Are women more racially selective than men?

I’m the founder of Color Dating, a dating app that prioritizes one’s racial and ethnical preferences, and I recently had the chance to run some analysis on our user set.

Tl;DR: Women are more selective when it comes to ethnicities than men. Men are more willing to date just about anyone.

The data

In our app, users are asked to select the ethnicities they are interested in and can select up to 9 different ethnicities.

The data that we see is that more than a majority of men are open to dating just about anyone. About 52% of men selected to view matches from 7 different ethnicities or more. When compared to women, only 8% selected more than 7 ethnicities.

When you take the data even further to 3 or more ethnicities, over 82% of men selected 3 or more ethnicities. Compared again to women, only 39% selected more than 3 different ethnicities.

A majority of women are only open to dating within 1 or 2 ethnic groups.

What does this data suggest?

The data definitely shows that men are less selective when it comes to ethnicities and more open to dating more people. We’ve also seen that men are more likely to just swipe “like” on every single potential match that comes their way.

However, it’s hard to jump to the conclusion and say that women are just simply “more racist” as there can be some explanations of this behavior.

For example, we’ve seen that the average woman receives about 2–3x more likes than the average male. Because of this, women have a lot more matches they must filter through and may find it necessary to be more strict when it comes to filtering.

On the flip side, because men have fewer options, they may feel like they must expand their match pool size by selecting every option possible, swipe “like” on everyone and then perhaps sort again later.

Followup questions

  1. Do attractive men with many profile likes also exhibit the same selective behavior?
  2. Do men who select all ethnicities show a selection bias when they later go to message their matches?