Asian fetish

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Asian fetish is a slang term for an interest, appreciation, or preference for people, culture, or things of Asian origin by those of non-Asian descent.[1][2][3][4] The term Asiaphile is sometimes used to describe the same phenomenon as is yellow fever (not to be confused with the disease yellow fever).[5][6]

Terminology and usage[edit]

In the afterword to the 1988 play M. Butterfly, the writer, David Henry Hwang (despite the fact that he has had two wives both of Chinese descent), using the term "yellow fever," a pun on the disease of the same name, discusses white men with a "fetish" for Asian women. Hwang argues that this phenomenon is caused by stereotyping of Asians in Western society.[7]

The gay slang term used for a man, usually white, who exclusively dates Asian men is "rice queen."[8][9]

In a collection of writings from Asian American females, YELL-Oh Girls!, Meggy Wang calls a man "Mr. Asiaphile".[5]

Columbia study on racial preferences in dating[edit]

In 2007 economist Ray Fisman, in a two-year study he co-authored on dating preferences among Columbia University students, did not find evidence of a general preference among white men for Asian women. Furthermore, the study found that there is a significantly higher pairing of White men with East Asian women because East Asian women discriminate against Black and Hispanic/Latino men. As quoted on,[10] and also reported in The Washington Post and the Review of Economic Studies (a publication of the London School of Economics):

The study was carried out over two years and was conducted by economists Ray Fisman (lead researcher from Columbia University) and Emir Kamenica (University of Chicago), as well as psychologists Sheena Iyengar (Columbia University) and Itamar Simonson (Stanford University). They took data from "thousands of decisions made by more than 400 daters from Columbia University's various graduate and professional schools."[10]

See also[edit]

Attraction to specific cultures[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Moon, Ailee. Korean American women. p. 134. 
  2. ^ Short, Stephen (26 September 2001). "'Directors Want Freshness'". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Sherer, Theresa Pinto (29 November 2001). "Identity crisis". Salon. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Chang, Cindy (2 April 2006). "Cool Tat, Too Bad It's Gibberish". New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Nam, Vicky (2001). YELL-oh Girls!. Harper Paperbacks. pp. 131–2. ISBN 0-06-095944-4. 
  6. ^ Eng, Phoebe (2000). "She Takes Back Desire". Warrior Lessons: An Asian American Woman's Journey into Power. New York: Atria. pp. 115–42. ISBN 0-671-00957-5. 
  7. ^ Hwang, David Henry (1988). "Afterward". M. Butterfly. New York: Plume Books. p. 98. ISBN 0-452-26466-9. 
  8. ^ Bohling, James. "Embracing Diversity? - Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders Discuss Racism in the LGBT Community". GLAAD. Archived from the original on 2009-02-02. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Ayres T (1999). China doll - the experience of being a gay Chinese Australian. Journal of Homosexuality, 36(3-4): 87-97
  10. ^ a b Fisman, Ray (7 November 2007). "An Economist Goes to a Bar - And Solves the Mystery of Dating".