'Just a Preference' was a three-stage research project aimed at exploring race and racism as a feature in the sexual and romantic lives of gay and bisexual men in Australia. The project took place from 2010 to 2012; thank you to everyone who participated. The findings of Just a Preference formed the bulk of my PhD thesis, which can be accessed via the UNSW Library Repository.
Given our social, cultural and political histories of race and racism, it is unsurprising that these forces should have found their way into our hearts and bedrooms. Across stages, it was clear that race is a salient but often unrecognised aspect of people's romantic and sexual interactions, a subtle prejudice that is enacted and felt even if it cannot be readily identified. Although many men were ambivalent towards racialised partner discrimination, I found many striking similarities between discriminating among partners on the basis of race and other more general expressions of racism. Indeed, some men were highly suspicious of anything that might impede an individual's 'sexual freedom', although arguments of individual liberty fail to recognise that sexual racism is the antithesis of individual thought and freedom.
More information on this project and its outcomes can be found by visiting the Facebook page. There were three articles published from the data collected for Just a Preference, which are listed below. If you are interested in sexual racism or how race and sex intersect online, please get in touch.
1) Callander, D., Holt, M., & Newman, C. E. (2012). Just a preference: racialised language in the sex-seeking profiles of gay and bisexual men. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 14(9), 1049-1063.
2) Callander, D., Holt, M., & Newman, C. E. (2015). 'Not everyone's gonna like me': Accounting for race and racism in sex and dating webservices for gay and bisexual men. Ethnicities.
3) Callander, D., Newman, C. E., & Holt, M. (2015). Is sexual racism really racism? Distinguishing attitudes towards sexual racism and generic racism among gay and bisexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 14(7), 1991-2000.