Stereotypes About Couples of Chinese Men-Western Women

This post exploring stereotypes is a collaboration with Gerald Schmidt. We wondered about the idea of stereotypes in Chinese-Western couples — how are they different, and who has it harder? Read Gerald’s take on the Chinese man-Western woman pairing.


Couples of Chinese men and Western women are so rare, so unstereotypical, you might think we’re immune to stereotypes altogether.

Well, we may not have “yellow fever” — but, in some circles, we’re not such a “healthy” idea.

So, what are those stereotypes, and how do they affect Chinese men and Western women who love each other?

She’s his mistress

Rachel DeWoskin wrote in Foreign Babes in Beijing:

“I love you! What are we waiting for?” Jiexi [the American seductress] cried. And in this line, she hurled her Westernness at Tianming; he and the audience would instantly understand her lacerating style of seduction and wanton disregard for the sanctity of marriage as typically American….Jiexi was an import, after all, and with her came all kinds of temptation and corruption.

So when you put Western women and Chinese men together, some Chinese imagine we’re no more than his mistress — as they say in Chinese, the disanzhe (第三者) or ernai (二奶) — or the ultimate one-night stand. We’re not marriage material, but we’ll give him “a good roll in the sack.”

Sometimes, we’re even mistaken for prostitutes. Past expat female friends of mine recounted onlookers muttering “Russian prostitute” as they walk by.

It sullies the whole idea of Chinese men-Western women relationships, discouraging many Chinese men from even giving Western women a shot. But, of course, Western women don’t even need to be in a relationship to realize the problem, as Jessica reminds us:

Almost any foreign woman who has been in China for any length of time will have come across the stereotypical attitude from certain people – from the guys at the club who assume you’re theirs for the asking, to the co-worker who asks if foreign women all sleep around after marriage, to the guy who asks you out and wonders out loud if he’ll be able to satisfy your voracious sexual appetite, to your Chinese boyfriend’s parents, who tell him that you can play with foreign girls, but they aren’t marriage material.

She’s the new bling for Chinese men

One of the Western women interviewed in a study about their opinions on Chinese men had this to say:

Those men with Western girlfriends or wives will brag about them, as if these women were a BMW.

To many Chinese, having a foreign girlfriend or wife is the best bling money can’t buy. Like cruising in a BMW or popping open a bottle of Moet (part of the worship of all things foreign in China, chóngyángmèiwài or 崇洋媚外) , we suggest he’s truly “made it.”

With a foreign woman by his side, that Chinese man casts a powerful aura around the world in China. People  crown him as lihai (厉害, awesome), gaping in awe at his good fortune — and his social status soars.

Reminds me of this one interview I accompanied my Chinese husband to in Shanghai, 2009. He was gathering information for a research project; I just came along to help him run some errands, and had to tag along. But the interviewee, a leading psychologist in a hospital, interrupted the dialogue, praising me in wonder — as he eyed my husband with envy. Later, John confessed he brought me along as insurance, knowing he’d get more respect with a foreign wife by his side. (So much for credentials, eh?)

She’s just not hot enough to get a Western guy

If you’ve visited any expat forum on China, you know the insidious narrative that comes from, sadly, some of our fellow Westerners (usually in language I’d rather not print here). She just wasn’t hot enough to land a Western guy back home, so she had to settle for a Chinese.

The thing is, this isn’t just another anonymous, asinine idea on the Internet — it’s perpetuated by popular culture in the West, as this excerpt from The Asian Mystique shows:

The trumping of Asian masculinity by Western virility is clear in this exchange between Jackie Chan and co-star Chris Tucker in RushHour 2 (2001), a Hollywood movie that Chan fans in Asia disliked. Both men are comedic actors in these roles, but in no way does Tucker view Chan as a credible rival for the affections of a beautiful white woman.

Tucker: She picked me because I’m tall, dark and handsome, and you’re Third World ugly.
Chan: Women like me. They think I’m cute, like Snoopy.
Tucker: Snoopy is six inches taller than you.

And some women, sadly, agree:

“My vast knowledge of the Asian male was based on John Hughes movies and influenced by the regional racism toward Japanese at the time, so I’d already made my decision regarding Asian men; I just wasn’t attracted to them.”

“Society still makes women feel self-conscious about saying they like Asian features, or particularly, Asian guys, so even if they do, they won’t let their attraction out in public.”

But, as David Nghiem points out in the same piece, this isn’t some “universal phenomenon”:

“Outside of the ‘anglosphere’ — North America, England, Australia and New Zealand — things are completely different. Asian men are in general seen as dateable, sexy and interesting. Most of the world has their own media, in their own languages and subtleties, and Hollywood’s attempts to spread stereotypes about Asian men and their sexuality literally stops at the anglosphere’s edge, simply because the rest of the world doesn’t understand it and doesn’t care.”

Meanwhile, beautiful Western women somehow manage to find their way into the arms of Asian — and Chinese — men.

Beyond definition

John never saw me as another one-night stand, or some pretty thing to show off. And he sure wasn’t some last-chance for love. He’s my soulmate, and I’m his — that special someone to complement, support and love you for the rest of your life.

Chances are, we’ll have to put up with those stereotypes — and the accompanying looks, stares and judgments — for the rest of our lives. But we don’t have to encourage them. Every time someone gets to know us, and know the truth, those stereotypes collapse to the ground — only to make way for a much sounder reality: that we’re just people, and we’re beyond simple definition.

How about you? What stereotypes have you experienced or observed? If you’re a Chinese or Asian man, or a Western woman, how have they affected you?

58 Replies to “Stereotypes About Couples of Chinese Men-Western Women”

  1. re: the “not hot enough to get a Westerner” stereotype…

    no doubt people use this in reference to expat women, but I’ve only heard it, and I hear it routinely, in reference to expat ‘men’ (grown-up word for males used loosely here). In my experience, a much louder stereotype is that the Western deadbeats that come to China and chase women do so because women in their home countries aren’t interested in them (due to their looks, social awkwardness, lack or earning potential, pervy-ness, whatever). In China they have a much easier time, obviously. I can think of specific guys who are ‘successful’ with Chinese girls who embody this stereotype.

    I know some Western girls dating or married to Chinese guys who *don’t* fit this stereotype, though, meaning they’d be rated high by guys in North America as well. Don’t know any who would fit the stereotype you described, but then again, they kind of girls are rare, as you said.

    I have huge issues with the ideas and ideologies of Hollywood and certainly don’t want to defend it, but I think there’s much more to the Asian man stereotype than just Hollywood. Also, if we’re going to bring Hollywood into it, why not specifically bring up Chinese-American authors like Amy Tan (Joy Luck Club) — I’ve seen the worst portrayals of Chinese men from authors like her.

  2. Personally I like it when people mistake me for a Russian prostitute when I’m out with my Chinese husband. I mean at my age and after having 2 kids, I take that as a huge compliment.

    But I’m probably weird. 🙂

  3. I think stereotype only exist in someone’s mind. But I do believe the movie of Hollywood sometimes gave some different image than the normal image of another culture’s men or women. Because watching a movie just like reading a book, you will never know what the real thing is, what the real man is or what the real woman is. To most of my Chinese friends, mainly male, western women are like desirable monster, well i dont know how they have such a idea. Because probably that is how you call stereotype from the perspective of my Chinese male friends. At least, in the point of view of most Chinese men think that Chinese women are the best wife in the world, because they care more about their family than western women. As Chinese men might think that western women focus on their personality rather than a family. Well, not all the western women looks like that, right? And not all the Chinese women are good wife, right? One example can not stand for the whole community. Rational thinking will bring us more deeper thought rather than judge something by the stereotype.

    I might say something wrong here, but I believe you can not say what I say here is not right.

  4. I’ve often wondered what goes on in people’s minds when they see my fiance and I. I know the initial thought is surprise, simply because it’s not common, but it’s interesting to hear what they might also be thinking after the shock wears off!

    My experience is that people most often assume he is my translator. 🙂

  5. I used to get the translator thing a lot — I wrote a blog post about it once a long time ago after this woman kept going on and on about my “translator” at the post office. This was after we pulled up together on our motorbike, me riding behind him, about 8 months pregnant with our first. Some people just don’t stop to think before they open their mouths.

    Here in Beijing I get the Russian thing a lot, they probably assume I’m a mistress or a prostitute or something, who knows! It used to bug me a lot but I figure it is probably because there are so many Russians in this part of the country and I have the right coloring, blonde, light eyes.

    I’ve also heard the comment that xiaoheng made above, about how we Westerners make bad wives because we don’t care about family. Which is so untrue, we just show our care for our families in entirely different ways in our cultures. This one used to bug me a lot too but you know, and if I’m honest, sometimes it still does, but at the end of the day getting worked up about people who believe these sorts of things is just not worth my time and energy. I guess the lives we’re are all quietly proving the stereotypes wrong.

  6. I get the Russian thing too (I’m blonde, blue-eyed). It’s insulting (no offense to Russians because I’ve met some lovely ones) because they just don’t think or care (the people that say this). But imagine if we called them Japanese (with how much Chinese people hate the Japanese). It’s the same thing. You don’t want to be mistaken for someone from a country so vastly different to your own.

    And the translator thing too times that I’ve actually been with Chinese guys. (Haha, as if I’d ever pay money for a translator in China, everyone here wants to be your translator for free).

    I love the Rush Hour quote, but seriously 成龍 isn’t an example of a Chinese hunk. Haha. But I like his son. His son is totally cute. <3333 ::sigh::

    As forrrr the “not hot enough to get a Westerner” stereotype. I think this is a joke. Almost NO girl is “not hot enough to get a Westerner” with the amount of ugly desperadoes in our countries that would take anything with breasts and legs they can find. There is no woman I have ever met unable to get a man in our countries. A GOOD man, that is a different story, but a man ANY girl can do that. 😉
    And who knows, maybe there's more GOOD men in China. So they should think about that before they judge. 😉

  7. It seems that stereotypes about Chinese-Western relationships are quite similar, no matter who is the girl and who is the boy in that constellation. At least I have heard most of these arguments before in the context of Asian girl, Western guy relationships.

  8. I haven’t checked blogs in awhile (or blogged, for that matter. But I’m back at it now!) But I read this piece and just wanted to say thank you! Thankfully, we haven’t been confronted with any of these stereotypes. The thing I get a lot, though, is “why?” People ask me why I’m attracted to an Asian man. Really?! Is it really something that needs explaining? Love is love. Attraction is attraction. It’s that simple.

  9. Past expat female friends of mine recounted onlookers muttering “Russian prostitute” as they walk by.

    That’s not just stereotype. That’s already DOUBLE stereotype 🙂

  10. “Later, John confessed he brought me along as insurance, knowing he’d get more respect with a foreign wife by his side. (So much for credentials, eh?)”

    It doesn’t bother you that you are viewed as a trophy by your husband, by Chinese? That’s sick.

    1. Thanks for the comment Jane.

      I would say it’s more a case of an unfortunate situation. For his research, he had to reach out to academics to do interviews. Many of them were rude and refused to talk with him (even though he had been introduced to them through his contacts). While it is impossible to know exactly the reason why many academics did not want to help, one reason, for some, may have been the fact that they do not care to talk with him, simply because he is, in their eyes, just a lowly Chinese graduate student who doesn’t have value to them. He experienced similar problems this past summer at an International conference — many of the Chinese academics he approached to discuss research with acted disinterested around him, or would talk for a while but then suddenly get interested when they saw a “foreigner” (anyone who wasn’t Chinese).

      He was very concerned that some of these academics would “blow him off” or not respect him during the interviews — which was not an unfounded issue. And he knew that bringing me along would ensure some respect, in case he happened to meet academics who cared more about making “foreign contacts” than helping their Chinese brethren.

      Neither of us like the fact that Chinese will give him more respect simply because I am by his side. But we knew it would help, and we needed the interviews to go absolutely smoothly, because he had a very small window of time in which to do them (only about a month, half of the time we spent in China). So I accompanied him, just to make sure he would be respected.

      So that’s the story behind it.

      Personally, i think what’s sick is that a young Chinese PhD student like my husband, doing very meaningful work in his field, could have a hard time earning respect among other Chinese in his field based on his research and accumulated credentials.

  11. My guess is the “not hot enough” sterotype comes from the idea that most western women don’t see Asian men as attractive (in a physical sense) thus its assumed that those western women who are considered ugly by western men are a prize to chinese men and people go for what they can get. I think this one is applied to those old western men with chinese women as well.

    Columbia University did a study on racial preferences in dating I think you’ll find interesting:

    Columbia University — with research and editing assistance from Harvard University, MIT, and Stanford University — conducted a study on racial preferences in interracial dating. The study was conducted over a two-year period between 2004 and 2007, involving thousands of participants, and the latest draft of the report was published in “Racial Preferences in Dating” in May 2007.

    From the study:

    “For male partners, our main finding is that Asians generally receive lower ratings than men of other races. In fact, when we run the regressions separately for each race, we find that even Asian women find white, black, and Hispanic men to be more attractive than Asian men.”

    The final analysis is that women have a stronger preference for dating within their own race than men, but men still have a preference for dating within their own race. The exception is Asian women who, on average, have no preference against dating white men.

  12. PLEASE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN , DON’T GO BY THIS SURVEY / RESEARCH . Go out there and date/marry whoever you want to. You can date ASIAN MEN and any other men out there. Asian women culturally want men in general to take care of them that is why they have no preference against dating white men. If we keep on reading survey and sit on your ass , you will be a statistic ! I ignore all research on this Asian men thing research. Asian physically are smaller because of our diet and we are taught to focus education and making money and “maybe women will come along” . We are taugh to be POLITE. You know If you men and women out there keep on sterotyping on Asian men and only date/marry asian women ONLY, you’re hating , discrimmating and sterotyping the asian women’s fathers,too. “ASian men are weak asses , ugly, small , etc etc, that’s why nobody wants them”. You’re putting down those asian women families, ancestors , grandpas , fathers man. Listen , think first before we say something. I hope there will BE less sterotypes in White women and asian men. I REALLY SUPPORT white women/asian men relationship so there will be justice and equality in the western world!! Please ignore the Chinese MIL and move out and get married with your Chinese men. YOu don’t need Chinese MIL for approval. Asian Men should step up and stop sticking to this old tradition that you need his father or mother for approval !! I know I will ignore my mom if I believe in something. LISTEN TO THIS ASIAN MAN RIGHT HERE.

  13. You know asians are only made of 4% of U.S population and that consists of Japanese, CHinese , Vietnamese , Thai, Filipinos, Koreans in that 4%. I have noticed that people ( the majority , westerners) only talk about bad things or attributes on certain minorities only. People say that even you are big , tall and strong like a water buffalo, you will still be used by others.

  14. In order for a relationship to work out , don’t live with your Mother in laws or in laws. I don’t care if you’re asian, hispanic , blacks or white.

  15. I’m a married asian man . I have lots of knowledge regarding Chinese /Asian Mother in laws and Father in Laws and life in general because I work with people everyday. I see and hear things that normal people don’t hear about all the time. If you’re going to BAN asian men from dating/ marrying white women, you should BAN ASIAN WOMEN from marrying WHITE MEN , also!! I know majority of asian families and white families are HYPOCRITES ,also. Both whites and ASians are at fault . White families will say ” I can have you asian women but you can’t have our white women”. Asian families will say ” You can’t marry my sons , our bloodlines..but I don’t care about our daughters” In Asian culture, asian women are not that focused on regards to marriage , education but only this few decades. I hope everybody should listen to his/her own heart. Don’t go by societies.

    Thank you for listening to me .

  16. That survey was done by some white people to further brainwash those people with tiny brains like peanuts and spread all over the media and internet. Explain to me why the divorce rate in America is 50%? I thought White women have higher ratings with all other nationalities EXCEPT Asian men but look at the divorce rate man ? Is the the survey contradicting itself? ” I pick you as my partner because you’re attractive as hell . I love your physique. I love you. I love you. I love you 🙂 but I’m getting a divorce next week/month.Why baby ? 🙂 because we’re not compatible anymore ” Have you people heard about Bruce Lee ? He was discriminated and rejected by the U.S media/movies industries ( Hollywood) because he was ASIAN! To make the story short, after his death, the whole world wanted to find out and know more about this person called “Bruce Lee”.He is famous worldwide til now and beyond not because he is an Asian man. It’s because he broke the sterotype barrier and brought East and West together. Doesn’t matter if you white , blacks , red, green or alien , I will teach you JEt Kwon Do ( Kung Fu). Google Bruce Lee and read about what he had to go thru. Even until today, Asian men like Bruce Lee still get sterotyped in the media. The media still can’t believe that Asian men/women salaries are the HIGHEST in America. Do you believe that?I’m asian myself and I was surprised ,too. How come they don’t do a research/survey to kick Asian men all the way down to the bottom of the list when it comes to Income?? UC universities in California and other universities are dominated by Asians and they don’t want more Asians to be admitted . Why don’t they do any survey to kick out asian doctors, engineers , computer scientists etc due to poor work performance and put all those basketball , baseball , football players to do those “SISSY UNMANLY ” JOBS? In order to make assumption about Asian people , we need more data . Do you have close friends that are asian men/asian women? I still get sterotyped too my friend! I am 6’1″ 207lbs. bench press 315lbs incline , leg press 1000lbs. bounce my chest all the time. Make over 6 figures salaries a yr. I’m writing so much here because I want all you people to know that only judge a person by his/her character not by his/her own ethnicity or skin color!!!!!!!! I constantly have to talk/ educate people either my neighbors , friends , customers/clients to get a better understanding of each other cultures. . I strongly APPROVE white women/ asian men and white men/asian women relationship/marriage to balance out discrimination. You can’t have one group more than other group that will lead to more hatred toward another side. It’s called hypocrites.

  17. One stereotype came up this week at one of my boyfriends work parties. He was out with some Chinese workmates, a Chinese couple I had never met them. My boyfriend came home and told me my friends wife was very interested about you…. I was like oh why? Because she has never ever heard of an Irish girl dating a Chinese guy. and she asked some funny questions like “is she a bit silly? Why is she dating a Chinese guy and not an Irish guy?”

    I guess it relates to the “not hot enough for a western man.” but it really annoyed me. I don’t know what she was trying to infer but it felt like she was saying I must be mad for dating a Chinese guy and my boyfriend must be desperate for a visa to date me.

  18. Sarah,

    Please don’t be annoyed by those comments from anybody period. There will always be comments coming from any combinations of couples ( AMWF, WMAF, AMAF ,WMWF ,etc). Even Chinese men that are married to Vietnamese women have comments from Vietnamese people too like “why this Vietnamese woman doesn’t go with Vietnamese man, instead she goes with this CHinese man ( he also speaks Vietnamese )?” or vice versa. So Asians have sterotypes WITHIN Asians,too(Koreans, Japanese ,etc) . Lots of my Vietnamese male friends have Chinese wives, too. Chinese people sterotype Chinese people also depending on which parts of China you’re living. I have realized one thing in life. Comments from others will not kill you and people that “play” you will not kill you either. Only GOD “plays” you will kill you. NARROW MINDED people will have such comments to tell you the truth. Sarah, it’s wonderful that you see your bf as a person and not because he’s Chinese.

  19. Asian men are hot. You cant explain atraction. I like White and asian men. I dont feel atractted to black people (that doesnt mean i find theyre ugly, i just dont think about sex with them).
    Plus, i think half asian-half white people are an improveement in beauty, so lets marry and have beautiful babies 😛
    But returning to serious now, you marry who you like, and whom you feel attracted to, and nobody cant tell you what features to like, cause is something you cant rationalize.

  20. Is it just me or are there more Western woman- Chinese man couples in Beijing? It seemed that way, when I visited the capital last month. Anyway, here in Shanghai you certainly don’t see many of us.

    As for the streretypes, yes I too have been mistaken for a Russian prostitute when I’m out with my bf. And that is something I just don’t understand. I mean, I’m small and pretty and my bf is tall and handsome, so it’s not like we’re a mismatch couple consisting of an old fat guy and a hot young girl. Why would anyone assume I was a hooker?
    Another strange phenomenon is some Western men coming hitting on me whem I’m clearly out on a date with my Chinese bf. This never happened to me when I dated Western men. As one drunk Brit put it, “But you’re hot, why do you need to date Chinese guys?”
    This really left me speechless.

  21. Apple,

    Some western men are rude, have no respect for others. This kind of behavior was learned when they were young until now. Who would freaking look around to see hot taken women to tell them to you should not date “these kind of men”? Any men will get pissed if someone hit on their women and they do it in front of you ,too. What kind of scumbags are these people? If I see a hot Chinese woman with a White man, I will never ever in my lifetime will say “but you’re hot , why do you need to date White guys”!!!!It’s called privacy ( personal space), it’s none of anybody’s business. If this ever occur to me in front of my woman, depending on my mood and emotion, I might kick that guy’s ass. No matter how big or strong he is. You know in life, you can only push a person to the edge once or twice and you don’t know how you will react the next time. In Asian cultures, we always try to show respect for others even we don’t like what we see. If you have western men hitting on women like , they just want to get laid. I don’t think they want to have a healthy relationship or marriage PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Dont you realise what you just said was a contradiction to the article. Them walking around saying she’s a russian prostitute shows no respect at all..who would say something like that? Chinese…

  22. If men say something like that in front of you and your bf/husband, these kinds of men are indeed control freaks! Maybe it’s a game just to get you and once they have what they want it , they just fade away and go to the next target.

  23. Yes, that kind of behaviour is unacceptable and totally inappropriate. Just funny how we never encountered that type of Western men in Europe or the U.S. Seems there are more Western men behaving badly here in Shanghai!

  24. Do you know why? They are out of their ” comfort zone” and they think they are all that and a bag of chips but they’re not and they will put you on a roller coaster ride .They think they can be wild men again. People have to understand that the women have to reciprocate though . If those women listen to those phases and go for it, then these women have no brains and no substance. Having this kind of woman is like not having at all!! If I were that man, I would say ” please go and don’t ever call or come back again, no need to explain anything. Millions of other women will enjoy my qualities. Get the F… out of here ” Trust me she will call and come back and then you go for the finale , close the door and throw the phone in the trash can ( because she left you for a freaking stranger for some “fun” and now she realized that other man lacked qualities , only about fun etc). I have heard in the past and my Chinese friends and I have done similar techniques and they did work . Normally,a Chinese man will not take back his woman regardless of race when she’s at fault. I know a few stories personally but I won’t tell here. darn it :(. When men say that directly to you on a date regardless of race, does that make you think about their characters? Smart women are looking for quality mates nowadays.If a person just thinks about playing around without commitment then that’s fine. You know what you get into. In some cities, when a man steals another man’s woman, both man and woman shall be drown to dead in a cage or the whole village will come over and murder you if they want to. That’s in the past but don’t know if they practice that in Indonesia. I don’t know maybe in Western society , they like to celebrate Spring Break( drinking and picking up chicks or picking up dudes and don’t think about what’s going to happen tomorrow. Just plain fun. just like college yrs). It’s all about fun( dating around) for some men! Do you think Western women will say the same ? ” Why you need to date Chinese girls? date me ” I think Western men watch too much movies regarding Asian men. We don’t open our mouth, but in our mind we really want to hurt those people who are so rude. Maybe Western men think they’re arrogant ,taller and heavier so they can intimidate or bully Chinese men ? You know that once you’re being bully all the time, you will snap at a certain point. The bullies will get hurt really bad somehow , some way. Anyway, I hate how men think or act out their regardless of countries or race!!! Can we all get along w/o hatred ? 🙂 Please show some respects out there!

  25. Asian men are always being deteriorate in western media and movies, it reflects the insecurity of white males(particularly those love both white women and Asian women).

    In Hollywood movies, Asian men are portraited as rats, white men are portriated as good looking hero and whom the women will finally fall in love. Not only in movies, but also daily living in Western countries you as an Asian male(particularly if you’re good looking) can feel this kind of jealousy and hates from white males. Its common to see white men dating Asian women, but when white girls date Asian guys, racist react from white men(it doesn’t happen the other way around dunno why, probably because many still have the white race superiority thinking inside)

  26. You guys can search on all the websites in America and you will find more white males than asian males are looking for Asian females not vice versa. Maybe asian males don’t look for dates on the internets?

  27. I am ABC with a very light skinned girlfriend with almost pure eastern Europe descendent. ( reason I mention that is because you know some of the negative “mail order” bride of EE woman) even though she is fully American in manner and obviously isn’t green card chasing since she was born here.

    I have never been back to China yet with her, but I have gone to many Chinatowns in the US since we both love the food. Def. see a lot of stares. Especially, when she’s all dressed up on our outings.

    Wonder what people will think when we do go to China?

  28. LOl Funny article. I am Singaporean Born Chinese and I lived my life through out in the Netherlands and I dated all my life with brunets, blond girls. At the end who cares if your black / brown / white or yellow?

  29. This is the same thing I encounter with having a Korean boyfriend. Except there is the whole extra set of stereotypes because of popularity of K-pop and Korean drama. I wrote a post about it recently.

    In a way, we have to deal with both the stereotypes that western women dating Asian men deal with, plus the same stereotypes western men deal with when dating Asian women – yellow fever and such.

  30. I have a Chinese-American girlfriend, an African-American girlfriend, a Moroccan girlfriend, and a Ukrainian girlfriend. I travel extensively and find that my preferences in woman are quite extensive.

    The most important issue is the quality of the relationship.

    1. i doubt it bro, wheres your money and status? No pictures to show either and you’re name linked to viagra LOL. If your from america dose are the only 2 things I swing arund with me being fit and a $90000 sallary, and the only 2 things il ever need here. If you’re from the states, upload dem facebook and instagram or stfu.

  31. I think the blame should fall equally on both sides for bringing people up with these stereotypes about one another. It is important to go into such a situation with clear eyes and an open mind. You cannot know a culture or race just by possibly knowing a Korean man for example. You have to experience the people and the culture firsthand to truly know them.

    Up until that point it is merely an outsiders somewhat ignorant (or if not ignorant than unaware) opinion that you possess. I also think many people are afraid to date outside of their own culture for the risk of leaving their comfort zone and having to tackle an entirely new set of principles and rules in dating culture.

    It can be intimidating for a lot of us particularly for someone who is shy or introverted to know how to handle such situations and therefore prefer to avoid them entirely. I personally think Asian men are very attractive they have youthful skin, good complexion, very clean teeth, nice hair, they have a very funny and different sense of humour, I like their dress sense and they smell good. (That sounds creepy ^^, I just like people who have good hygiene)

    Though I’m an extrovert so I have no problem approaching or striking up a conversation first with someone I like. I also don’t get embarrassed easily by what other people say or think. I prefer to live with as little judgement and negativity as possible. I think its wiser and more fulfilling to be welcoming and accept everyone, rather than try to hold back the inevitable.

    Though I’m not sure how well this forwardness would go in China ^^.

  32. I think it’s great that Asian men are dating non-Asian women, but they should be aware that eventually the same racist lies will be spread about them and their interracial relationships that have been spread about Asian women in interracial relationships for years, by Asian men. I look forward to the day when Asian men get a taste of their own medicine, when they are referred to as self-haters, sell-outs, trying to assimilate into white society, and man whores, when their relationships are also trashed and misrepresented by lies.

  33. ^
    “I LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAY when Asian men get a taste of their own medicine, when they are referred to as self-haters, sell-outs, trying to assimilate into white society, and man whores, when their relationships are also trashed and misrepresented by lies.”

    You must be giddy with excitement, like a kid on Christmas Eve. I’m actually more concerned about going to be said about the non-Asian woman in the relationship. Worse things/lies have been said about Asian men whether they are in relationships or not.

    Perhaps idiots like Jenny An deserve some of the blame, eh?

  34. Yeah, you tell a few times about the common stereotypes of Asian men in your blog and I always thought “Did I just grow up surrounded by the right people?”, because I had never encountered these stereotypes (other than in Hollywood movies, it seems, but I never thought about that there). I’m currently living in a pretty closed-minded , conservative society (ex-Soviet country) and you do get the occasional stares, but friends and family have been nothing but nice and supportive about it. We’re just both seen as the two individuals we are, the only interesting thing being that we’re both foreigners who found each other here. So I guess it’s right that those stereo-types are “anglosphere” stereotypes.

  35. Because she’s studying Chinese and psycholinguistics, my daughter spent two months in China this past summer. As she spoke Mandarin as much as she could, people weren’t sure of her country of origin by her language or accent, and they often asked if she was Russian. I was curious as to whether this is a compliment or not, and in trying to figure this out, I ran across your blog.

    I have two statements that may not be here or there as I have little experience with the Asian man/ Western woman stereotype, and I don’t think one way or another when I see them. First, though I find Hollywood rather slow in correcting these stereotypes, I loved Jay Chou in Green Hornet and Harry Shum, Jr. in Glee, and Godfrey Gao may have been the best actor in City of Bones, so I would like to see more Asians as leads in Hollywood movies. Second, my daughter did come home with a rather negative image of Chinese men based on their practice of rolling their shirts above their bellies. Also, because she wants a child that looks like her and Asian genes are dominant, she says she likely won’t marry an Asian male unless she falls so deeply for him that her own vanity doesn’t matter any more.

  36. The study that Chaz posted is statistically irrelevant. Here is the main reason why: The sample was biased. Not only was it a biased sample, but it was biased threefold:

    “Our subjects were drawn from students in graduate and professional schools at Columbia University. Participants were recruited through a combination of mass email and fliers posted throughout the campus and handed out by research assistants. In order to sign up for the Speed Dating events, interested students had to register at a web site by providing their name and email address and completing a pre-event survey.1”

    This means that the sample does not represent the population… remotely. These people live in one community, share a country and culture, and looked to the internet to supply them with a date. In addition, subjects were stereotyped withing the experiment by subjective terms such as “physically attractive” and “older,” for which no definitions were provided, whatsoever. So, this study Chaz pulled out of space was useless to everyone. It purports that a few college students from Columbia U who look to online speed-dating to supply them with mates preferred not to date Asian men. Except the uglies and the oldies. (I wonder why… not) It’s laughable that this was published at all, and that it can be produced from some database and posted here. Please take that trash and shred it. :p

    Bruce, thanks for your posts. Jocelyn, thank you for this page and info about the stereotypes. It explains a lot of the scoffs and stares we get (San Gabriel Vally, CA – L.A’s neo-China Town) from a lot of the immigrants from Asia. We have it a lot easier here in L.A. than you all in mainland China who get mistaken for Russian prostitutes just for being white. That’s an awful shame. It’s an archaic time we live in, and we have a long way to come as we globalize. By the way, is it such a bad thing to have “yellow fever”? I wonder why, if it’s okay for people to have a “type” such as preferring blue eyes, or brunettes, or short or tall mates, why is it so bad to prefer particular features only certain Asian men can have? There are many qualities that can just be considered sexy together, and how specific that gets can be quite personal, and vary a lot depending on the individual. Not to conform to any stereotypes, but it it so bad to prefer a very specific physical type of mate? It seems natural enough to develop some kinks over time and get to know what you like at some point. Am I wrong? This… aside from just “falling in love” and all. Of course that ought to be quite tied in with physical attraction, as it has been for me. I wanted to add one last thing. It’s not so bad to prize or really cherish your AM or WF. It is a rare combination, and people are very concerned about political correctness. Loving your significant other for their unique qualities and prizing and cherishing them… for any reason… is never wrong. Prizing your mate is not degrading them or looking down on them. It’s not wrong to admire your catch and show them off, and if it comes along with any societal benefits, please let that be your saving grace (you suffer enough for love, might as well take the blessings it provides as well).

    1. Yuepengyou- I don’t know what the study is about or the methodology but one thing I want to add is that all research is like that in the sociology and psychology field.

      The usage of college student is very very common and it is the norm in these field. Of course, sample size is not ideal but there is never a perfect sample size. In a perfect world with unlimited funding and time, I’m sure you can find sample sizes that crosses race, age, gender, social economic status, etc. But most of these studies do not get a lot of funding since they deal with social issues and not “hard science.”

      So I wouldn’t dismiss a study based on sample size, because it is a slippery slope. If you do that, then 99% of research in those fields would be invalid.

  37. It would be convenient if any study with a severely biased sample were statistically significant. Unfortunately, they are simply not. It is not impossible to conduct a much more wide-scale, cross-cultural experiment like this with a more representative, more randomly selected sample of people. It would take quite a bit of interest and funding, but it is doable. It just has yet to be accomplished. I am sorry, but in the world of science a sample that biased – a handful of grad students from one college campus – cannot represent the target population of over 7-billion people living on this planet, no matter what. No statistician, nor scientist would acknowledge or recall such a cheap and “job” – I’m not dignifying it with the word “study” because it wasn’t – for the reason that nothing was learned from it so it can’t be applied to any further research just because of that shoddily collected sample. It’s a shame that the people who decided to conduct that “job” either did not have access to, or did not choose to randomly select their sample from a much wider base, or use a better method for finding them.

  38. My experience in China showed one thing and that’s anything they had to say about westeners was invariably negative and Ofcourse racist. I beleive it comes from a deep inferiority disorder and the need to believe there special, which Ofcourse is in no way true.

  39. Funny. Indeed you don’t see much the Chinese man-Western woman combination. I as a Gothic white chick do not fall for the typicall hip hop Azian style a lot of the males from my age. And the hair is mostley… Not what I like, I also hate short stupid hair on Western man. When I met my partner for the first time I didn’t notice he was handsome, he was being a sarcastich know-it-all, so I was not aware he has extremely good looks, long hair that is like mine 80 cm long (also black ofcourse) and is 10 cm taller then me (I asked him when I noticed this where he was from, mostley with my 174cm length I am taller then most Azians I have met). So he told me he was partly Mongolian, and appearently he knew a lot about the history of his people. Me being an ex-historical student was immediatly interested to talk. And now 1 and 5 months later still in love and happely living together. Yes, we get dirty looks (especially me when in Amsterdam other Azian girls look with a killer look at me), from surtain people, from the Azians we get the most resitence, they don’t really like to get to know me, but appearently that’s normal in Chinatown in Amsterdam. We go together to China and I’ll be hoping people will accept me, especially his family.

  40. Being white, young and having a stereotypical European female appearence you certainly get looks from people in China, even in some bigger cities. Last year it was the first time me and my boyfriend were in China together. He had some trouble coping with the looks of people and the attention sometimes, since he really doesn’t like that. But expect for the typical looks, picture asking and getting too much attention on very impropriety times now we haven’t really encountered some real big sterotyping yet.

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