A couple weeks ago, I happened to share a Global Times article titled, “When a Chinese Man Loves a White Woman”, which mentioned me and this blog. Naturally, it generated some conversation on social media. One of the comments came from a guy, asking why the author hadn’t mentioned the preponderance of male foreigners as a reason for the rarity of couples of Western women and Chinese men in China.
For those of you who don’t know, approximately 75 percent of the foreign population in China is in fact male.
It would be tempting to point to this gender imbalance as the primary explanation for why couples of Western women and Asian men are such a minority. But if you did, you’d be missing the big picture.
After all, this gender imbalance fails to explain why there are so few AMWF couples around the world, and why even Chinese American men don’t feel the love from their fellow Americans (see the essay “Are Asian Men Undateable?”). If Asian men who were born and raised in the West have it tough in the dating world, we could hardly expect better for Asian foreign men who come to the West for work or education.
I would argue, then, that even if the foreign population in China was equally split among gender – 50 percent female and 50 percent male – you would still see an imbalance in the interracial dating world in China. You would still see far more couples of Western men and Asian women, and far fewer couples of Western women and Asian men.
The reality is, prejudices and stereotypes are slow to fade. Even 50 years after the Loving versus Virginia US Supreme Court decision, interracial couples still feel the sting of discrimination from their fellow Americans (as reported by NPR). Meanwhile, Hollywood has an abysmal record when it comes to featuring interracial romance on the screen overall (and we’re not even talking about just AMWF couples here).
It’s going to take a lot more than enticing more foreign women to come to China to boost the numbers of Western women and Asian men in love over here.
P.S.: If you’re wondering why couples of Western women and Asian men are so rare, have a look at On the Rarity of Foreign Women and Chinese Boyfriends/Chinese Husbands. See also my piece for the Huffington Post titled Why Won’t Western Women Date Chinese Men?
18 Replies to “Are China’s AMWF Couples Rarer Just Because Only 25% of Foreigners in China Are Women?”
My life in a small US University town with a nearby twin (total pop. 40,000 students out of a total 60,000 people or so) shows dozens and dozens of Western Male – Asian Female couples while my husband and I are the only AMWF in the area. In fact, some of the biggest stares we get are from WMAF couples who seem to think we are quite unique.
Wow, Susan — thank you for sharing. Your experience is right in line with what I’ve observed in the US.
Even where my husband and I live (Los Angeles area), there are far more white men with Asian women than the reverse. But it is changing. Just in the past few years, I see a lot more AMWF couples.
But I do think Jocelyn’s post-provoking commenter had a point — the smaller the population, the less likely you are to see a member of that population out in public. And then the general population isn’t likely to see interracial dating as an option. In a place with tremendous diversity — like Los Angeles or Washington, D.C. — there are so many races and so many more interracial couples, there’s a precedent. In snow white Nowhere, New Hampshire? Not so much.
Thanks for the comment Autumn. Good to know there are more AMWF couples in the LA area.
Yes, the commenter did have a point in that respect. Thank you for pointing that out!
Actually, from my personal observations in Hollywood it’s American woman/ colored male that are pretty rare. Heck, one of the reasons I stopped watching TV shows is because I was tired of them making me feel bad about myself. I also rarely see relatable Jewish women as love interests, but there are plenty of Jewish men with other love interests. Hollywood is a wrong place to seek and to demand true diversity beyond the black and white dichotomy. For a safe place, books are the only answer.
Thanks Sveta! So true that books are the best place to find diversity.
Made me laugh, Sveta. It’s true, Hollywood feels hopeless. The majority of the writers and show runners are white males, and quite a few of them are Jewish. So, yeah, plenty of unworthy Jewish men get the hot female leads (of all colors) in TV and movies. I think of it as the Judd Apatow effect.
LOL, love that! 🙂
I’m in America and we have the same bias here BIG time. It is a struggle that surpasses what I ever imagined possible!!!
Thanks for the comment Julie!
The number of male foreigners in China is definitely NOT the reason why there are so many foreign men with Chinese women and so few Chinese men with foreign women. The reason is pretty obvious, but not pleasant to talk about. Maybe my comment will get deleted by Jocelyn, but I will talk about it anyway.
The main reason is that many East Asian and Southeast Asian women are so desperate for the white male genitals that these women have absolutely ZERO standards when it comes to white men. They will throw themselves at any white male they can find. The men know this, and this is why there are so many of them going to Asia/China, resulting in more foreign men than foreign women.
When recently, I decided to “revisit the online AMWF “scene,” I thought it would be again, mostly about seeing “cute” pictures of couples and reading stories from people discussing the challenges of maintaining relationships amid cultural/social differences. I didn’t think much about what I considered an “irrelevant” issue regarding this so-called “gender imbalance.” I can say, truthfully, that among my Filipino and other Asian friends, we have never ever discussed the topic, not even once. It was only this year, upon frequenting these AMWF sites, that I realized some people apparently considered it a “problem.” Referring again to myself as a “short, average-looking” Asian-American guy, I can say with utmost certainty, that if I walked into a singles gathering tonight and approached the most attractive women–of any race, hoping to secure a “date,” I would likely be rejected ten-out-of-ten times….And frankly, I see nothing wrong with that! Serves me right for acting in a way that is completely out-of-character. Besides, I also consider that to be “rude” behavior. So I really have no issue with ladies who supposedly “don’t date” Asian guys–or anyone, in particular–for whatever reason. These women are not depriving them–including me, of anything that we are reportedly entitled to….Incidentally, I do consider myself “undateable,” only because I am simply “not available.”
As a white woman in China I always assumed it was because Chinese men found us unattractive.
Thank you for the comment. There are men here who don’t want to date us, so that could be factor.
I admit, prior to my romantic relationship with a White woman, I never had the slightest interest in interracial dating and marriage. None whatsoever. And prior to that, the closest I ever got to falling “madly in love” and wanting to marry involved a Philippine girl (unfortunately, she wanted someone else). Indeed, I think that applies to the majority of men of Asian-descent, whether in that part of the world or abroad. Now, having a “no-strings-attached “sexual liaison with an attractive” non-Asian woman is a completely different matter, altogether….You should find plenty of guys, interested….Now, some people might object to that, but that’s just plain reality….
Thank you for sharing ManilaMemories!
Uh, I would normally avoid making hasty generalizations….I certainly believe that a lot of Western women are viewed as “attractive,” but not enough to spark “interest” in the eyes of many Asian guys, myself included. I’ve encountered numerous examples of such women, and while I admired their physical beauty, I had absolutely no intention nor desire for any sort of romantic relationship, whatsoever.
And I also prefer to treat the issue as involving people on a one-on-one basis, but there seems to be tendency by some to jump to erroneous conclusions based on demographic social trends that they find “problematic,” and the one of the most often cited (based on my observation) is the ratio between AMWF vs. AFWM marriage rates or anything related….And furthermore, it appears to attract some of the most vulgar and disgusting comments targeting individuals who apparently have done nothing wrong….Seriously, how can those who date and marry according to personal preferences be deserving of any sort of vilification….Why, just because one’s choices do not meet the approval of some anonymous, third-party busybody? SMH Indeed, but Chinese men and other Asian males DO get to choose, as well–and the rarity of AMWF couples in China (and I am assuming that this the case throughout all of Asia) as well as in the United States, does reflect this….Incidentally, I am reminded of an article published in the New York Times back in 2012, entitled “For Asian-American Couples, a Tie that Binds.” It discusses a “noticeable” decline in the rate of interracial marriages involving Asians in contrast to national trends that were and presumably still are moving in the opposite direction….
Journalist Rachel L. Swarns offers a much more plausible explanation for this demographic pattern: Increased immigration over the past several decades–dramatically expanding the number of Asians available for marriage and dating….So if relevant social sites like EastMeetEast are any indication, Asian men and women increasingly seek out those similar to themselves. And what’s wrong with that? It is also worth noting that oftentimes, Asian women equal and surpass other racial groups in terms of physical attractiveness, intelligence, personality, character, earning capacity, and educational attainment…. With that in mind, I think it is valid to say that the Justin Chans (author: Are Asian Men ‘Undateable?’) and Alex Tizons (author: Big Little Man) of the world, remain a small, albeit vocal minority.
…… They usually like Chinese women… To be honest If you’re a white woman. Some Chinese men like white women（About 10% ） But if you’re a south Asian woman and an African woman. 99% Chinese men Don’t like south Asian women and African women.