The related theory of hypergamy would also suggest that Asian Americans marry Whites to increase their social status, since Whites generally occupy the highest socio-cultural position in the U. In other words, even if a working-class Asian American marries another working-class White, her social status will still improve, compared to if she married someone else in her ethnic group or even another Asian.
One theory emphasizes that marrying a White person is the ultimate form of assimilation (see the article on "Assimilation and Ethnic Identity") and signifies full acceptance by White society.
These critics also note that it is the saddest irony when Asian women either allow themselves to be objectified and fetishized or when they buy into and accept these demeaning portrayals of Asian men and eliminate them as potential partners.
As one particularly stark example of the "cultural penalty" that many Asian American men face when it comes to dating and overcoming the cultural stereotypes against them, a team of economists at MIT recently analyzed the dating preferences of users of online dating sites (PDF of the study, 1.5mb).
What these criticisms don't mention is why Asian Americans sometimes marry within their ethnic group.
Sometimes, particularly for young Asian immigrant women, they are pressured or forced into marrying within their own ethnic group by family members and cultural traditions.