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With both sets of survey results in hand, the researchers ran two regression analyses to test for any correlation between them.
Respondents were asked whether or not they agreed with statements like “People who indicate a racial preference in their profile are not trying to offend anyone,” and “As long as people are polite about it, I see no problem in indicating a racial preference on my profile.” Remaining “neutral” was also an option.The men were assigned scores based on their responses.There has been a substantial amount of commentary about sexual racism among men who have sex with men but, until now, no one has tried to quantify it.Those who deploy these disclaimers defend themselves from accusations of “racism” by claiming that they merely have “preferences” for certain races over others. There is a reason, they insist, that men of color are most often pushed to the sexual wayside. Debates around “sexual racism,” as researchers have labeled it, are particularly heated within the gay community, although it is certainly a source of controversy in heterosexual circles as well.Wrote one gay blogger, “Don’t tell me I can’t have a preference! It is also an argument that could soon be settled by emerging sociological research.These men also completed a region-specific version of the Quick Discrimination Index (QDI), a standard survey instrument that measures attitudes on race and diversity.
After putting these two data sets together, the trend was clear: “Sexual racism…
On gay dating apps like Grindr and Scruff, some men post blunt and often offensive disclaimers on their profiles such as “no oldies,” “no fems,” and “no fatties.” Among the most ubiquitous are racial disclaimers like “no blacks” and “no Asians,” which are most frequently posted by white men but, as Edwards’s case proves, not always.
Sometimes, men even use foods as metaphors for entire ethnic groups: “No rice” to deter Asian men, “no spice” to keep the Latinos away, and “no curry” to tell Indians they don’t have a shot. ” Others have argued that it is impossible to separate the language of so-called sexual racism from racism in other spheres of life.
The authors suggest that dating services that allow users to sort others using racial categories like Grindr, Scruff, Growlr, and others may even “encourage the belief that [these categories] are useful, natural or appropriate for defining individuals and sexual (dis)interest.”“Thus, men who frequently visit such web services may find their beliefs confirmed and reinforced in an environment that appears conducive to sexual racism,” they speculate. “It just blows my mind that people could write off entire minorities without any exception and not see that as at all problematic.”For his part, Callander would like to see his team’s findings used in “implementation research” that could identify “strategies for reducing sexual racism and changing the way that people think about race and romance.” After all, if racism and sexual racism are indeed linked, then strategies to reduce the former should affect the latter as well.“I am not interested in condemning or criticizing people’s desires, but if we recognize prejudice within ourselves, we must be willing to challenge and confront it,” Callander told The Daily Beast.
In other words, sexual racism in gay online dating could be a self-perpetuating cycle, with apps encouraging its perceived social appropriateness by virtue of their very design. Many gay men, the authors note, will be reluctant to perceive sexual racism as “racist” because that term is “a strong label imbued with heavy social condemnation.” Indeed, one of the most common online strategies for shaking off accusations of sexual racism is appealing to the severity of that term.“Aren’t the majority of people who type ‘no blacks’ in their profiles more likely to just be plain old stupid rather than ‘sexually oppressive’ haters?
A new Australian study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior entitled “Is Sexual Racism Really Racism?