3 Stereotypes About Asian Men I’m Tired Of Hearing

My marriage to a Chinese man wasn’t just the culmination of a beautiful love affair. It also kicked off the start of a new education for me, his white American wife. A true initiation into the world of racism, prejudice, and all of those unfortunate stereotypes I wish Westerners didn’t have about Asians, including Asian men.

Here are 3 stereotypes about Asian men that I’m tired of hearing:

#1: Asians = great at computers

I can’t tell how many times people have told me, “Wow, your husband is SO great with computers!”

Whenever I hear that, I want to flash them a painful grimace. As if I just witnessed that person step right into a big, smelly pile of…you know.

Seriously, people. Just because my husband knows how to delete the trash files from your iPad – and is Asian — doesn’t mean he’s the almighty computer guru. In fact, I’m the one who troubleshoots our tech problems, from deciphering error messages on the PC to configuring a complicated wifi network at home.

Being Asian doesn’t automatically make someone a wizard at things like math, science and medicine. But if you think otherwise, that definitely makes you naïve.

#2: Asian men are short

True story. An academic in America once had the audacity to tell my husband Jun, “All Asians are short, right?”

Cue face in palm.

You know, it’s easy to see a couple like Jun and me together, and then draw that kind of conclusion. But once again, you’re mucking around in stereotypes, as Alex Tizon reminds us in his wonderful memoir Big Little Man:

Are all Asian people small, and have they always been so?

The answer to both questions is no — a fact commonly known among educated Asians and Westerners who have traveled widely through Asia….

Today, the giant men of the Chinese national basketball teams, whose centers are among the tallest in the world, almost all come from northern and central China. The former Houston Rockets standout center Yao Ming is seven foot six, which even among tall nationalities is aberrantly tall…. Up until 2009, both the tallest man and the tallest women in the world hailed from northern and central China…. The tallest woman on record, Zeng Jelling, who died in 1982, was eight foot one.

Anecdotal records indicate that, during the time of the first waves of Chinese migration to America, men of northern China averaged about five foot seven, with a fair number exceeding six feet. This would have been roughly equivalent to the height of white male conscripts in the U.S. Army and many European immigrants of the time.

Now you know. (P.S.: I highly recommend Alex Tizon’s memoir Big Little Man – check out my interview with him from a few years back.)

#3: Any question about the size of an Asian man’s penis

Who in the Asian community – or in an interracial relationship with someone Asian — hasn’t heard this lamest of all stereotypes? It’s right on par with toilet humor, and ought to be flushed into oblivion.

I’ve noticed that, by and large, it’s men who seem content to hurl this one into conversations. Usually anonymously, in a really seedy Internet hangout. Or in a typo-ridden comment… the kind that ends up in your spam folder.

In my opinion, any guy who goes around speculating about the size of someone’s manhood already has serious inferiority issues. Or just needs to get a life.

I love what Ranier of The Love Life of an Asian Guy wrote a few years back on this:

…to my Asian brothers out there: don’t give any guy, girl, or internet troll two seconds of your time when they joke about your dick. Your wang is the wangiest of all wangs. Keep it up, hold it proud, and use it wisely. After all, 60% of the world’s population is Asian which means one thing: we may have a negative stereotype about our shlongs, but at least we’re getting laid.


What stereotypes are you tired of hearing?

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33 Replies to “3 Stereotypes About Asian Men I’m Tired Of Hearing”

  1. ????????????????????
    My husband is 6’0 and he is not even the tallest in the family. My husband is an interior designer and is very creative. Stfu on the stereotypes.

    My husband’s former boss in Shanghai, China is from Shandong province (if I remember correctly, my memory is bad) and she is taller than my husband. ???? She said she is typical height from that region.

  2. I look up to my husband in all ways! My highest heels have nothing on him. He is tall, handsome, and I have no complaints in the most personal aspects of our marriage. Anyone who dares make any implications has learned the difficult way with me. I am proud of my Chinese husband every second of every day!

  3. One stereotype I heard a lot is, western women are very wild in the sex and Asian men are supposed to have low self-esteem with their small penis. They generally think AMWF couples would be embarrassed in sex. But this is so unreasonable!

      1. I think those stereotypes are often the result of our porn-saturated culture….I know for a fact that there are women who experience discomfort having sex with a guy of “regular” size…..How else do people get these erroneous ideas from? Same thing with women of any race who get immersed in K-dramas/K-Pop or any other form of East Asian popular entertainment….They develop pre-conceived notions based mostly on exposure to popular media….

  4. you are sooooo right! I had girlfriends who, very shyly, asked me that question: but, is it true that…?! arghhh, there are also stereotypes about us though that I heard or felt a lot in China. Like that Western girls are all sluts (sorry for the straightforwardess) and that we are rich. So, every culture has its limits and prejudices.

  5. Ugh I hate penis stereotype… and unfortunately I have encountered it way too often for my liking from former girlfriends to my own parents…most unfortunately, baby’shower father falls into negative stereotypes although we are no longer together. I did try going out with him for two years, but it was a hopeless situation. ( very cold, workaholic, did not like nor care for sex, had no normal social life, etd.)

  6. Yeah, unfortunately my Chinese-American husband totally hits the math/ computer stereotype. He’s got a masters in engineering and cyber security, and anything mathematical is damned easy for him.

    But this is also true of my own uber white Baby Brother.

    Height? I laugh. I’m way above average height and my husband is several inches taller than I am.

    As for the wang thing? Anytime any man brings that up, I’m all, “Dude. Your white insecurity is showing and it ain’t pretty.”

      1. Well, as I have mentioned previously, I believe it’s more about porn-induced “insecurity” and related “performance anxiety.” I admit that years ago, I once bought into all that nonsense. Even though I am “average” through-in-through, the “problem” I recall having at one time during a past relationship was a somewhat mismatched sex drive when she wanted to do it more than I.

  7. http://www.businessinsider.com/habits-of-self-made-millionaires-2016-3/#1-they-read-consistently-1

    One important thing to improve life and be successful dissociate yourself from negative force ( message, information,people). Bombarded with negative and pathetic information can make a person clinically depressed and suicidal.

    Bad people and bad things are part of life. But you can not be obsessed with them. Just imagine someone who keep bring up and remind you bad thing in your life. That is pretty evil.

    Move on from bad experience. Move on from bad messengers.

    Charlie Munger said well that he refused to think himself as victim. Victimhood is very destructive.

  8. When I tell people I prefer Asian men, physical stereotypes come up, I just give them the resting bitch face, like why go there regardless…

  9. I must make an admission. When I first started getting close to my husband, I had this idea that he would be very mild. Mild in an intimate way. I also thought that since I was the American blue eyed, blonde hair, “full chested” woman, I would have to be aggressive (I am not). I considered these stereotypes about both of us! Of course, not true. My husband is a confident man and I didn’t have to try and be something I am not. So, essentially, I am a very satisfied wife. I even make fun of this stereotype after a particularly good “workout”. Lol. I say, “I am the American who discovered truth, but I need to do some more research. “

  10. I know you get a lot of tall guys in the North (and those that have migrated south), but the average Chinese guy that is from southern China is quite short compared to western men.

    1. @Sisly

      I am not sure about it.

      The two Chinese basketball players who played in the NBA are from southern China. Yi jian lian from Guangdong privince and Yao ming from Jiangsu province.

  11. My husband is from Fuzhou in Southern China and he is taller than me in any heels I wear. I’m am American from Finland that is above average in height. My husband Kongfeng aka “King Kong “. Ahhh. Fitting alias.

  12. I really think “size” fixation is mainly a “Western” phenomenon, and mostly in the U.S. and as I observed before, it’s likely porn-induced. Living in Asia for part of my life, it’s rare or non-existent to hear such talk about “bigger being better” at least, among the guys I’ve talked to….But I know that some Asian women joke about it when describing “Western” genitalia, but not in a positive manner especially among those who are fairly conservative and have no history of sexual promiscuity and or “massive” exposure to Western pornography…..

  13. A lot of that hardcore stuff is truly harmful in the way that they corrupt the minds of those who view the material. Some might not be aware of this, but it is not just limited to the visuals. It is also verbally communicated to its audience that guys with a “smaller package” (almost always shown to be white males) are “inferior” and you see the white girls in these videos telling you how much they “love” being with men who are “large” down there, and oftentimes, it’s with multiple guys. I would say it’s prevalent with those exposed to interracial BMWF porn. Incidentally, the noticeable lack of Asian males involved in Western porn also contributes to the “Asian guys with a “small package” stereotype coupled with recent research studies that measure average male sizes among different racial groups.

    So just imagine being someone from a different culture and ethnic background whose general exposure to others of another race is largely limited to hardcore porn.

  14. A few observations:

    A “big heart” can more than make up for an “average/small package.”

    A man who can make a woman “happy” outside the bedroom should have no problems making a woman “happy” inside the bedroom.

    I think guys should view being in an “exclusive dating arrangement” as a “training ground” for a much longer-term and usually formal relationship (i.e. “marriage”) and they have to adjust their lives and schedules, accordingly. They need to realize that this may evolve into something akin to a 24/7 commitment even before a formal exchange of vows. Understand that there are no “short-cuts.” And there is no such thing as being just a “fair-weather” BF unless your intentions are less than “noble.”

    I think the “secret” to a successful, long-term romantic relationship lies in the ability to empathize with the one you love and to express that through care, compassion, and kindness towards that special someone who shares those traits.

  15. Thanks, Julie. Yes, I have heard others make similar references, so I guess I must be on the right track…:) But anyhow, it actually took me awhile to finally figure things out that which included a bit of soul-searching, learning from relationship mistakes in the past, understanding what I did “wrong” and also what I did “right.” Plus trying to study and identify the tensions between men in women in committed relationships and to see how one can alleviate that…. Incidentally, I have come to the realization that a lot of these problems stem from a lack of empathy on the male side and a refusal or reluctance of guys to adapt their behaviors in ways that benefit a relationship….So I can understand that saying about how “women want to ‘change’ their men,” but I will also advise the ladies to focus on those who have already begun the process of “changing” and are moving in ways conducive to long-term relationship success….Don’t be the starting point; these guys should already have been well on their way before they embarked on a relationship with you….

    Now, I am sure some might “accuse” me of advocating that guys become a “doormat” to their GF/wives, but nothing could be further from the truth. What I am saying is that men need to learn and experience doing much of the “heavy lifting” for the sake of maintaining relationship stability way before it becomes “permanent”….They have to assume “leadership” by assuming a lot of the responsibility of making their relationships work, much of that being about how in-tune they are with their GF/wives’ feelings and emotions, corresponding with figuring out the best ways for guys to respond. Like I said before, this could evolve into a 24/7 commitment and you men should be ready to roll up your sleeves and do the job, right. Yes, there is a lot of work involved but isn’t it worth doing for the sake of the relationship and making your women happy?

  16. You are completely correct! My husband and I never try to culturally re-route each other. We listen, learn, and adapt. Actually, we don’t try to re-route each other in general. My husband had an “American” name he would go by when I met him. I never have used it. He is Kong Feng. That is the man I love. Kong Feng from China who needs no alternative personality. He is perfect in his imperfection. All qualities he possesses are his. You love all of someone or you will love none. Now there is no longer an “Evan”. Evan isn’t necessary when a Kong Feng exists. My husband prefers the name his mother lovingly gave him. So do I.

  17. Indeed, Julie, what I love about you and Kong Feng is the fact that you both apparently put your marriage first…There seems to be a great deal of empathy between you both; you are so in-tune to each other, a characteristic so lacking in many a relationship these days….A lack of empathy, for example, is why oftentimes, a marriage dissolves when one person leaves, leaving the other spouse completely off-guard and bewildered….I think of the movie “Kramer vs. Kramer” as an example….

    Incidentally, I also detected a growing empathy between Zhao and Saara based on his post, and what he said about how they both learned to settle their differences amicably rather than putting their relationship at risk.

  18. As the economy have been developing,our life standards have a great improvement. The height is higher than before. The average height and weight The northern Chinese than southern Chinese This is true Beijing tianjin Qingdao shenyang dalian xian shijiazhuang, changchun, Harbin jinan VS Shanghai guangzhou shenzhen nanjing wuhan chongqing chengdu suzhou hangzhou Fuzhou

  19. There’s too much difference between our heights. My father was born in 1961 i was born on June, 17th, 1992 I come from Yantai, Shandong Province Real GDP per capita 316 yuan in 1978 2112yuan in 1992 9326 yuan in 2000 39170 yuan in 2010 $ 10000 in 2016 About 68978RMB 16 to 18 years old average height is 171.10cm in 1985 statistical data (300 boys) 173.57cm in 1995 (217 boys) 176.37cm in 2010 (251boy)

  20. Qingdao is the big city in Shandong (2016 )Capita gdp 115959RMB = 16811.0122 Dollar Western women think Asian men are short Our country used to be poor We have nothing to eat. but now the life of people more and more rich You will see many tall Asian men in the future

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