JENNIFER LUNDQUIST, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS: Yeah, well it's an interesting question.
Most people don't explicitly set out to date one race or another and they end up falling into it and what demographers find is that there are certain characteristics that interracial couples tend to have compared to same race couples.
SOPHIE SONG: Well, the thing is basically his language level was very limited, which obviously caused a lot of problems, but he still could convey humour and still could convey his personality which I think is quite unusual amongst people with quite limited English because of that warm humour, because of the good personality, I did find Han very handsome, very attractive person. You're originally from Indonesia, who do you prefer to date and why? At first I didn't expect to date Caucasian men as well, I always think oh, I'm going to go out with Asian men for the rest of my life. YULIANA SUNARTO: Because I thought they look so different than me and I don't understand how their mindset works and then I started to work at this global bank and there's a lot of people from the UK and then at that time I just broke up with my ex-partner and then it's time for a change and I got a lot of attention from them.
He says race is just one element that people have on the list of things they're looking for in a prospective partner.
Jennifer Lundquist is a US-based sociologist who has studied racial preferences in online dating.
You know, there's obvious physical attraction of course. MIKE MIOCEVICH: It was in high school at a high school dance and basically the entire year was basically all mostly white people from like, you know, Perth, but there was one girl from South Africa who had come over, her family had come over so, yeah, went to the dance and, yeah, took her. MIKE MIOCEVICH: If I had any kind of reservations before I didn't have any after, so. Sophie Song, you're in South Korea visiting your Korean in-laws at the moment. SOPHIE SONG: I probably have always had more interest in darker haired, darker eyed people, and what I had found, you know, my experience of the Korean people I had met prior to meeting Han was that a lot of them, by their upbringing, are quite family oriented and that was something that very much appealed to me. SOPHIE SONG: We actually met at a pub, we both had gone with our respective friends and we were watching a football final and basically I met him briefly in the queue at the bar.
I do find, as your guest I just find that I click a lot easier with, like Rudo that I do with other kind of women and"¦ JENNY BROCKIE: She's married by the way? So"¦ JENNY BROCKIE: So you went to the dance with the one black girl in the school? He just approached me and said hello, he introduced himself and then actually we parted ways but a little bit later in the night there was a guy at the bar who was quite persistently talking to me that I was trying to find a way out of the conversation and really struggling and it happened that Han walked past and I saw him and recognised his face and I thought well, here goes nothing and I grabbed his hand and I said to the other guy: "Hey, this is my boyfriend", and even though Han had quite limited English skills, he picked up what was going on in the moment and he, you know, he acted the part and he rescued me. Han, when this happened in the bar you didn't speak English, did you, very much?
HAN SONG: I could speak barely, I could just say hi, how are you, I'm fine thank you and you? JENNY BROCKIE: Okay, so when you met Sophie how did you feel about her? HAN SONG: Yes, like when I saw her and she wasn't, she was wearing like a beautiful dress, it was like vintage dress and I thought wow, she's beautiful.