Book Writing Adventures

Once Upon a Time: The Origin of Preference

When I feature a “hottie” every week, I’m in the enviable position to shrink their heads and find out why they have a preference for we melanin-rich of the female persuasion. Almost unilaterally, it’s the skin, the hair, the eyes, the silhouette, and smile of women with a West African phenotype that attracts them, so that’s a big “WOO HOO” for like, 90% of African American women. But lately I’ve gone a bit deeper to try to get to what originated this attraction, and most of what I’ve heard is that the preference was developed during childhood or early adulthood.

–One ridiculously handsome Chinese man who prefers black women said that he remembers he crushed on his good friend’s Jamaican mother, who ran a pizza delivery with her husband. She was always kind to him, giving him free pizza and just generally being a warm and friendly mom-type.

–Another high-profile man who runs a bank on the East Coast says that his preference for black women might be a combination of the phenotype preference and the similarities he recognizes in his Italian matriarchs and the characteristics of black women he finds attractive.

–And then there was the funky, off-the-beaten-path tattooed dude who’s first-grade crush was a browned-skinned girl who wore her hair in three twisted ponytails–two on each side and one at the nape of her neck.

–Finally, there was white-girl-only European guy who had a chance sexual encounter with a black woman and had the “Once you go black you never go back” reaction. His attraction has since evolved from just the physical, and was seriously dating a black woman and was engaged to be married (didn’t work out). He now tells me that he wants nothing more than to marry someone and have a brood of little brown babies.

You know what I noticed too? Only one of these guys developed a preference for black chicks out of some jungle-booty fetish. I suspect the origins of preference for non-black men might have started for many on the board in just the same way. But! A recent study suggests that women put more weight on intellect AND race more than males do. For men, it’s all about physical attraction:

An abstract from “Gender Differences in Mate Selection: Evidence From a Speed Dating Experiment,” published in Oxford Journal’s The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

We study dating behavior using data from a Speed Dating experiment where we generate random matching of subjects and create random variation in the number of potential partners. Our design allows us to directly observe individual decisions rather than just final matches. Women put greater weight on the intelligence and the race of partner, while men respond more to physical attractiveness. Moreover, men do not value women’s intelligence or ambition when it exceeds their own. Also, we find that women exhibit a preference for men who grew up in affluent neighborhoods. Finally, male selectivity is invariant to group size, while female selectivity is strongly increasing in group size.

Hmmm…could this partly explain the rabidness of the Nothing-But-A-Brother sect?

Follow Christelyn on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. And if you want to be a little more about this online dating thing, InterracialDatingCentral is the official dating site for this blog.