SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Heterosexual dating partner preferences were examined in a multi-ethnic context. Four groups at UCLA were studied: Asian Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans, and Euro Americans. Participants completed surveys asking them to rate a ‘typical/hypothetical’ opposite-sex member for each of the four ethnic groups on physical attractiveness, similarity, social network approval, status, and desirability as a dating/marriage partner; social identification with the ethnic ingroup was also assessed. Members of all four ethnic groups demonstrated some degree of ethnocentrism on most measures (especially partner preferences) by rating opposite-sex members of their own group higher than outgroup members rated them; however, Asians and Latinos rated opposite-sex Whites as more physically attractive than typical members of their own group, and Latinos and Blacks rated Whites and Asians as higher status. Overall, Whites received more favourable ratings than any of the three minority groups. Regression analyses indicated that social network approval (by far), similarity, and physical attractiveness were (in that order) the most powerful predictors of ethnocentrism in partner preferences. Avenues of integration and interpretation between theories of inter-personal attraction and intergroup relations were considered, including the dimensionality of ingroup favouritism, and the need for stronger consideration of social influence in theories of intergroup relations.