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Notably, we find that conservatives are not any more exacting than liberals on non-race attributes.
Conservatives, that is, are not simply more selective in general, but rather exhibit a specific interest in race.
To address this concern, we further examined how people behaved on the site, specifically looking at which member photos users ultimately decided to click on (so that they could read that member’s full profile).
Under this behavioral measure, we find that conservatives are still much more likely than liberals to click on photos of members who are the same race as them.
Finally — and somewhat surprisingly — even though men and women claim to have very different race preferences, they in fact behave quite similarly, clicking on members of their own race at roughly the same rate.
Each individual in our sample answered a variety of questions about themselves, including specifying their race, political ideology, age, education, income, height, and body type.
Turning to the question of racial preferences and political ideology, the plot also shows that conservatives, especially women, are substantially more likely than liberals to state a preference for a partner of their own race.
Specifically, conservative white women are about 30% more likely to express a preference for same-race partners than their liberal counterparts (56% vs. Similar patterns hold for black women and white men, though the effect is not as pronounced.
The plot below shows same-race preferences, broken down by sex, race, and political ideology.
Strikingly, even among political moderates, the majority (52%) of white women declare at least a weak (“nice to have”) preference to date someone of their own race.