UK Chinese Studies Student Seeks Chinese/Non-Chinese Couples for Dissertation Survey

Small porcelain dolls showing a Chinese husband and wife in traditional red clothing
(photo from rickz Flickr)

UPDATE: Participants are still needed until January 2013! Please read this message and contact bankslaura (at)

Want to help scholars with research into Chinese/non-Chinese interracial relationships — in just 30 minutes?

A UK student in Chinese studies is doing her dissertation on Chinese/non-Chinese interracial relationships, and she needs to find couples — both married and non-married — who are willing to complete a survey, which should take about 30 minutes. That includes Chinese men and non-Chinese women, as well as non-Chinese men and Chinese women. See the details below in this letter:

My name is Laura Banks and I am a Chinese Studies student at the University of Wales Trinity St. David, Lampeter, UK. My dissertation is focused on interracial relationships and marriages between Chinese and non-Chinese; I am interested in many aspects of these relationships — what each partner brings to it, potential legal issues caused by countries, and the advantages for children.

As part of the research for my dissertation, I would like to invite anyone who is in Chinese/non-Chinese relationship or marriage to complete a survey. This survey is currently available in English and Chinese (simplified and traditional) and should only take 30 minutes of your time. There is no requirement that you answer every question, so feel free to only answer those questions you feel comfortable with. All information is kept confidential. I would greatly appreciate your time and interest — your efforts will help in better understanding Chinese/non-Chinese interracial relationships.

If you wish to fill out this survey, please contact me at bankslaura(at) and I will send you a copy of the survey as a Word Document.

I plan to fill out Laura’s survey — if you’re qualified to take the survey, hope you can help her out as well.

UPDATE: FYI, when Laura said she’s looking for Chinese/non-Chinese couples, she welcomes couples from all around the world with any citizenship (in other words, someone could be Chinese-Canadian or Chinese-American and in an interracial relationship, and be qualified to fill this out).

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37 Replies to “UK Chinese Studies Student Seeks Chinese/Non-Chinese Couples for Dissertation Survey”

  1. I guess she means Chinese as in they’re from China? I am married to a Chinese man but he’s American. So I guess I’m not qualified.^^

    1. @Amber, no I think you would be qualified to do the survey. When she says she’s looking for Chinese, she means more ethnic/cultural and not necessarily someone who must be from China. So I would say, go for it and contact Laura.

  2. Since ‘Chinese studies’ is concerned with China and her migrating diaspora not her overseas born disapora, ‘potential legal issues caused by countries’ – already presupposes they are China nationals.

    Survey is biased – ‘ advantages for children,’ refuses to even to acknowledge problems mixed race kids will have, only looking at ‘advantages,’ which is to be expected since it is agenda driven to promote mixed race children, just like this biased blog.

  3. @BBCzeitgeist

    Well, there is enough western media bias against any thing Chinese. Any bias for Chinese only server as conterbalance to this wersten biased world. MSNBC is needed for the sake of FOX NEWS OR RIGHT WING TALK RADIO.

    BTW, this blog is about her personal pleasure. This is not a news reporting site. You can go somewhere else if this place is for your taste.

  4. This is not a news reporting site. You can go somewhere else if this place is not for your taste.

    We are all to judge from our own base. If you believe existence of God as truth, then any talk of evolution is biased in your eyes.

    We are all happy to read her writings which are so precious to us.

  5. Dear Laura,

    I’m a regular reader of “Speaking of China” blog written by Jocelyn. Since I noticed you were doing your Chinese/Non-Chinese relationship for your dissertation, I would like to drop an email about what I think about those relationship.

    Firstly, I’m Frank currently doing my PhD in one of the universities in US. Although I have no expertise in cultural impact on relationship, I thought I would like to share my opinion which might be obvious to you Or might be overlooked. I remember reading somewhere in one of the articles also published from UK regarding which races is more attractive. I just googled and found it (

    Overall, it seems Asian females are more preferable than other races (Whites and Blacks), and Black males are at the top of attractiveness across all races considered. They used 600 images from Facebook, and 20 male participants and 20 female participants to look at those photos and judge the attractiveness of person in the photo. On the surface, the result seems pretty legit, all the graphs, bars, candid photos, mutual consent, and at least all statistics. What they fail to consider or what most readers would fail to notice is the number of Black and Asian participants in each male and female participants. There were only 3 Asians participants in each categories of male and female, with heavy usages of White male and female participants in both categories. That screws up the results already. It’s like asking 10 white guys and 1 asian guy which sports is the best “Swimming or Badminton” Or asking 10 Asian guy and 1 white guy which sports is the best “Table Tennis and Basketball”. I don’t know why that study got passed reviewers and published. One thing accountable for that would be due to the fact that this is a public study rather than hard-core science. This comes back to my thought on Chinese/Non-Chinese relationship.

    Facts I would like to consider using in this relationship analysis:
    1) Personality of each person (male or female, outgoing, extrovert, introvert)
    2) Age when they started realizing there’s someone out there (eg. Male and Female Chinese would have more exposure to White culture through massive US media whereas Non-Chinese males and females would tend to vary with their degree of exposure to Chinese. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had to change her college three times intentionally to avoid Asians in school, which means Asians (chinese) are around, but some never try to associate with them.)
    3) Place where each partner starts seeing each other (workplace, university, college, high school, some training program, neighbors)
    4) Country where each partner starts seeing each other
    5) Each partner ethnicity (not nationality)
    6) Each partner nationality
    7) Circle of friends (races)
    8) Level of Education
    9) Intention of committing in interracial relationship
    10) Number of chinese who tried to date non-chinese partners and failed (would be difficult to collect this data, but this is very important)

    I would briefly mention why those facts are important in my opinion. In light of saving space here, I would elaborate some unique facts: Fact (4) and (10) only.
    (4) Country:
    It is widely accepted or subconsciously recognized that everything happens in US, UK (white dominant countries) seems like they must be happening all around the world. If US study shows White are tall, it is an automatic notion that “in the whole world, Whites are tall.” If UK articles claim that “Asians have small weewee.”, then it must be true that “All asians have small weewee.” If US claims “Capitalism” is the best, then “Communism” automatically becomes a bad guy. If US says “Basketball is the best sport”, then “Table Tennis” is a lame sport which shouldn’t be in Olympics at all. That’s how media spreads and people associate those images with positive or negative perception. Asians countries (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, SKorea, China, and such), they all made scientific study, but their voices are not heard loudly. Only study from US and UK, remotely Australia, seems to take a large step towards claiming this and that. If Asians claim something, it is rigged, faked, counterfeit. The consequence is astounding for social study. For science study, it doesn’t matter where you perform the experiment. As long as you have Reagent A and Chemical B, you can get the end product at optimal temperature. But for social study, the place of origin does matter a lot.

    Nowadays, we started to see a lot of White male/Asian females couples on the street. But we rarely see the opposite of Asian male or Chinese males/Non-asian or White females relationship. And then there comes a study done in US, where most interracial relationships are between White males and Asian females as if White males are alpha males, and Asian females are wife trophy arguably, which I do not agree. What they failed to consider is the country where those interracial relationship starts to kick off.

    Here’s the simple scenario. I use “white” here for a simplicity sake. A white female in either US or UK, and a white female in China; who would have more success in interracial relationship? There’s no brainer that a white female in China will find it easier to commit to interracial relationship. The reason is peer pressure which is more applicable and more imminent driving force to women of all races in choosing their partners. A white female in US and UK has her established family, relative, regular circles of friends, and all her childhood memories in her homeland. Would she fall in love with a chinese guy who just landed at Heathrow airport a few weeks ago? In this male dominant society where males are supposed to lead a family while females are equally contributing to wellness of her family, no female will find it easier to fall in love with a guy who just landed in her homeland. He has to learn a lot, local culture, politics, system, and everything.

    Now if we look at another scenario of a White female in China, she’s more likely to commit to interracial relationship. With an open-mind towards the country she’s visiting or coming to study or coming to teach (China), she’s more aware of Chinese culture, traditions, and such. She wants to explore, which is one of the reasons she traveled half of the globe to land into China. There’s a chinese guy who was born in this land, grew up in this town, learned the way to survive in China, made a huge success in his life. He thinks he likes a western girl. After a couples of dating, he pops the question. Now it’s just a matter of “If the western girl would like to stay in China or see herself living in China” question. She has no peer pressure, she has more to choose from a lot of chinese guys surrounding. So this is how much important it is to look at the place where each partner met for the first time.

    (10) Number of chinese who tried to date non-chinese partners and failed
    I remember reading somewhere about airline study. There’s such a sarcastic remark for their study result. Basically, study took place at the airport where surveyor asked passengers in arrival hall how they like the airline in terms of current particular trip. The result was “Satisfactory”. All arriving passengers gave the same answer. It seems airline is performing well. What they fail to consider here is they don’t take into their consideration for those who have never landed to the airport because of flight cancellation in the first place due to engine defect or pilot missing.

    That’s how it is.

    Just my thought.

  6. @ Frank
    That was quite interesting- your questioning about sampling and fallacy related to samples. My own observations from living in both countries (China & US) will confirm country of origin matters a great deal.
    I always wonder if certain demographics have higher ratio of interracial marriage between Chinese male and non-Chinese.
    If the couples meet in US/UK, both partners will have to confront racial prejudices unavailable in China. Asians in Asia tend to give thumb up for such relationships- they are rare. Minority factor won’t play a big role if couples start dating in China. Equally important is the immigration factor you mentioned. I remember reading somewhere it is rare in general for first generation to marry native population after immigration. At least it used to be the case even for European immigrants. After centuries of assimilation process, this statement is not true for “whites” anymore. For other none-white minority groups, intermarriage rate becomes a symbol of assimilation:this is still on-going. I guess female partner’s nationality matters too-certain country does not share the same racial history seen in US.

  7. the michael lewis study – i refuse to believe that sub-Saharan African males are consider more attractive than whites or asians. I remember there were some sub-saharan african males at undergraduate level at my old uni- none of them were considered attractive to anyone in the class.

    I think i’m misinterpreting the survey, the survey isnt suppose to be a reflection of which race is the most attractive, but only which race is the most attractive according to people who date interracially. since its seems that most people are attracted to their own race, they dont date another race, these mono-racial daters would not take part in the survey in the first place. This survey is only for IR daters, right? I bet there was an advert placed in the uni asking for students who have experience of inter racial dating or want to try IR – to take part in an experiment.

  8. That is why any decent study will lay out assumptions. You can’t shoot all targets at once. Not everyone in the survey will tell all their true thinking either. An academic study supposes to stay less biased based on empirical evidence and a set of commonly endorsed models. How you interpret the data is subjective, so is everything else in social science. Most social studies seek to analyze what is already in existence. But if someone comes up a study saying once race is better than another, it is generally a no-no. Try to tell everyone on the street race is a social construct and not real. Most people will think you are delusional. Society is full of status quo, but principles still matter.

  9. It is interesting to see how black male becomes attractive over the century. Just wondering if image of Asian male is improving and if so at what speed.

  10. Asians already had easier time overall. I doubt majority of Asian men will be rated attractive in the same sense comparing to other minority groups. Asian in our discussion should be limited to east Asian. The sooner people get over that fact, the better off they will be. My opinion.

  11. Just got in touch with Laura — she is still looking for more people! If you’ve been thinking about doing the survey, don’t hesitate, just contact Laura — bankslaura(at)

  12. I think this email is scammer, Coz once you contacted her, she never send your suvery back, thats from one of my friends ture experince..

  13. Hi Tony,
    I got reply from her. She might be busy since the last time she mentioned she’s travelling from Taiwan to UK or vice versa.


    1. @tony, I can most certainly assure you that Laura Banks is not a scammer. In fact, if you want to verify her authenticity, you’re more than welcome to contact the department she belongs to at her university (I have linked to it above) — you will find that she is the real deal.

      I do not know the details of what happened when your friends attempted to contact her. But it may be that she was busy — she is a student after all, and hard at work on her dissertation. I would encourage your friends to contact her once again. She e-mailed me just recently to say she needs more participants, and that’s why I made this post sticky on my site.

  14. I was shocked when I read the above comments about me not replying to people because not only do I get excited about every reply I get I try to reply there and then no matter where I am. I looked around in my email folders and found that some requests had gone into my junk folder. I have now emailed those people and apologised and I hope they will still take my survey. I am not a scammer, I am just a student really trying to get some work together so I can write an interesting dissertation. I apologise to those people who didn’t receive a reply from me immediately and now I am aware of it I will be checking every folder in my email account regularly. Thank you to everyone who has participated your help has been amazing! Laura

  15. Jocelyn thank you for sharing this, and Laura thanks for the opportunity of sharing our toughts.
    I dropped you an email today.

  16. Hi Everyone,
    I am Laura’s Mother and please be reassured that she is no scammer and that she is a very hard working 3rd year University student. As she has said, she does get very excited about each and every email anyone sends her regarding her dissertation. She has spent over a year thinking about and getting the survey finalised, which she did while in Taiwan this summer. Please do email her.

  17. Hi Laura

    I am a Mauritian (what we call a creole). That is my ancestors come from diverse origins and I am half black and half white. I look rather like a Spanish or South American. The chinese population of Mauritius is about 3% and is very closed. Which means that many marry other chinese and are quite keen of keeping it to the tiny chinese community. I met my husband when I was still in High School. We’ve gone through tough times together and this year (2013) we will count 24 years of being together. At the start both families were against our union but we made them understand sometimes in a bold way that we would do it even without their help. After one year of dating, they finally accepted and we took time to plan our wedding. This year in July we will celebrate our 17 years of marriage. We have two sons. We educated them in such a way that they respect people of different origin and we never have conversations about peoples’s races at home. We believe that everyone has its own merit and this has nothing to do with race. It all depends on our culture and we want our children to be brought with a wide vision of the world. We still have very strong feelings for each other and I still remember that when we shared our vows, the priest asked us what we thought about being from different origin and we both replied that when we looked at each other, we did not see a chinese or a creole but rather the person we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I love him and feel secured just being with him. It’s the most important decision I took in my entire life and I don’t regret it.

  18. @Marie Christine Liu,
    My name is Laura but I´m not the Laura who is doing the research in this article, just to clarify this 🙂
    You say you are from Mauritius, do you live there now?
    It´s interesting that having a different background you look hispano.
    I´m Spanish, my grandpa, aunt..they are from La Habana, Cuba but I don´t lookk Cuban, either too Spanish. But I come from a province in the north which is a bit celtic, that may have an impact too.
    My dad looks Cuban, and we look alike but still not for the Cuban side.
    You have been with your husband for such a long time, congratulations!

    @ Laura – Student doing the research
    Do you think you could share with us some insights about the research?! I don´t know if you can share them but maybe they are interesting!

    1. @Marie Christine Liu,

      Thank you so much for posting! You have such a fascinating story! Would you ever be interested in sharing your story in more detail? If so I would love to publish it as part of a series I run on this blog. Just let me know!

      And this goes for anyone else reading this comment — if you have a great story to share, please get in touch with me!

  19. Hi everyone,
    Thank you for the renewed interest in my project.
    My deadline is 3rd May and my dissertation is well on it’s way to completion.
    @Laura- a number of people have asked to read this when it is done (no pressure!) I am very happy to do this because without the people on this website the project probably would not have got off the ground and also the nature of it means that anything i have written about in the project is anonymous so people’s views are kept private. I will sort out a way for it to be available to those who want to read it somehow.
    Thank you all again 🙂
    Laura Banks

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