The Asian American Men Study

The Asian American Men Study

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The Asian American Man Study is an annual survey of the experiences and beliefs of American men of East, Southeast, and South Asian descent.

  • East Asia: China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan
  • Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka

In October 2016, we launched the 2nd annual Asian American Man Study. Nearly 500 East, Southeast, and South Asian men answered 40 questions about their lives, their beliefs, and their experiences.

Jason Shen, a first-generation Asian American and work as a product manager in New York City, did an independent study about Asian American Men from October 19th through January 22, 2017. Here is the result of his study:

For the 2016 study, a 40-question survey created on G Suite was launched on October 19th, 2016. The study was promoted on the author's Twitter and Facebook accounts, and via an email newsletter to 116 people, most of whom had taken the 2015 study and wanted to stay in touch about updates. From October 19th through January 22nd, 2017, we collected 512 responses, of which we eliminated 15 responses for either indicating "Female" in their gender or as duplicate response, leaving a total of 497 unique, valid responses.

Demographics

Broadly speaking, these were highly educated, well-paid, coastal and progressive young men. A majority of these men were between 25 and 34 years old, two-thirds were born in the United States, and geographically, about 80% lived on the East or West Coasts of the country. A significant portion of respondents had graduate degrees, nearly half worked in technology, and of the men over 24 years old, half earned more than $100,000 in annual income. For more demographics of Asian American Men, click here

Some key findings from this study include:

Race & Identity: 

  • Three-quarters of men (74%) agreed or strongly agreed that their Asian origins were an important part of their identity
  • While the vast majority of men (85%) consider themselves American, only 61% responded "agree" or "strongly agree" when asked if they thought the people that encounter them day-to-day feel the same way
  • 85% of men report experiencing some level of harassment at school, while only 39% of men reported experiencing such harassment in the workplace

Dating

  • More than three-quarters of men have dated someone of Asian descent. About 70% have dated someone white, 28% have dated someone Latino / Hispanic, and 18% someone Black / African American.
  • Nearly two-thirds of men have had someone say in their presence “I don’t date Asian men” in their presence (62%)
  • ​The vast majority of men believe that Asian men can make attractive romantic partners, with 93% indicating “agree” or “strongly agree”

Where Are You From?

  • 84% of men have been asked "Where are you from?" or "What nationality are you?" or a similar ethnicity related question in the last three months - a question that 80% of men have a neutral or negative response to
  • Nearly all (98%) of South Asian men had been asked such a question in the last three months, with 30% being asked more than 6 times​
Media
  • The #1 most admired Asian-American man was actor and martial artist Bruce Lee came with 51 votes (10% of the respondents), a personal relative like "My dad" or "Grandpa" was next with 28 votes, comedian and actor Aziz Ansari earned 24 votes, followed by NBA player Jeremy Lin, and actor John Cho. 35% of men chose to skip the question or wrote in something akin to "I don't know" or "I can't think of anyone"
  • About 70% of men responded "strongly disagree" to the statements "Asian men have adequate media representation" and "Asian men are typically represented as attractive, fully-developed characters"
Stereotypes
  • The top five most commonly experienced stereotypes for East Asian men were: being good at math, being good with computers, having a small penis, having slanted eyes, and having kung fu / martial arts skills
  • The top five stereotypes experienced by Southeast Asian men were: having a small penis, being good at math, being quiet / shy, being good at computers, and having kung fu / martial arts skills
  • The top five stereotypes experienced by South Asian men were: being good with computers, being labeled a terrorist, not being a "real" American, and being undesirable as a romantic partner​
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