East Asian Stereotypes

Every ethnic, racial, and religious group of people have had stereotypes based on their appearance and behavior. How many are true about East Asians?

  • ster·e·o·type /noun/a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

Researching Stereotypes on East Asians

Are Asians good at math?

We can begin analyzing this question is through standardized testing. In Math specifically, Asians tend to be higher scorers than average.


The over representation of Asians increase when observing the racial disparity of high SAT math scores.


What about among school in general?

2017 Mean SAT Scores, and Percentage Meeting Benchmarks, by Race and Ethnicity

GroupReading and WritingMathematicsMet Both Benchmarks
Pacific Islander49848832%

These same patterns of Asian Americans excelling are in Britain, and Brazil wanted to come.

Asians being smarter overall

Many might say the increased test scores are due to a strict culture or non-biological factors. This next section provides some insight on inherent factors. There are external biological factors to measure relative cognitive ability- for example, there are specific genes that actually appear more and less frequent by race, some having to do with intelligence. Rushton and Ankney (2009) suggest that IQ is correlated well with brain size.


Consistent Measurements

Regarding brain size, Rushton (2000) found that East Asians have a cranial capacity of 1,364 cm³ and 13,767 million cortical neurons while white Europeans have a cranial capacity of 1,347 cm³ and 13,665 million cortical neurons. Beals et al. (1984), who developed the largest study on racial differences in intracranial volume with measures of 20,000 skulls from around the world, show that on average, cranial capacity is 1,415 cm³ for Asians and 1,362 cm³ for Europeans.

Myopia or near-sightedness is robustly associated with higher nonverbal IQ. Myopia has a heritability of about 0.42. Fredrick (2002) states that about 70-90% of East Asians are myopic and 30-40% of Europeans are myopic

Asians on average have an IQ of 106 which of itself highly genetic and biologically heritable. This can also be shown with white families who adopt East Asian children which exhibit the same patterns.

Are Asians good at Computers?

Asian children are about as likely as white children to have access to a computer at home, however among household internet use, Asians lead.

This stays consistent among smart phone usage.

I tried finding studies which measure computer proficiency or digital literacy among races that including asians but I couldn’t find any.

Another metric to show disproportionate Asian proficiency in computers are demographics of relevant university courses.

Despite making up 5.6% of the US population, Asians make up 21.2% of all students who receive computer science degrees.

Of all computer science majors, Asians are the only group that is overrepresented.

Do Asians have Martial Arts skills?

While there isn’t much literature studying the demographics of martial arts, the studies that do tell a different story than the stereotype. Both Whites and Asians attend martial arts programs at the same rate

Do Asians have piano/violin proficiency?

This, like the previous topic, is hard to measure but there are certain disparities from early childhood that indicate some form of advantage when measuring absolute pitch. They also seem to develop absolute pitch much faster.

Gregersen (2001)

However this runs contrast to statistics regarding music degrees, music pedagogy degrees, musicology degrees, and general music degrees in which Asians are unrepresented in all.

The data is mixed.

Do Asians have strict parents?

Asians often have a stereotype that there parents want them to become a doctor or have perfect grades. There is some truth to this. Asian American parents usually endorse and practice strict control and are regarded to be less expressive in showing affection

Asian parents were assessed as much more prone to stress the importance of financial independence in career selection while white parents were perceived as prioritizing career enjoyment. Certain parenting techniques were much more common among Asians, such as reminding children of parental sacrifices made for the next generation, teaching them that academic performance is a matter of family honor and prodding academic success by comparing their accomplishments with those of children of family and friends.

Dundes, Cho, and Kwak (2009)

They also found that Asian parents are more likely than Caucasian parents to compare the accomplishments of their children with the achievements of their friends and relatives’ children’s academic achievements. Many Asian college students receive much more influence from their parents than their white counterparts

Choi et al (2013) has further reading

Do Asians have slanted eyes?

Now obviously this doesn’t refer to the eye itself being slanted but the epicanthic fold making the appearance of the eye shape different. The Asian eyelid has had much attention due to popular surgeries to “fix” the fold.

Average Male Face of a Mainline Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese respectively
Average Female Face of a Mainline Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese respectively

In any case, average composites from East Asian countries don’t show any noticeable slant

🍆 This Topic

Most of the the studies that have circulated on this topic have been unreliable due to different factors including no/poor/inaccurate sourcing and self reporting.

tbh i found a post on reddit about this- info below

White penile length measurements from institutional research:

Asian penile length measurements from institutional research:

Black penile length measurements from institutional research:

(Apparently there has only ever been one formal, doctor-measured study on erect/stretched penis lengths for Black men.)

To be honest, Korean men may have around a 0.3 inch decrease in mean length compared to Whites, however there aren’t many medical studies into this (obviously). Other East Asian groups like Chinese may have a 0.04 decrease in mean length.

Are Asians poor drivers?

In 2006, the NHTSA published a study called Traffic Safety Facts: Race and Ethnicity. The study separated American drivers into racial categories.

Of all six race categories, Asians were the least likely to be fatally injured while driving. Asians had a fatality rate of 4.00 per 100,000 population. In comparison, white, Hispanic, and black drivers had a fatality rate of approximately 12.35 per 100,000 population.

NHTSA (2016)

The study examined rates of impaired driving among all six race and ethnic categories listed above. Alcohol was a factor in 36% of fatal traffic incidents involving Hispanics, 31% involving whites, and 31% involving African-Americans. Asians, however, had the lowest percentage of fatalities related to alcohol. 22% of Asian fatalities on the road in 2006 involved drivers with a BAC over 0.08 which is 9 percentage points lower than white and African-American drivers.


Its fair to say that many of these stereotypes have been made accurately based on reality or ethnic history.

2 thoughts on “East Asian Stereotypes

  1. To be fair, the data on driving over estimates the population size of each group because it only lists raw populations of each group, meaning it’s including children who obviously don’t drive.
    There hasn’t been a study on it (as far as I’ve been able to find) but it would be useful if someone analyzed drivers license suspension by race/ethnicity.


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