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 — those that made upwards of $150,000 — 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? — 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.