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August 10, 2008

Racial Diversity on Manhunt, Adam4Adam: NYC Edition
FILED UNDER: "Gay Men's Health & Culture"
TAGS: gay male culturegay men's healthhooking up onlineInternetNew York City
By Trevor

Order up! So third in my series of posts documenting the racial dynamics of online profiles on Manhunt and Adam4Adam is the New York Edition! See here for my San Francisco version, and here for my Atlanta analysis. As you'll remember, in both towns (although moreso in SF), as age increased among profiles, their racial diversity dramatically declined. Let's see if profiles in NYC fare similarly.

As I indicate each time, caution is urged: profiles are not people! Keep that in mind. The data below was collected from the 49,295 profiles on Adam4Adam, and 22,975 profiles on Manhunt that were listed in New York City (which on both includes outlying boroughs). Let's begin with some overall demographics.

Overview: NYC versus Manhunt versus Adam4Adam

As you can see below, the latest census data indicates that about 44% of folks in NYC are white, while Black and Latino folks make up about 27% of the population each. Asian-Americans come in just under 10% (source):

NYC General Population:
racenycoverall.gif

As always, we'rel again taking a leap of faith here to say that we would expect that men who have sex with men in NYC are probably racially distributed along similar lines to the city's general population.

Let's begin with Manhunt. As I indicated last time, Manhunt seems to appeal to a largely white population. You'll remember that in San Francisco, where there are strong API and Latino communities, over 70% of Manhunt profiles were white. In Atlanta, where over 60% the population is Black, only 8% of Manhunt profiles were listed as such -- while 81.5% of profiles were white. Now, in NYC, Manhunt profiles are similarly white. In NYC, where as I've said about 45% of the population is white, just over two-thirds of Manhunt profiles are white. "Profiles of color" are vastly underrepresented here. In general, 27% of folks in the city are Latino. The same is true for Blacks. Yet, less than 6% of Manhunt profiles are listed as Black, and only 12% are listed as Latino:

Manhunt New York City Profiles Racial Demographics:
racemanhunt.gif

Adam4Adam (A4A) has a history of being more populated by "profiles of color." Let's see how it fares in NYC. In both Atlanta and San Francisco, Adam4Adam was far more reflective of the city's demographics than was Manhunt.In New York City, that trend continues. As you can see here, other than a lack of representation of API profiles, the city's demos and Adam4Adam's demos match up fairly closely -- with less white profiles than in the general population:

Adam4Adam New York City Profiles Racial Demographics:
racea4a.gif

Just as it was last time, you see a vast overrepresentation on A4A of folks in the "Other" category. Many folks listed as "Other" here -- a composition of A4A's categories of "Mix," "Middle Eastern," "Native American," and "Other" -- would be counted as Black, Latino, or perhaps White in a census.

Race and Age: Age Goes Up, Diversity Goes Down

As I've found before in San Fran and Atlanta, it appears that the racial diversity of profiles among age groups decreases dramatically as age went up. So how does New York City fare? Let's start with Manhunt. In Atlanta's 18-21 year old age group, well over two-thirds of the profiles on Manhunt were labeled as white -- in NYC the trend starts a bit less radically, with only about 55% of profiles in that age group labeled as white. But just as it did in SF and ATL, the percentage of white profiles climbs steadily until it peaks at just under 90% in the oldest age group:

Percentage of White Profiles in NYC on Manhunt, By Age Group:
racemanhuntwhttime.gif

I've separated the data for "profiles of color" into a second graph, since their numbers are so low that including them in the same graph would make it difficult to see their numbers. As you can see, about 17% of profiles are labeled as Latino in the youngest age group. But that number drops to about 5% in the eldest group. The percentage of Black profiles actually doesn't decline all that much. It begins low, at about 8%, and ends around 5%:

Percentage of "Profiles of Color" in NYC on Manhunt, By Age Group:
racemanhuntpoctime.gif

As was the case in ATL and SF, NYC's Adam4Adam profiles show evidence as well of this trend -- just less dramatic. While the percentage of profiles of color is very strong in the youngest age group (>30% Black, Latino), that diversity drops steadily (but slowly) until the eldest (20% Black; 10% Latino). Conversely, the percentage of white profiles climbs from only 12% to a commanding 70%. But it takes until the 42-25 age group for the percentage of white profiles to cross over 50%:

Percentage of Profile's Ethnicity on A4A, By Age Group:
racea4atime.gif

When looking at the raw numbers of Black and White profiles by age group in Atlanta, we saw that number of white profiles continued to climb until it peaked at the 38-41 age group. In contrast, the raw numbers of Black profiles peaked in the 26-29 age group. In NYC, as you can see, again the number of Black profiles peaks in the 26-29 age group, but so does that number of white profiles -- though it really seems to plateau for longer.

Raw Number Ethnicity Profiles on A4A, By Age Group:
racea4araw.gif

Conclusions

So again we see the same pattern. Increasing age, declining diversity. I'm beginning to think I'm onto something! New York City, Atlanta, and San Francisco. The demographics look totally different, but the trend seems to hold in each place. Very innerestin'!

PERMALINK | Posted at 2:36 PM | Post a Comment (7)

7 Comments

First of all you assume the breakdown of race in the general population is the same as in the gay population.

For all you know NYC's gay population could break down to something different than the overall population in terms of race.

Adam4adam is free this skews it, also I have notice a lot of people on A4A are hustlers and escorts and I've yet to come across a white or Latin or Asian guy who hit me up and was an escort.

I get at least three black guys wanting money per day.

This incentive to make money isn't tolerated on Manhunt at all.

Interesting concept but you need to do some tweaking

Eric Post | August 27, 2008 1:03 AM

maybe he was tweeking while he did the study..Ive noticed most guys on adam4adam are just rejects that noone wants to have sex with anyway.....so his numbers may be more factaul than we think.lol

KENNETH | September 17, 2008 11:52 PM

I'm a black male. In my experience with manhunt, most of the guy on there are only interested in dating white men. On a4a there is more diversity in terms of what race people are interested in dating. So if you're a man of color, you have a better chance of hooking up or dating someone of any race on a4a than on manhunt...based on my experience.

Elliott | October 24, 2008 12:16 PM

Oddly enough however, A4A allows you to filter and sort for ethnicity, MH does not. I prefer this functionality.

theplayerking | November 12, 2008 7:36 PM

I find it interesting demographically to see that a poster above mentions that the only hustlers he sees on A4A in NYC are black. Here in Los Angles the only hustlers I see are Latino and white, the vast majority of them being Latino. I have only seen one black hustler, as far as I can remember, on A4A LA. A4A LA is used primarily by Latinos and whites, however. Personally, I find the term "Latino" problematic as a racial descriptor in the first place, since, for example, a Mexican, a Dominican, and an Argentine come from culturally and racially distinct populations, and will have pretty much only the Spanish language in common. And what about Portuguese speaking Brazilians? In this respect, "Latinos" do not constitute a race, as such, in my opinion. Here in Los angeles, it is Mexicans really who most aggressively market themselves with the term "Latino", as if it were a brand name for a household item. Cubans and Puerto Ricans, etc., tend to describe themselves by nationality rather than by the broader generic term "Latino". South Americans tend to say "Other Ethnicity" and then explain themselves in their profiles, distancing themselves from the "Latino" cult, which is what it appears to be in many ways. Many educated, middle class blacks on A4A describe themselves under the "Mix" designation because there tends to be a common misperception among the general A4A clientele that "Black" means one thing only - thug. That there are all kinds of "so-called" black people, of every complexion and phenotype, is missed altogether. The obsession with race on A4A is rather pathetic, I think, as it is in the larger gay community. I am an African American who happens to be, in actuality, of multiracial descent, including Mozambican, Bangladeshi, Cherokee, and English background. People often approach me in clubs or bars, and other places, thinking I am Middle Eastern or "Latino". When they learn that I identify as black, it is not uncommon for them to lose interest in me then and there. However, if I were to say I was Cuban or Puerto Rican, or "Egyptian", they'd still be interested. One white man spend a few minutes flirtatiously guessing what my exotic nationality might be, at the same time evidently trying to impress me with his knowledge of Latin American countries. He was so into me up to the point when I finally said, "I'm black." His reply then was simple. "Oh. Well, I'm not into chocolate." End of conversation.

Adan Williams | November 15, 2008 10:13 AM

I live in Orange County, CA and go to San Diego for college and find that on a4a almost everyone wants a white guy including guys that aren't white. This makes me think that many people are saying they are white when in reality they are not. Other nonwhite people simply say they are a mix possibly thinking that they have a better chance of landing that white guy. As for myself, I am a mix of mostly Spanish, Italian, and American Indian with a bit of English and Mexican thrown in.

It is interesting that in Southern CA, the terms latino, hispanic, etc seem to be synonyms for Mexican, especially those Mexicans that weren't born here or are the 1st generation to be born here. Basically it seems people expect you to fit into the category of white, black, or Latino in So Cal which presents problems for myself as well as others that have a more complex racial and ethnic background.

With this complexity has come some interesting experiences. Generally speaking, most Asians and Latinos are often shocked to find out that I am not 100% white even though I have dark hair and brown eyes. Since my skin is fair though and my physical features don't resemble what most people feel a Mexican should look like, I can understand why some people would consider me white.

With white people on the other hand, many get confused though most of them are able to tell that I am not 100% white. By not being 100% white, I have found that they like to classify me as Latino and start asking me questions as if I was born in Mexico or my parents were. Moreover, Some of these people seemed eager to point out that I was different from them. It seemed as if they were part of an elite club that didn't want to dilute it's status by including those that weren't 100% white or at least didn't look it.

Because most white guys on a4a only want white guys, I don't even bother messaging them. If they want to chat with me, they can message me. I usually message guys that list themselves as Asian, Latino, Black, or Mix, but even then I find that many of these people have a preference for a white guy which plays to my advantage since these people assume that I am white. Even after telling them my mix I find that they still want to chat with me, so I guess to them I am white enough.

Since so many guys on a4a in So Cal so desperately want a white guy, I can see why people may lie and say they are white, mix, or the seldom used other ethnicity category. Because of this I feel that many racial minorities are just as guilty of the white gays as being racist or closed minded to other races including their own.

Cory | December 17, 2008 4:31 PM

Most people are simply just ignorant to the fact that ETHNICITY and RACE, are different things. For example Black in the US typically always equates to African American, meanwhile you can be Black and hold any sort of ethnic background or nationality.
Then there's the CULTURE factor. Most people equate BLACK to "ghetto hiphop thug" culture... that is a very narrow and unfortunate perception held by MANY.
It's like saying WHITE automatically equals small dick.
Pretty unfair, stupid and limiting.

Anonymus | February 16, 2009 8:02 AM


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