Overcoming the odds: How A Man's Income can Counteract Womens' Racial Biases when Dating Online

Overcoming the odds: How A Man's Income can Counteract Womens' Racial Biases when Dating Online

A lot has been said about how race plays a role in how often you will be contacted by women online. Thanks to websites like OkCupid, we've learned a great deal about how the real world works where dating is concerned, and how "open" people actually are with dating across party lines, sort of speak. This take will be directed towards men (with a possible second similar take made for women later, depending on my mood), and this will be divided into three parts: 1) Identifying the problem 2) How powerful is money? and 3) What this all means for you. My argument here is that where the shallow world of online dating is concerned, racial disadvantages can be overcome by income earning potential. Now for most, this should come to no surprise, but in this take, we're not going to simply stop at "money matters," as this is something most of us already know. Instead, we're going to go into exactly how much it matters, how much money you need to make on average to change the preference of women towards your particular race, and basically the nitty-gritty details that aren't often talked about when it comes to online dating realities for men. We're going to uncover the power of money, down to the last dollar.

Before i begin, i need to stress that this is not a myTake made to criticize women's selection practises. This is focused on one of the ways guys can (if they are interested in doing so) overcome the racial bias against them if they are not white, where online dating is concerned. We'll be looking at raw data here, and so with that understand that some things are not easily measurable...like chemistry...but this will definitely show us what women generally gravitate towards.

Part One: Identifying the Problem

According to data collected by OkCupid on approximately 23 million users, White men have the largest success rate when it comes to recieving responses from women of every race, while Asian, indian and black men have the worst response rate.

The following chart illustrates this:

Essentially what the chart says is that your response rate drops like a rock the darker your skin colour is. Race matters, no matter what people say in terms of their openess to dating outside of their race. OkCupid is not the only group to have done studies like this however. If you're a person who doesn't trust studies not done academically, here's one for you. A study was done jointly by the University of Texas and the Unviersity of Mass., and what they found pretty much mirrored what OkCupid found

Again, according to the data, black men are pretty much at the bottom when it comes to response rates across all races (except black women, as shown in the OkCupid study also), with white men doing the best. So we've gone over what the problem is when it comes to dating online as a guy. If you aren't white, you have more of an uphill battle to fight, and that battle becomes harder the darker your skin tone is. Now, this is something i've known for a while now. Any black male can tell you the countless numbers of times he's logged onto a dating site to see tons of profiles stating "no black men" and just the overall difficulty of getting a response back. You'll see a lot of white guys complaining on here and elsewhere about not getting messaged back, but they often have no idea how good they actually have it, because many of people live in their own bubbles...in one way or another.

But as I further thought about this, i started to think about what other factors can a guy have that may help him overcome the strong racial biases that exist when it comes to dating online. I immediately thought about money. We all know that the amount of income you make can greatly affect your ability to pull women. What i find is that data concerning how much money plays a role in online dating is often overshadowed by data concerning race, because issues on race tend to make for more popular stories. Lets go into the role money plays.

Part Two: How Powerful is Money?

Some people are often surprised to know that besides the data OkCupid has collected concerning how much race matters, they've also collected equally interesting data concerning how much your income can matter too when attracting women. Lets go into some of that data.

Amongst some other things, the people at OkCupid also decided to look into how much your income matters as a guy when it comes to getting responses from women.

So, let me explain briefly what this data is saying. If you're in the 18 - 22 age range, a bracket many men on GaG fall under, you can do okay not making much money, but if you're over 23, it gets harder. What's very interesting though are the people who do remarkably well. If you're over 24, and you make 100k or more, you will consistently be within the 90th percentile (or top 10%) of men, gaining the lions-share of responses online. Your income level can essentally allow you to experience what a hot girl will experience dating online. OkCupid is not the only dating site which has taken a look at this. AYI.com did a study of their own userbase (totalling 1.5 million users), and what they found was equally interesting:

For a man, each dollar more that he made increased his chances of getting a response from a woman. But high earners β€” those that made upwards of $150,000 β€” were 82% more likely than men that made $20,000 or less to get contacted on AYI.com.

Considering that the average income of men in the U.S. for 2012 (According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2012) was a little shy of $50 000, this may seem like quite a problem for average guys who aren't white, who have to compete with other white/less dark guys around the same income level. According to the data I've seen, the safe zone seems to be at least 100k+, but I wasn't satisfied. The data here largely told me something that I already knew, which is that money talks. What I still did not know however is how much does money talk. A more interesting question i started asking myself was how does the response rate from women towards guys vary across racial lines, when income potential is considered. The 6 million dollar question is, "How much money does it take to change the preference of woman online for a non-white guy depending on what particular race you are?" Lets answer that question.

Part Three: What this all means for you

So exactly how much income does it take for say, an Asian guy to overcome the racial bias against Asians amongst women in the online dating world? One of the most fascinating studies I've taken a look at this year was done jointly by the Univeristy of Chicago and MIT titled, "What Makes You Click? β€” Mate Preferences and Matching Outcomes in Online Dating" In it, they go into great detail about not only how much race matters in online dating, but how much your income can play a role in overcoming the racial bias. For non-white guys, it basically shows on average, what kind of income you need in order to be on an equal playing field with white guys on average (since white men seem to almost be univerally preferred online), when it comes to getting responses back from women across racial lines. For white guys, this data will basically tell you how much money you should earn in order to comfortably cancel the boost other non-white men get by their own income earning potential. So for everyone, there's something to gain from this. Lets dig in.

In general terms, the following seems to be true:

A man in the bottom decile, for example, needs an additional income of $186,000 (a total annual income of $248,500) to compensate for his poor looks.

Basically, compared to a attractive men making a little more than $60, 000 a year, a guy at the bottom 10% where looks are concerned needed to make an extra $186,000 to compensate for his lack of attractiveness on average, essentially needed to make close to $250k per year. Now onto race:

So lets highlight a few of the interesting ones according to the research. Starting with how to attain the eyes of white women online:

For equal success with a white woman, an African-American man needs to earn $154,000 more than a white man. Hispanic men need an additional $77,000, and Asian men need an additional $247,000 in annual income

Very surprising, particularly how much more Asian men need to earn in order to wipe out the online bias against them. So if a white guy makes $60,000 a year, an Asian guy needs to make $60,000 + an extra $247,000, to a total of over $300,000 a year to completely remove the bias against him. Basically, if you're an Asian guy who is really into white women, the struggle IS REAL. You basically would need to be a cardiac surgeon in the USA in order to simply even the playing field against white guys making an average income.

Another very interesting data point was the amount of money white guys need to make in order to get Asian women at the same rate as Asian men. What it shows is that white guys are preferred amongst Asian women, even if the white guy makes less money. A white guy can afford to make $24,000 less dollars per year compared to Asian guys (with almost all else being equal) in order to maintain an equal playing field for himself. So if an Asian guy falls under the average according to census data (remember, average men in the U.S. makes ~$50,000), a white guy can make pretty much half as much as his Asian counterparts and still be treated as equal to other Asian guys, amongst Asian women. This data may seem strange, but it actually coincindes with data produced by OkCupid which shows that Asian women prefer white men at surprisingly high rates.

If you're a white guy, what this basically shows is that if you can manage to make an additional $250,000 a year, you can pretty much dominate online dating with no trouble whatsoever. But in reality, as long as you are making an average income of approximately $60,000 per year, you will always have an advantage over most other men. From census data I've found, only 10% of people in the USA make over 100k, so against the vast majority of men, you will have an advantage online.

Another interesting bit of data, for those of you that are interested, has to do with height.

Basically, if you're a bit on the shorter side...say around 5'6 like i am, you need to make an additional $175,000 dollars, to a total of $237,500 per year to completely erase the advantage men who are 5'11 have over you.

Remember, with all this data, you don't exactly need to make that much money in order to do as well as other white men. With some women for instance, making $50k more than the average white guy may be enough for those particular women to consider you over their own natural preference for a white guy online. These numbers represent the average though, so to comfortably put yourself on an even playing field, meeting these averages would help.

Again, i need to stress that we are simply looking at numbers and data here. Dating is more than just tables and charts. At the same time, given the nature of online data, numbers and charts do have a very interesting and relevent story to tell. Personally, i find data like this more reliable than what people, in particular women, say they may prefer when dating online...because for me, actions speak louder than words. In the highly superficial world of online dating, many of these things do unfortunately matter. Just as an aside though, if you think the situation is bad for you as a guy, its much worse for women who don't meet societies standards of beauty. I didn't go into the interesting data for women, but according to a lot of the data, there's practically nothing a woman can do to overcome being unattractive, except fix her unattractiveness.

Moral of the story though is that if you're a non white guy. a portion of the disadvantage you recieve right out of the gate can be counterbalanced by stating a higher than average income. If you're a white guy, you do yourself a great service by making more money than average, because at that point, few others can really compete with you online, especially if you are of average height for men in the USA, which is something like 5'10 - 5'11. Regardless of your race, there are still girls out there for you online, so fear not. Just be mindful of the data, because the data explains the trends that you see, and you can better understand why you may have the success rate that you do.




Join the discussion



What Girls Said 5

  • both irl and online, east Asian men are the only ones i've ever found attractive, all my life. i do keep my eyes open and look at everyone. the chances that a man of another race would catch my eye are extremely low. this data saying that white men are so much more popular than other men? i can't understand what women are thinking. especially other Asian women. including my mother. i really don't get it. do they really want to have a half child that badly? as a half child, i don't know what to say. i just blindly go for the men that are my type.

    i have received attention from men of literally all races and i'm really only interested in who i find attractive.

    • ah coco, long time no chat :) Yes i understand what you're saying. The whole thing about white people is that they are seen as the best in the world social hierarchy. People may not be actively thinking that every time they flip through people online, but its a very pervasive mentality that exists, often at a subconscious level due to the amount of media influence. Personally, im open to dating people of all ethnicities. One thing i've pretty much never see though are black men - Asian women couples

  • Rich ugly men do get hot women esp the young. Peter Allen or is it Paul? He's fugly but excessively rich

  • ok Cupid does not represent real life couple pairings in my opinion. It is probably true that white people are the common users of Internet.

  • Well first, job well done👌 very logical, analytical approach based in data.
    Anw this is why I never liked online dating and never will do.
    It s too fake, with checklists etc...
    Do you have any preference in girls too?

    • On*


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    • @myTake Owner Nah, I downvoted this bullshit too LOL

    • @HikerDude well good for youπŸ‘

  • I don't really like studies that try to make something subjective (like attraction) something to be measured objectively.

    From my experiences with online dating, it was rare that I got a message from someone that didn't completely freak me out. I got a lot of messages from West Asian/Middle Eastern men that appeared to be looking for a fiancΓ© visa. I got a lot of "Hey" or "Hi". I'm sorry, but that's the most boring opener ever and I'm not going to carry the burden of the conversation here. Of the few messages that I did respond to, it tended to get weird quickly. Like, please don't mention your penis within five seconds of talking to me.

    I know that I am not typically attracted to the stereotypical "white" male (which is to say blond and blue-eyed) but I am into what I call "racially ambiguous" people, as I am pretty ethnically ambiguous myself. I'm pretty tall though, so that is a deal-breaker for me. 5'11" and up please.

    As for income, sure, it does matter to me, but mostly in the sense that I don't want to be a sugar mama. If you can hold an intelligent conversation and can support yourself, I'm happy.


What Guys Said 18

  • #StrugglesOfAnAsianMan 😣😒😧

    • lol, yeah. I wouldn't worry about it though. There's more than enough women to go around. This is all just general statistics on women's preferences online, which is already well known to be fairly cutthroat and shallow. Plus, this data is really all about getting responses back from women. It's not about which guys actually form relationships with these women

    • Lol, I find it odd why it's like that when it's online dating. I have old classmates that say when they're in places that do not have much of an Asian community girls seem to be drawn to them.

    • well what happens offline is a different matter. A guy can change his odds with women tremendously if he plays well face to face. Online however, things are much more.."matter of fact". It's either you have peoples preconceived list of requirements or you don't.

  • So the bottom line of this whole thing is whatever comes out of a woman's mouth about compatibility and personality is BS. Women only care about face, height and money.

  • People would not believe how true this is. I've used dating sites and I never list my income or the fact that I own my home. My pictures are taken in a park or next to my project car, not my diesel truck.
    I did an impromptu experiment and contact women that had told me they were interested. Same profile information, I used pictures that were distant or blurry. But I talked about my home, my truck and my listed my income.
    Yeah, lets just say that women may say they aren't interested because you aren't their type, until tell see you driving a new truck.

    by the way
    I didn't date any of those women, but I did tell them they were gold digging bitches.

    • hah, interesting. Well the online dating world is as cutthroat as it gets. If you don't have the goods, you'll have a tough time

  • Good take.

    Thats why i think online dating is bad, people are really looking for an SO. While in real life you can come acrosd a person, befriend them and then become more.

    In online dating you make the big leap from stranger to SO, based on looks and money.
    Whereas in real life you first leap from strangers to friends and then from friends to SO.
    So to become a friend with someone you dont have to be rich or good looking at all. So when you're finally a friend with a girl, you can make the leap to SO, she will say yes or no based on your personality, whether she really likes you or not, and not just income or looks, cuz personality matters the most and makes the others invisible

    • i agree! Online dating is pretty cut throat. If you don't have A, B and C traits, you can get written off pretty fast

    • Yes, online dating is like falling in love with 1 person on purpose. In real life its unpredictable :)

      Maybe you can try meeting girls in real life (dont know whether you're doing that already or not), since that like always the best way

  • Who is 'Other'?

  • In my experience, there's just some things that just don't come across online that will in person. I've always been great in person and just so so online. Girls have dated me that never thought they would date a black guy until they met me. But those same girls just thought I was interesting online or "nice enough".

    Online dating is very clinical. People have their lists and they want to check all the boxes. If you don't match enough of their boxes online they're not interested, where if they met you in person they might come to realize some of those things on their list aren't as important to them as they thought.

  • LOL at your 'statistics.' I wasn't aware that OKCupid was a peer-reviewed dating webstite.

    So white girls don't want to date you. What are you going to do, force them to date black guys under penalty of law? People have preferences, guy. That's just life. Black women don't want to date white guys. Should they be shamed or called racist for their preference? That's absurd.

    The reality is that people go where they feel most comfortable and most accepted. Most women prefer to date guys of their own ethnic/racial group because they feel most comfortable with those guys. That's why I don't blame black women for wanting to date black guys or Asian girls for wanting to date Asian guys. Freedom of association is just life. You can whine about it all you like but you're not going to change it.

    • dude wtf? overly emotional anyone? I merely presented the data for people to interpret as they will. Call yourself

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    • Wow, he didn't say anything of the sort, or do any whining. He just presented some stats which may be of interest to people using those sites. You went way overboard with your assumptions.

  • This is all generalization and cliche. Black men have plenty of options in dating that white guys don't, such as black women and the vast swath of Latinas who aren't attracted to white men. Worrying over some lame "study" taken from the very skewed demographics of OkCupid is like interest paid in advance on a debt that never comes due. Just worry about improving your own product and you'll be surprised how things will fall into place for you.

  • " awesome myTake. Very interesting stuff. It's rather sad that all that crap m akes a difference in the dating world -- and it's very interesting to see it quantified."- #AnonGAGuy + agreed

    Me personally I've never tried online dating nor do I care for it. Since I'm more than confident in my abilities to "befriend a girl" today while "charming" her tomorrow due to my looks and personality ^_^ http://oi63.tinypic.com/2vnnt5i.jpg

  • A few interesting things here.

    One is that the additional amount black men need to earn to have similar success with white women is less than the additional amount white men needed to have equal success with black women.

    Yet with the okcupid data set we see black women happily responding to white women.

    I think this boils down to the fact that black women who join okcupid tend to be open to interracial dating or they simply wouldn't be there (theyd exclusively use dating sites that are aimed only at black singles). By contrast the white women on okcupid include a mix of those who are against interracial dating and those who are fine with it. (Data they've released on views of interracial dating supports that). That's why the averages are hiding a lot. A black man making 200k is not going to have similar dating experiences with white women to a white man earning 60k. He is going to still strike out entirely with women who won't date interracially while having a massive advantage with those women who are highly open to it. Honestly - that's a better place to be. You don't need more women to think you're okay, you need a few to think that you're awesome.

    The other thing I'd note is that the results in okcupid aren't controlled for height and income. maybe okcupid users are from a typical demographic that evens things out. I'd hazard a guess though that the black men in their US data set may have lower income range than the distribution of white it adian incomes and that the Asian men have a lower height distribution. Those impacts are already built into the observed results.

  • So, does being white make up for being short...

    Interesting take.

    • my guess is that it does partially, but not completely. It would depend on how tall the white guy is compared to how tall the non white guy is, as well as the incomes of the two. That's a question i really can't answer without further study. Being a short white guy though is much better than being a short black guy

  • Online datings for sad sacks. You know the people your looking at are loners who couldn't pull in real life. Go out and talk to people. How hard is it?

    • Pretty easy to say if you live in a large urban area or somewhere you meet a lot of people. Not everyone is in that situation. I know several people who got married through online sites.

    • @zagor any women I've ever wanted I've worked for. I've walked up and started talking to them. None of this filling out a profile crap. There's always the opposite sex wherever you go. I was working at an army base full of men in the south of England in the middle of nowhere. I still managed to find a girl my age in a local village. Looked like winona ryder. She was a nice catch

  • yeah I can see some degree of truth to this. I consider myself to be a pretty smart (medical school) and fit Asian guy with above average looks (according to girls anyways since I get quite a few compliments in person). However when it comes to online dating I have a much more difficult time when it comes to dating out of my race. I think it has a lot to do with the negative stereotypes that the media portrays of Asians so unlike a white male who gets the benefit of doubt I constantly have to prove myself. I've used okcupid, plentyofish tinder, etc, and I get a very low response rate particularly with girls out of my race. Not to say that I have had zero success with white girls because I have dated a few but the amount of effort I have to put into it versus that of a white guy is just ridiculous. It sucks because some of my white guy friends who are definitely uglier than me, dont work out at all get plenty more matches with white girls. I don't know if it's because white girls are just closed-minded, or inherently racist, but everytime I read studies like this, it upsets me that for a society that claims to be racially-blind, we are still plagued with racial biases.

  • Great take...

    "that your response rate drops like a rock the darker your skin colour is"

    My question is how white are the white guys they prefer? Like I thought the sterotype was that they want "Mr tall TAN and handsome". Are pale white guys the most desirable or is it tan white guys they prefer?

    on the "how many messages a man gets by income" chart

    What I find particularly interesting is how for women age 25 and up start to care about money a lot more. Most girls around 18-23 will say it doesn't matter, and they are probably being honest, but once they're at a stage where they want ti buy a house and raise kids, they start to sing a different tune. lol

    I always hear conflicting opinions on gag about Asians prefering white guys so I'm not sure what to make of that :/

    I'm surprised at how much of a difference there was between 5'8 and 5'10 on the income vs height chart :o

    This bassically comes down to, don't listen to what women say about their preferces, watch their actions. As much as women will say height and income dont, matter, they clearly do.

    Lastly... Do you really want to date a girl, knowing that you need to compensate for your race and height by earning x ammount of dollars just for her to give you a chance?

    • "Lastly... Do you really want to date a girl, knowing that you need to compensate for your race and height by earning x ammount of dollars just for her to give you a chance?"

      the thing is, much of girls selection criteria is done somewhat on a subconscious level. If you talked to 100 white girls, they aren't going to tell you that if you're black, they require you to make $154,000 dollars more than a white guy for them to view you as equal to the white men they are looking at. Their criteria is based on perceived strength and perceived value. The preference for white men has a lot to do with the income earning potential of white men, which is known to be amongst the highest, while for black men is known to be amongst the lowest. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are gold diggers, as for the most part, a woman will look at the whole package. But their preferences concerning race and height have to do with these notions of perceived strength/value

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    • 5'10 isn't the ideal tho, is it?
      Its just the baseine for acceptable. 6ft is probably the ideal.

      "4x as more people making over 100k a year than there should be xD"

      lol so true, same with height. Also iq. Like on gag polls, everyone claims to have an iq in the 120-140 range 😅

    • well yeah, what i mean is that 5'10 - 5'11 is more of a "cutoff" because that is what the average is, and most women can accept a guy who is at least of average height. Anyone over that would just be gravy

  • All those colours. My eyes. Damn, you did your fair share of research mate.

  • So the bottom line for men is that when it comes to women, money can overcome anything. We pretty much knew that already, but you've backed it up with research and statistics. Very well done take, bro. Thanks for pulling this all together and sharing it here. You clearly put a lot of work into it.

  • So as a white guy who make $300k+, that means I get all the pussy 8)

    But more seriously, awesome myTake. Very interesting stuff. It's rather sad that all that crap makes a difference in the dating world -- and it's very interesting to see it quantified.

    My general advice is that if someone has trouble dating online, meeting new people in person is essential -- a display of personality and having game I think compensates a great deal. That would be an interesting study, to see how much having good game alters a man's chances.

    Unsurprising silence from the ladies -- not a comfortable topic to argue against. What response would you get other than "well I'm not like those women"?

    • lol, yeah a white guy making $300k is basically like a play against someone in a video game who is using cheat codes. They can't be beat.. hah. The thing with game though is that its not easily measurable, but meeting in person definitely gives guys a better edge. Online dating is cutthroat and unforgiving, but face to face interaction in person can sometimes be the great equalizer. As for the silence from the ladies, im hoping the take gets featured on the homepage. At the moment, i dont think too many people are able to see it, but im glad you enjoyed the info!

  • Fascinating data, but it seems like Asian guys, not blacks are at the bottom of the heap, so it's not really about being 'darker' as you said, since most Asians (east Asians, Indians are a separate category) are pretty pale. Pacific Islander by contrast can be quite dark and yet they take second highest place. So it would seem to be something else rather than skin color.

    There is also an odd contradiction in respect to the attractiveness of white men to black women. On the money chart is says a white man would have to earn 220K more to be as attractive as a black man to a black woman but on the response chart black females give white males their second highest response rate.

    Another interesting anomaly is the message gap for high income males in their early 20's, i wonder why they would be?

    Anyway, thanks great stuff.

    • well in a general sense, blacks are at the bottom when you just look at the net data when it comes to who gets the most responses back from women. Especially with the data from the university of Texas that i posted, there's a very clear distinction between who's above who in terms of success rate with women between Asians and blacks. But when it comes to actually removing the racial biases that work against them, Asian men, for whatever reason, need to earn way way more compared to black men in order to be viewed as equal to the average white guy in the eyes of white women. Not too sure why that is. Perhaps they have higher expectations of Asian men.

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    • So what im saying essentially is that the black community is polarized. You will either run into black women who set up huge barriers that white men have to surpass in order to date them, or they will welcome you pretty rapidly without you having to do anything more than bat an eyelash, because some black women are really adamant on not dating black guys anymore because they feel scorned by them. That's my theory anyhow

    • though given that Asian men have to compete with white men even amongst their own women, I can see how an Asian guy could have it tougher in some circumstances