The popular online dating site OKCupid has established a surprising list of the real "Stuff White People Like" - as well as several other ethnic groups. The results are as controversial as they are fascinating.
OKCupid analyzed 526,000 profiles, comprising 280 million words, and divided the profiles into groups based on the user's (self-identified) race. The team then isolated the words that made each ethnic group's profile essays statistically distinct from the other groups. "Using this kind of analysis, we were able find the interests, hobbies, tastes, and self-descriptions that are specially important to each racial group, as determined by the words of the group itself," Christian Rudder of OKCupid explains on the OKTrends blog. "The information in this article is not our opinion. It's data, aggregated from the essays of half a million real people."
So, as per OKCupid, what do white men like? Topping the list, in order: Tom Clancy, Van Halen, golfing, Harley Davidson, Ghostbusters, Phish, and The Big Lebowski. As for white women, the (surreal) list was headed up by the Red Sox, Jodi Picoult, boating, NASCAR, and mascara. "If I had to choose over-arching themes for white people's lists," Rudder quips, "for men, I'd go with 'frat house' and for women, 'escapism.' Whether one begot the other is a question I'll leave to the reader."
The black men's list was topped by soul food, the phrase "I am cool," ESPN, playing basketball, and Menace II Society; black women's lists were headed up by soul food, The Color Purple, the phrase "god-fearing," gospel, and Alicia Keys. The profiles of black people were also twice as likely on average to mention religion in their profiles.
The lists for latinos and latinas had some very interesting similarities: "Music and dancing--merengue, bachata, reggaeton, salsa--are obviously very important to Latinos of both genders. The men have two other fascinating things going on: an interest in telling you about their sense of humor (i'm a funny guy, very funny, outgoing and funny, etc.) and an interest in industrial strength ass-kicking (mma, ufc, boxing, marines, etc.). Basically, if a Latin dude tells you a joke, you should laugh."
Both Asian men and women on OKCupid overwhelmingly chose a variant of "I'm simple" in their self-description - the phrase was #2 for Asian men and #3 for Asian women in their lists. Asians also came up with the second highest rating of sophistication in the language of their profiles - right behind Indian.
One last thing for the drag queens: on the subject of cosmetics, Rudder asserts that "White women show off their eyes (mascara is #5 on their list), black women show off their lips (lip gloss, #7), Latinas show off both (mascara, #18 / lip gloss, #22). Asian women, however, show off their practicality (lip balm, #48)."
So, what do you say, readers? Is this crazily racist, or an insightful look into what makes cultures distinctive?