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Experts say dating apps underline the racialised ways of thinking in North America, where Eurocentric standards define what it means to be attractive.

"Asian men in North America were historically emasculated, desexualised and presented as the antithesis of what white men are," said Michael Hurt, a Korean-American sociologist who grew up in the United States.

If you are a white woman you're socially programmed to believe the Asian man is the least sexually viable, least sexually attractive," he said.

"This social programming comes out when you're swiping on Tinder." And yet for Asian women, the experience seems to the be the opposite.

"I could have made a snap judgment and stopped seeing him then, or I could have blindly participated in the pattern [of the fetishisation of Asian women].

The New York Police Department (NYPD) believe that James Jackson, aged 30, a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, traveled to New York by bus on March 17, 2017, from Maryland before killing Timothy Vaughan, a 66-year-old homeless black man, as he sifted through rubbish on West 36th Street near 9th Avenue three days later.

The city also has the highest number of interracial unions in Canada, with 9.6 per cent of couples in interracial or intercultural partnerships, according to 2014 government data.

"White men and Asian women pairings appear to be more common in Vancouver than in other metropolitan cities I've visited," said Kathy Sheng, a Chinese-Canadian woman in her late 20s.

"I always had to suss out whether the white guys I dated had 'yellow fever', or if they liked me for me," she said, adding that she would check if their last few girlfriends were also Asian, or if they had many female Asian friends.

"Sometimes you just get that gut feeling - that vibe." Yale-NUS College humanities scholar Robin Zheng describes fetishisation as "a person's exclusive or near-exclusive preference for sexual intimacy with others belonging to a specific racial group".

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