Racial-Ethnic Exclusion among Gay, Lesbian and Heterosexual White Online Daters

Belinda Robnett, University of California, Irvine
Cynthia Feliciano, University of California, Irvine
Matthew Rafalow, University of California, Irvine

Employing 3,200 U.S. white gay, lesbian, and heterosexual internet dating profiles, this study examines patterns of racial-ethnic exclusion. Our study shows that racial-ethnic exclusion is not only gendered, as previous research suggests, but is also influenced by sexual orientation. With the exception of heterosexual men, Asians are highly excluded by white daters. Middle Easterners are highly excluded by heterosexuals and lesbians, but not by gay men. Native Americans are similarly excluded by gay men, lesbians, and heterosexual men, but are more excluded than black men by heterosexual women. Latinos are the least excluded ethnic group among white daters, but heterosexual women are far more likely to exclude them than are the other groups. Gender and sexual orientation combine to influence racial-ethnic exclusion. This suggests that existing theories of race relations need to be expanded to account for not only gender, but sexual orientation to better understand patterns of racial acceptance.

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Presented in Poster Session 9