A new study has found that while all people of color are more likely to be denied dating apps, black users are more likely to be rejected when looking for romantic partners online.
The research, published in the Personality Research Journal, set out to explore the factors that fuel users’ choice to swipe left or right on dating apps like Tinder and Hinge. On apps like this, swiping left is rejection (or saying “not interested”) while swiping right is acceptance or saying that you are indeed intrigued. According to the results, people of color are more likely to be rejected, regardless of the race of the other user.
The study was conducted by William J. Chopik, director of the Close Relationships Lab at Michigan State University. For the experiment, Chopkin and his team developed an app quite similar to Tinder that allowed participants to “swipe” left or right on potential love interests. Chopik conducted the study four times and concluded the following: Male participants slipped to the right more often than women, which would imply that men are less “picky” when selecting partners. They also found that men and women who personally considered themselves to be beautiful slipped to the left more frequently, speaking of their highest standards.
The researchers also found that participants in all four studies were more likely to slide to the right if the race of the potential match matched theirs. However, even after checking to test this result, Chopik found that potential mates were “penalized” for being black, Asian and Hispanic, but this was especially evident when it came to blacks: participants were 2.3 to 2. ,3 times less likely to slide to the left on a black person than on a white person.
“The most consistent finding from our study is that, by far, people use very superficial features to wipe out romantic partners. Basically it’s how attractive people are and, more surprisingly, the race of the person ”, Chopik says PsyPost. “People of color face a significant penalty when browsing these dating apps – they are less likely to be swiped directly (ie chosen) into controlling their attractiveness.”
“Also surprising is the number of things does not have question! At least at this initial stage, it doesn’t matter who the picker is – their personality, how much they wanted short-term relationships / connections – or even a lot about the chosen people – how symmetrical their face was, how they wore their hair, ”Chopik continued. “What mattered most about the sweep was how attractive people were and whether they were from the same racial / ethnic group. It really shines a light on the types of things that go into how people choose romantic partners in these settings.