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Interracial relationships may occur for reasons distinct from race.Asian fetishes have been criticized for treating the fetishized person as an object rather than an equal partner.Because of Asian fetish, an Asian woman’s racial difference is either seen as a failure to conform to mainstream white standards of beauty, or as something that can be appreciated only on an alternative scale.NPR correspondent Elise Hu offers that this can be a source of insecurity in Asian women's dating lives, asking: "Am I just loved because I'm part of an ethnic group that's assumed to be subservient, or do I have actual value as an individual, or is it both? In the other direction, it has been argued that the notion of an Asian fetish creates the unnecessary and erroneous perception of multiracial relationships as being characterized by "patriarchal, racist power structures" in relationships.There is a social stigma in the country against Thai women marrying white men, but research published in 2015 indicated that an increasing number of young middle-class Thai women were marrying foreign men.
The image of the sexualized Asian woman in the United States was further solidified by the presence of the U. military in Asia during the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam war. In a two-year study on dating preferences among 400 Columbia University students, researchers did not find evidence of a general preference among white men for Asian women.
Writer Agness Kaku believes the mainstream white culture undermines efforts to combat sexual harassment based on Asian fetish.
Noting how frequently women of Asian descent are subjected to verbal and online harassment, Kaku argues that Asian fetish "thrives on double standards that make light of racial bias against Asians" and states this downplaying leaves women vulnerable to stalking and violence.
Asian women have traditionally been stereotyped in mass media in the United States.
In her essay Lotus Blossoms Don't Bleed: Images of Asian Women, American filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña identifies two basic stereotypes.
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Western powers, including the United States, established a presence in the port cities of China, Japan and Korea and made substantial profits from the lucrative trade routes.