractive. And a lot of that imagery can be racially biased. That said, what you find attractive I'm fairly certain is not only determined by this. There has to be SOME innate factors to what people find attractive. I mean anything that goes against the media norm of "big breasted, long blond hair" would seem to be be some sort of indication of this. Attractiveness is one key factor in choosing a mate. Even if what people find attractive is racially biased, I don't see any inherent problem with it. I suspect even in an ideal world, where all societal racial biases were removed, individuals would still discriminate when choosing mates, based on race (as at least one factor).

Generally, people tend to find people different to them attractive. Sort of. There's been those sweat-tests where people have found people genetically different to them to smell more attractive than people genetically similar. And, historically, the French welcomed black Jazz artists and black models to their shores well before the Americans because they were less skin-discriminatory than the Americans (yes, the French were racist, but they didn't as much give a flip about skin-colour, which is to many extents a cultural development).

My point is that people may well find other races more attractive, when not being inhibited by social norms.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:34 pm UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:Generally, people tend to find people different to them attractive. Sort of. There's been those sweat-tests where people have found people genetically different to them to smell more attractive than people genetically similar. And, historically, the French welcomed black Jazz artists and black models to their shores well before the Americans because they were less skin-discriminatory than the Americans (yes, the French were racist, but they didn't as much give a flip about skin-colour, which is to many extents a cultural development).

My point is that people may well find other races more attractive, when not being inhibited by social norms.


Smell and sight I'd wager are different issues. Without visually seeing someone race is not going to be nearly as large an issue. Many traits become completely irrelevant if you can't see them. I don't think its reasonable to draw that conclusion from a simple smell test. The problem in determining this, of course, is that there is no real way to extricate race and societal perceptions of race from any test we were to perform. Unless I suppose we were to lock a bunch of babies up, away from any societal impact and then, when they reached puberty give them some sort of test to determine who they thought was more attractive. Not really feasible...or ethical though :P

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Amie » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:07 pm UTC

*Mate* preferences.

I don't care. I'm Indian and if you deny me a job solely because you hate my race and feel that it is inferior to yours, despite me having the necessary qualifications - yea. That's racist. BUT if you're just not attracted to women with brown skin and you don't want to sleep with me, that's absolutely fine :D

It's amazing what centuries of conditioning has done to the society. All of us have some tiny ounces of preset notions about everything and that includes notions about races and cultures. At times, we don't even realize it and deny it vehemently. There's nothing anyone can do about how they FEEL. If you feel attracted towards a person, it is largely because of how they look. Tall, short, brown, black, white, strong, lithe... whatever it is that attracts you to someone can't be described as racist.

X is a white man and he prefers dating white women. He has no issues with black women, he has quite a few black friends. Is X racist? Not in my books. Besides it's only a *preference*. There's always a possibility that X might get friendly with a black woman, somehow fall in love with her and even have sex with her. It can be really sad if X said no to this girl just because of her skin color.

When you're online, reading something like: Don't get in touch with me if you're Asian, can be a little disturbing. It'd be nice if people who're not racist could just append "I'm not racist, I just can't be interested in an Asian sexually". That, at least, is honest.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby sikyon » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:28 pm UTC

My dog is racist. She doesn't bark at asian people (my family), she will bark a few times at white people and sniff suspiciously before warming up to them and she will not relent in her hatred of black people. Is this because she fundamentally believes that black people are inferior to white people who are inferior to asian people? Of coruse not. She simply sees that the black people are much larger than my asian family and percieves danger. Perhaps she doesn't like their faces, even though we all talk and move similarly and people she barks at usually show abit of fear at first. Perhaps she doesn't like the smell.

She also doesn't like people wearing bicycle helments.

Does this make her a racist?

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:46 pm UTC

My dog is racist against tall people. :P But I don't think comparing humans to animals is really going to be useful, here, even in metaphorical constructions.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby General_Norris » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:15 pm UTC

Also those are dating sites, the goal is to find a date, and a good one. Given that there are lots of people out there, why not be exigent?

I will talk about me as an example. I have a limited amount of time, I can, at most, date 3 people at once without running into logistical problems. That's a very low number compared to the dozens of girls I can flirt with everyday. There's a disproportional number of propositors, there's too much offer and too little demand.

So, I don't lie to myself, I prefer hot girls to ugly ones, they arouse me sexually and they are more pleasing to see, I won't lie about that, it's something irrational and out of my control, I can't help getting a boner when I see good tits and no matter how hard I try boys turn me off

Given that I have only time to have 3 dates per week and that beautiful people are as likely as being intelligent, good people as anyone else there's no reason for me to actively seek ugly women. It's a subpar option. If I enter a room and there are 24 girls there, I choose the first one I like and meet her.

Nobody will choose to meet an ungly date when they can have the same chances of meeting a cool person with a beautiful date. And if I wanted too even if I met a really cool person, I know I could find someone as cool as her, no matter how cool she was. I'm not religious, I don't believe in "true love" or anything like that.

This means that overall beautiful people better mating options. Intelligent people are overall better mating options, the chances of someone being nice is not dependant on those two variables so my chances stay the same. This doesn't mean I will not date an ugly girl, I have dated quite a few. But I will not actively seek them. Why should I? I'm the one doing the work so at least I should be able to choose who I approach! If they want to they can meet me and try to win my heart, and if I don't want to then screw me and date all those hot guys over there that would love you.

It's game theory, dating ugly people is subpar if you want a perfect girlfriend. And if you can overcome your sexual preferences then more power to you, but it would be laughable to assume that I have any control over that. I hate fish, why should I eat it? It's the same thing.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby ocdscale » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:41 am UTC

I think some people (gladly, not most here) are making a logical error.
A -> C, and B -> C, doesn't mean that A = B.

An analogy: I don't wear a watch nowadays, but one day I hope to have a Breguet Classique on my wrist. That day will be a long way coming because it is a very expensive watch. In fact, most watches that I like are very expensive, sadly it is a natural consequence of my preference in watches. I like self-winding mechanical watches, and I like thin watches. Turns out, there aren't many cheap options out there for me.
Does that mean expense is a driving factor in my decision making? God no. None of my preferences have anything intrinsically to do with the cost of a watch.
I'd love nothing more than to buy a $20 watch that shares the same aesthetic and mechanical craftsmanship as a Classique.

If someone accused me of having a subconscious bias towards expensive watches, what could I say? Most of my favorite watches are expensive. But that's not the reason I like them.

Similarly, you could break down my taste in women into two or three archetypes. And probably level an accusation that I prefer one race over another.
But correlation is not causation.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Griffin » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:38 am UTC

somebody already took it wrote:
Griffin wrote:I don't know what [your definition of racist*] is, because you haven't actually defined it, but if it isn't roughly one of the above you need to accept you're in the minority, and either explicitly define at the start of every conversation you enter, or use the context of generally agreed upon language to communicate.

Why is that?


Because if you don't, you're communicating poorly, and if you're communicating poorly you either a) don't know better, or b) are trolling for your own amusement and gratification. Either way, your not helping the conversation along so much as stalling it in semantics.

There are more than enough debates out there that are, today, almost solely about semantics - we certainly don't need any more, since they don't tend to be productive, they don't tend to change minds, and they don't tend to reflect on well on the viewpoints of those arguing them.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby General_Norris » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:36 am UTC

And because you are not talking English if you choose to make up your own definitions. Dictionary.com only has a definition, the one we are using. Collins has ONLY one definition, the one we are using. Webster has ONLY one definition the one we are using.

And in other languages, like Spanish or French the word "racism" (Racismo, Racisme) has only one definition, the one we are using. So, perhaps consider that you are wrong and that this definition is the most correct one and the most common one.

Saying "Hitler was great, for certain definitions of great" doesn't help matters.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:54 am UTC

Chen wrote:Smell and sight I'd wager are different issues. Without visually seeing someone race is not going to be nearly as large an issue. Many traits become completely irrelevant if you can't see them. I don't think its reasonable to draw that conclusion from a simple smell test. The problem in determining this, of course, is that there is no real way to extricate race and societal perceptions of race from any test we were to perform. Unless I suppose we were to lock a bunch of babies up, away from any societal impact and then, when they reached puberty give them some sort of test to determine who they thought was more attractive. Not really feasible...or ethical though :P

Well, if smell didn't have such an impact on how attractive we find people there wouldn't be all this perfume and after-shave business. Pheromones are just useful for this sort of stuff because we can do blind tests, and it was found people like the smell of different DNA. It doesn't prove anything, but it shouldn't be dismissed as an indicator. And we can do science without perfectly reproduceable tests - and some of them tell the story that humans aren't genetically-wired to go for their own race. I'm not saying we've reached objectivity here, I'm just saying we shouldn't be too sure this isn't all cultural.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Karilyn » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:34 pm UTC

Seems like a simple example of overcomplicating things.

There's the old saying that opposites attract. Looking around you, you can see it's anything but true. People tend to date people who are similar to them.

My lifemate is nearly fucking identical to me. We both have brown-black hair, brown eyes, exact same skin-tone, we're both 5'7", same nose, same lips, same ears. On the creepiness factor, we've had people who thought we were sisters before.

To some extent, I'd be a more pissed off about someone WANTING to date me because of my race, than someone not wanting to date me because of my race/haircolor/whatever. Because then it starts coming off as more of a "kink," like they have some sorta fetish for black/white/hispanic/oriental women, and that's why they are interested in me.
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Chosen_of_Kane » Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:49 am UTC

Hmm I think more investigation needs to be done to support the statement 'People's mate preferences are racist' , I would be interested to see how dating bias changes depending on the nationality of your close friends(who as it has been pointed out are the people most likely to introduce you to potential partners), how dating bias varies based upon who you grew up with would also make an interesting study. I do not know about the filtering criteria other people prioritise, but I imagine we filter by personality, interests and morality before physical traits. I would prefer dating an average looking person with a similar mindset to my own, then the living incarnation of beauty with an annoying personality, who despises technology and enjoys kicking puppies for example.
However I would imagine that there is a cut off point for beauty below which personality becomes irrelevant, you wouldn't date someone if you couldn't bare to look at them, or couldn't stand the sounds of their voice.

But we are discussing online dating, In which personality and interests are unknown, and the initial filtering is based on age, and sexual preferences, followed by race and hair colour then lastly sorted out by looking at photographs.

Thus the perceived racism emerges when we do not know anything about a person other then their physical features and have to make a judgement on how good a partner they would be. I would argue that mating preference is not racist,but our attraction to specific physical features properly is since it places certain physical features as being more important then others.
Anyone good at photo shopping? find a picture of someone you consider attractive but don't know(ie celebs) and see how your attraction of them varies when you change their skin colour(actually I'm going do a google search for stuff like that now and see how biased my view of beauty is, going to see if I can find photoshoped racial swaps or even just tanned pics of Kate Bekinsale, arguably the most attractive woman ever imo )

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby somebody already took it » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:28 am UTC

General_Norris wrote:So, I don't lie to myself, I prefer hot girls to ugly ones, they arouse me sexually and they are more pleasing to see, I won't lie about that, it's something irrational and out of my control, I can't help getting a boner when I see good tits and no matter how hard I try boys turn me off

What have you tried in order to make males turn you on? I may be able to help you brainstorm some ideas if it is a goal you are serious about.

ocdscale wrote:I think some people (gladly, not most here) are making a logical error.
A -> C, and B -> C, doesn't mean that A = B.

Who makes this logical error and where do they make it?

Griffin wrote:
somebody already took it wrote:
Griffin wrote:I don't know what [your definition of racist*] is, because you haven't actually defined it, but if it isn't roughly one of the above you need to accept you're in the minority, and either explicitly define at the start of every conversation you enter, or use the context of generally agreed upon language to communicate.

Why is that?

Because if you don't, you're communicating poorly, and if you're communicating poorly you either a) don't know better, or b) are trolling for your own amusement and gratification.

I'm looking for something more empirical than this. What are the consequences of denying that I am part of a minority group? What will happen if I do not explicitly define racist at the start of every conversation I enter? What will happen if I don't use "the context of generally agreed upon language" to communicate?
Do your assertions apply to every polysemous word, and if not why do they apply to racism in particular?

General_Norris wrote:And because you are not talking English if you choose to make up your own definitions.

Wikipedia:Shakespeare's influence wrote:It is widely assumed that Shakespeare himself introduced more words into English literature than all the other writers of his time combined, over 1,700[12] by some estimates, though in the past critics have credited him with introducing over 8000 words.


I might add more to this post later.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby MrGee » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:05 pm UTC

We don't allow racism in business because is isn't important. A black person can be just as intelligent as a white person. Whoever is the most qualified is supposed to get the job because jobs are about productivity, not feelings.

Relationships are the exact opposite. The entire purpose of a relationship is to make yourself happy. We do not choose our partners--mostly--on strategic grounds. Happiness is controllable, but it is still mostly based on the real facts.

So comparing business racism and mating racism is pointless.

The real problem, in my opinion, is when sexual preference becomes institutionalized. In America, the "sexual ideal" is blonde, blue-eyed, and big-breasted. I need hardly point out that this doesn't speak for everyone or even most people, but somehow that is what "beautiful" means to us. Getting rid of this kind of stereotype would be a lot more productive than forcing dating sites to put incompatible people together.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Amie » Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:52 pm UTC

MrGee, I hope that wasn't intended at me. I wasn't comparing the two. I was just illustrating what you said... "Racism in business is not important but relationships are the exact opposite".

About institutionalization... +1
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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby ianf » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:15 pm UTC

Chosen_of_Kane wrote:Hmm I think more investigation needs to be done to support the statement 'People's mate preferences are racist' , I would be interested to see how dating bias changes depending on the nationality of your close friends(who as it has been pointed out are the people most likely to introduce you to potential partners), how dating bias varies based upon who you grew up with would also make an interesting study.


That's an enormous study there. The surface level stuff should be easy (and I'm imagine unsurprising). That there's more chance of mixed relationships in places where there's a mix of people. But I'd think that you'd pretty quickly hit issues which are more challenging. Asymmetry, for example - here in the UK, the number of black male / white female relationships is significantly higher than black female /white male relationships. Religion would probably also blur things - people may be happier to mix races than to mix religions.

Chosen_of_Kane wrote:I do not know about the filtering criteria other people prioritise, but I imagine we filter by personality, interests and morality before physical traits. I would prefer dating an average looking person with a similar mindset to my own, then the living incarnation of beauty with an annoying personality, who despises technology and enjoys kicking puppies for example.

Chosen_of_Kane wrote:But we are discussing online dating, In which personality and interests are unknown, and the initial filtering is based on age, and sexual preferences, followed by race and hair colour then lastly sorted out by looking at photographs.


This is the key point, isn't it? Real world filtering and online filtering are fundamentally different. This is my problem with this thread, I guess. I agree with the basic assertion (people's mate preferences are racist) but I don't think that this was reached in a good manner. I think that the use of online dating to reach this position is flawed, since online dating is not representative of the general approach to dating. I think that something like you propose would be a much better way to reach a conclusion. My suspicion is that the conclusion would be pretty much the same, but I'd be more comfortable in how it was reached.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby General_Norris » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:43 pm UTC

somebody already took it wrote:What have you tried in order to make males turn you on? I may be able to help you brainstorm some ideas if it is a goal you are serious about.


There's no goal. I don't care, there's no need for me to get aroused with males. It's also kind of socially awkard for you to tell me this, to say the least. Let's just say that it sounds very similar to "Have you tried not being gay?".

somebody already took it wrote:Do your assertions apply to every polysemous word, and if not why do they apply to racism in particular?


Because it doesn't have any multiple meanings. Period. You can't redifine what a word means because you like it. We shouldn't even have this particular conversation, you are trolling us trying to lead the debate to an uselesss semantics debate that makes no sense.

You are wrong, period. If you want to use a definition other than the one of the dictionary get out of here, please. There's no reason why I should lsiten to you instead of Webster, Oxford, Collins and American Heritage.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby somebody already took it » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:22 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:Because it doesn't have any multiple meanings. Period. You can't redifine what a word means because you like it. We shouldn't even have this particular conversation, you are trolling us trying to lead the debate to an uselesss semantics debate that makes no sense.

You are wrong, period. If you want to use a definition other than the one of the dictionary get out of here, please. There's no reason why I should lsiten to you instead of Webster, Oxford, Collins and American Heritage.

Actually the online versions of Webster, Collins, and American heritage (which is available through dictionary.com) all have multiple definitions for racism. Oxford is not available online without membership. Additionally, the definitions across those dictionaries are not all identical.
Also, I would appreciate it if you would tone down your hostility towards me.


General_Norris wrote:And in other languages, like Spanish or French the word "racism" (Racismo, Racisme) has only one definition, the one we are using. So, perhaps consider that you are wrong and that this definition is the most correct one and the most common one.

Could you cite a source for this?

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby General_Norris » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

Collins wrote:racismracialism
n

1. hostile or oppressive behaviour towards people because they belong to a different race,

2. the belief that some races are innately superior to others because of hereditary characteristics,


Webster wrote:Racism

Noun

1. The prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races.
2. Discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race.


American Heritage wrote:rac·ism (rā'sĭz'əm)
n.
The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.

Discrimination or prejudice based on race.


You are right, they are not identical :roll:

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Lucrece » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:59 pm UTC

As a gay man I find attempts at pressuring people to reevaluate their sexual attractions rather eerie.

You are not entitled to be found attractive by ANYONE. There is no absolute, legitimate standard by which to evaluate partners; different evaluations work for different people. That whole BS about looking at your partner as a human being instead of their physical characteristics or vice-versa just doesn't work considering we operate by varying mixes of both.

Again, you do not deserve a CHANCE to be considered for a fuck. Jobs, food, housing are quite necessary and thus require some imposed equal opportunity approach; sexually you can make do with your hand or some other object if you can't hastily find a partner that will return your attentions.
Belial wrote:That's charming, Nancy, but all I hear when you talk is a bunch of yippy dog sounds.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby MrGee » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:20 am UTC

Amie wrote:MrGee, I hope that wasn't intended at me. I wasn't comparing the two. I was just illustrating what you said... "Racism in business is not important but relationships are the exact opposite".

About institutionalization... +1


No, I was responding to the original quote from overcomingbias.com in the OP. They claim that business racism and dating racism are basically the same thing.

ianf wrote:This is the key point, isn't it? Real world filtering and online filtering are fundamentally different. This is my problem with this thread, I guess. I agree with the basic assertion (people's mate preferences are racist) but I don't think that this was reached in a good manner. I think that the use of online dating to reach this position is flawed, since online dating is not representative of the general approach to dating. I think that something like you propose would be a much better way to reach a conclusion. My suspicion is that the conclusion would be pretty much the same, but I'd be more comfortable in how it was reached.


This is a good point. The data only shows what people THINK they prefer. Sometimes it takes a lot of experience to realize that you really don't have the preference you thought you did.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby BrainMagMo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:41 am UTC

Mokele wrote:
Vaniver wrote:*Also, races have physical differences. Asians of both sexes tend to be more "feminine," and blacks of both sexes tend to be more "masculine."


Physical differences are only *perceived* as "more feminine" or "more masculine" as a result of the individual's racism & sexism.


Gender and race are equally valid social perceptions is all this shows.

So unless we think preferences based on gender are sexist, we cannot say s.p. based on race is racist.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby BrainMagMo » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:57 am UTC

casiguapa wrote:can we please not? Preferring short guys over tall guys is not the same as preferring white girls/asian girls over black girls and every other type of racial preference there is. You might be able to say on the outside that the reasons for both are because "you don't find them attractive" but the reasons behind that are coming from two very different places whether you're aware of that or not. It might not make you a racist, but it may well make you conditioned to find other races more attractive than others and that is something that should be looked at and addressed.

Besides, whether it's comparable or not, should we really be excluding people based on things they can't control such as height and race? How many people say "I prefer" when really they mean "I only go for" . No-one is going to man up and say that their preference is anything other than exactly that: a preference, but I have a horrible feeling borne from experience of those who say they prefer when they really meant they only go for, that it goes further than just a preference.

Also, Lazar, if you can't see the difference between finding someone ugly because you don't like their face and finding someone ugly because of their skin colour, then you are, in fact, an idiot. I'm not even going to sugar coat it for you.


You made several assertions in this post often saying that two things e.g. race and height are incomparable without backing up WHY they're incomparable.
"the reasons behind that are coming from two very different places whether you're aware of that or not." -> Then tells us what those places are and why the difference of origin is important.

Also, "I prefer" has different connotations from "I only go-for" and you're complaining about their similar use. However, one describes emotions and the other describes actions, so I'm afraid that your complaint is not very valid. Further, I see no reason that "I only go for race X" is more condemnable than "I prefer people of race X" even assuming that your complaint of one being polite-ese for the other is valid.

Lastly, insults provide no source of clarification, and I would prefer to be speaking in a forum where such comments are refrained from being uttered. Note: " would prefer to" not "I would only ever".

Vaniver wrote:
casiguapa wrote:Hair colour can change, race can't. Let's get serious now, it's not even in the same vicinity. If a white man doesn't like women with black hair then I might have to die my hair red or blonde to stand a chance, but if he doesn't like black women then no amount of hair dye is ever going to give me a look-in. Surely you can see the difference?
Let's say I like short guys, and a potential mate is tall. There's nothing (reasonable) he can do to make himself attractive to me. Does that matter?

Dating is a sorting process, revealing the very small subset of people who are a good match for you. Some of those criteria are mutable, others aren't- but criteria need to be weighed based on their importance, not their mutability.
But doesn't something's mutability affect its importance?

somebody already took it wrote:Actually the online versions of Webster, Collins, and American heritage (which is available through dictionary.com) all have multiple definitions for racism. Oxford is not available online without membership. Additionally, the definitions across those dictionaries are not all identical.
Also, I would appreciate it if you would tone down your hostility towards me.

OED:
racism, n.
[< RACE n.6 + -ISM suffix, perhaps after French racisme (1902). Compare earlier RACIALISM n. and RACIST n.]

The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. Hence: prejudice and antagonism towards people of other races, esp. those felt to be a threat to one's cultural or racial integrity or economic well-being; the expression of such prejudice in words or actions. Also occas. in extended use, with reference to people of other nationalities. Cf. RACIALISM n.

1932 Christian Science Monitor 21 Oct. 8 It is altgether inaccurate to suggest that Europe is being indoctrinated with Fascism or Racism. 1933 Times 12 Sept. 12 They..denounce the quadruple crime which is being prepared in the name of racism and intolerance. 1936 L. DENNIS Coming Amer. Fascism ix. 109 If..it be assumed that one of our values should be a type of racism which excludes certain races from citizenship, then the plan of execution should provide for the annihilation, deportation, or sterilization of the excluded races. If..as I devoutly hope will be the case, the scheme of values will include that of national citizenship in which race will be no qualifying or disqualifying condition, then [etc.]. 1940 R. BENEDICT Race: Science & Politics i. 7 Racism is an ism to which everyone in the world today is exposed. 1952 Theology 55 283 The idolatry of our time{em}its setting up of nationalism, racism, vulgar materialism. 1960 New Left Rev. Jan.-Feb. 21/2 George Rogers saw fit to kow-tow to the incipient racism of his electorate by including a line about getting rid of ‘undesirable elements’. 1971 Ceylon Daily News (Colombo) 18 Sept. 8/5 Mr. Seneviratne is welcome to his ideal of inter-racial marriages as panacea for Racism. 1974 M. FIDO R. Kipling 50/2 In The Story of Muhammad Din he wrote one of the most economical and bitter attacks on British racism ever penned. 1976 Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer 4 Mar. A2/4 The Vatican radio said,..‘Racism might have different faces but it will always be reprehensible.’ 1986 Marxism Today Sept. 43/4 The term ‘racism’ refers to the belief that there are significant distinctions (whether moral, intellectual or cultural) between races. 2000 A. MORETON-ROBINSON Talkin' up to White Woman vi. 173 It is racism which is the primary form of oppression Indigenous women experience at the hands of white women and white men. 2003 Chatham (Ont.) Daily News (Nexis) 11 Jan., The French Canadians were treated as bad as the blacks throughout the U.S. at the time... His experiences of racism against French Canadians..was [sic] apparent.

Godbless campus-wide subscriptions.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Azrael » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:45 pm UTC

The next person to quote the dictionary is getting a 1 week SB ban. Same for the next person who insists that commonly used and understood terms mean something different without quoting a dictionary.

It's a delicious vicious cycle.

-Az

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby Peter_from_nyc » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:53 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:As a gay man I find attempts at pressuring people to reevaluate their sexual attractions rather eerie.

You are not entitled to be found attractive by ANYONE. ....Again, you do not deserve a CHANCE to be considered for a fuck. Jobs, food, housing are quite necessary and thus require some imposed equal opportunity approach; sexually you can make do with your hand or some other object if you can't hastily find a partner that will return your attentions.


Wow, I agree with (my fellow gay man) Lucrece.

I've tried (mightily) to like the guys who meet my physical preference of muscular guys. I don't care if they're dumb or smart, short or tall, just if they're muscular. (We can debate later the reasons why my upbringing was messed up to cause me to do that, but it's fairly immutable.) But I can't deal with muscular black guys, even guys who are
1) black and smart (MD from Harvard) and built like track stars
2) or black and nice and 6'2" and sexually GGG (good, giving and game in bed, as Dan Savage gay advice columnist writes)

And I can't do guys from Asia or India (both or all 3 groups like my "type").

Hey, like they say, the dick has a mind of its own. [reference omitted]

But, I will work with them, and if I were an employer, I would not pay them less money. I would do so even for (ugh) women, who I wouldn't sleep with. The "ugh" part was a joke, since I slept with women when I was in my 20's and the "prevailing wisdom" was that sexual preference can change. And that pot was addictive. Neither seems true, but the myth of changing sexual preference is more pernicious, since it creates false hopes, and fuels right-wing assholes' (sorry if I think that religious fundamentalists are uniformly assholic) contentions that gays should change to fit in.

Basically, gays can not change to become heterosexual. And, for me at least, racism in terms of whom I prefer can't be changed, and should not be attempted, unless one wants to try it. Once you try black, you never come back -- yet I've tried black several times, and I've come back to white (and Latino).

What to do? Well, gay sites for dating and for prostitution (oooh, another no-no) both have filters for races, and that's what I want and like.

By the way: I don't like bald guys. Even bald guys with wigs. Thank god for Rogaine. ("god" reference is meant ironically, since I don't believe in god, or God, or G-d.)

Conclusion: there should be ways to discriminate on a personal level, but not a a civil rights level, professional or work related level. We should not as a society make one's race or religion a barrier to living. By the way, you can change your religion -- like you can change your hair color (a black woman with blonde hair -- that's rich), but we still protect religion from discrimination.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby bvih » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:43 pm UTC

We should be allowed to discriminate on a personal level, I don't think anybody's arguing against that, but shouldn't we discourage it as a society?

You might argue that it's personal preference, or that there's nothing wrong with it, but then you're probably not a black woman or an Asian man. Discrimination is discrimination, and although we shouldn't do anything legally to change things, culturally I think things can become much better. This of course starts with the media. Look at the contrast between how black women and Asian women are portrayed by Hollywood, or between black men and Asian men. While I don't think dating preferences are shaped entirely by the media, I think that culturally the media has a large enough influence on our society that dating preferences are at least partially affected by it. Of course, one might also argue that the media is simply a reflection of our society, and how we as a whole perceive things. I'd argue that the media both influences and is influenced by society, although in what proportions I'm not clear.

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby BlahBlahBlah » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:57 pm UTC

bvih wrote:We should be allowed to discriminate on a personal level, I don't think anybody's arguing against that, but shouldn't we discourage it as a society?

You might argue that it's personal preference, or that there's nothing wrong with it, but then you're probably not a black woman or an Asian man. Discrimination is discrimination, and although we shouldn't do anything legally to change things, culturally I think things can become much better.

This is the point that seems to get missed. I seriously doubt that anyone would argue that we should regulate the "dating market" by passing laws that would punish people who dated only their own race. The real issue is why such preferences exist in the first place. And examining that issue does not have to entail shaming people for liking what they do.

[Random aside: this thread has managed to get this song stuck in my head.]

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby MrGee » Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:52 pm UTC

BlahBlahBlah wrote:
bvih wrote:We should be allowed to discriminate on a personal level, I don't think anybody's arguing against that, but shouldn't we discourage it as a society?

You might argue that it's personal preference, or that there's nothing wrong with it, but then you're probably not a black woman or an Asian man. Discrimination is discrimination, and although we shouldn't do anything legally to change things, culturally I think things can become much better.

This is the point that seems to get missed. I seriously doubt that anyone would argue that we should regulate the "dating market" by passing laws that would punish people who dated only their own race. The real issue is why such preferences exist in the first place. And examining that issue does not have to entail shaming people for liking what they do.

[Random aside: this thread has managed to get this song stuck in my head.]


Wow. Thank you for sharing that.

Spoiler:
STROM THURMOOOOOOOOOOOOOND!

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Re: People's mate preferences are racist. Do we care?

Postby somebody already took it » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:19 pm UTC

BrainMagMo wrote:
casiguapa wrote:Besides, whether it's comparable or not, should we really be excluding people based on things they can't control such as height and race? How many people say "I prefer" when really they mean "I only go for" . No-one is going to man up and say that their preference is anything other than exactly that: a preference, but I have a horrible feeling borne from experience of those who say they prefer when they really meant they only go for, that it goes further than just a preference.


Also, "I prefer" has different connotations from "I only go-for" and you're complaining about their similar use. However, one describes emotions and the other describes actions, so I'm afraid that your complaint is not very valid. Further, I see no reason that "I only go for race X" is more condemnable than "I prefer people of race X" even assuming that your complaint of one being polite-ese for the other is valid.

That "I prefer" describes emotions and "I only go for" describes actions does nothing to invalidate casiguapa's criticism of "I prefer" being used in order to signify "I only go for".


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