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On the April 12th edition of the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, comedians Jessica Williams and Ronnie Chang explore an issue of sexual racism. Sexual racism is when daters use race as a sexual or dating preference.
In the piece, Williams and Chang talk with a group of diverse minorities who explain the racial stereotypes they encounter while using online dating sites such as Tinder. Chang conducts his own experiment, where he swipes right on the Tinder app for a few days in a row, and finds no matches.
Sexual racism is not a new term. Samantha Allen of the Daily Beast wrote a article in September 2015 titled ‘No Blacks’ Is Not a Sexual Preference. It’s Racism. The article explores sexual racism in particular in the gay community, and uses research from an Australian study titled Is Sexual Racism Really Racism? Pointed out in Allen’s story, is an analysis of the research, for example while people believe its okay to state a racial preference in dating, it’s not racism:
“Sixty-four percent of the men said it is acceptable to state a racial preference on an online dating profile, and 46 percent said these preferences do not bother them. Men who had experienced racial exclusion in the past were, predictably, more likely to report being bothered by it than men who hadn’t but, still, a staggering 70 percent disagreed with the argument that sexual racism is “a form of racism.” A majority of them perceived racial exclusion as “a problem” but were reluctant to attribute it to racism.”
The study was completed in January of 2015 and also points out a defense of racial preference, as the individual choice to select their partner of choice. The study was used to discover dating patterns of gay men in online communities.
“Other critiques of sexual racism draw on the deeply held value of sexual freedom—an individual’s right to select a partner of their choice—to question the limits that the label ‘‘racism’’ places upon individual desire”
The study also details why it might be hard for some to decipher racial preference in dating from racism.
“The way in which participants understand sexual racism appears to be related to offense or intentional expressions of perceptions of racism. While the majority of men we surveyed saw racism as a problem on sex and dating web services, over 70 percent disagreed with the idea that indicating a racial preference online is a form of racism.”