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But, says Lewis, his data suggests that if someone — more likely a man, according to the data — makes the first move, and overcomes his fear of rejection, online daters realize the pool of potential partners may be wider and richer than they had previously imagined, and they tend to initiate more interracial contacts and to respond to ones that come their way more often.Lewis is the first to admit that the study is small and has obvious limitations.Interestingly, though, getting a message from a black guy didn’t mean that women would look at all other races. Again Asian women were among the outliers; once contacted by someone from another race, their interracial exchanges went up 238%.For Asian men it was 222%, and for black women it was more than 100%.
It also may prove that Asian women may have already figured out what the folks in Lewis’ study are just finding out — that there’s no harm in reaching out to someone who doesn’t look or think like you.
White folks, both male and female, overwhelmingly made more contact with whites, which is hardly surprising since there are more white people on the site to choose from.
White folks were the most likely to seek out people of another race.
Lewis couldn’t tell how extensive the contacts were — whether these people had just exchanged pleasantries or had actually gone on dates or made it to the aisle. (MORE: Why We Don’t Trust Online-Dating Sites — but Use Them Anyway) Reaching out to someone of a different ethnic background may be awkward because online users engage in what Lewis calls “pre-emptive discrimination.” That is, they expect — based on the way race has shaped their lives so far — rejection, or at the very least, to have little in common with someone who doesn’t share their heritage.
This would explain why white people, who are likely to have experienced the least racial discrimination, feel most comfortable about crossing the ethnic line.
Even in Western countries, the percentage of girls messaging guys first is ridiculously low.