Mobile Dating Apps and Racial Preferencing Insights: Exploring Self-Reported Racial Preferences and Behavioral Racial Preferences Among Gay Men Using Jack’d
This study quantitatively explored racial preferencing behavior among American and Australian men on Jack’d, a gay dating app. Self-reported racial preferences found on users’ written profiles were compared with behavioral racial preferences accessed through the app’s “insight” feature, representing users’ actual behaviors. Data of 705 users from Los Angeles and 463 users from Sydney were collected. Findings show that while inclusionary racial preferencing was more prevalent than exclusionary racial preferencing, expressions of racial preference on profiles were uncommon overall. Looking at the behavioral data, the study reveals that Asian men were the most preferred mates among Asian and White users in both cities, whereas Black men were the most preferred among Black and Hispanic users in Los Angeles. Together, these findings suggest that some forms of racial hierarchies still operate in terms of actual behaviors on Jack'd. We argue that these findings have implications for the ways that gay dating apps approach the challenges of developing inclusive services.