The Corner

Assortative Mating

There is probably nothing that is as interesting to so many people as mate selection, a/k/a “private-sector eugenics.” Where mate selection intersects with race, the fascination is magnified. Steve Sailer is still getting hate mail from his 1997 National Review article “Is Love Colorblind?” Similarly, John Tierney’s 2007 piece in the New York Times Science section, “Single Female Seeking Same-Race Male has generated 389 comments to date.

Well, here goes Razib Khan of Gene Expression, stirring the pot again on ScienceBlogs.

The fact that individuals tend to want to mate assortatively with those who share their characteristics is no surprise. Rather, what does surprise are a series of papers that show a very strong asymmetry in strength of preference between males and females. To be crass about it, an attractive warm body will do for a man, but women strongly prefer a body with the packaging of their own race!

As with every previous article I’ve seen on this topic, including Sailer’s & Tierney’s, it’s East Asian guys who come out worst in these cross-racial dating/mating preference studies. Most of Steve’s hate mail is from EA males, likewise with the angriest comments on Tierney’s thread. Given the much-noted sex imbalance in China’s population, one factor driving early 21st-century history may be those tens of millions of angry EA males who can’t find a date. I have encountered some of them. They are angry.

Interesting too to see that easily the most race-loyal of the groups studied are black females.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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