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Online daters are more open to dating someone of a different race if the other person initiates contact, a study has found, according to New York's Daily News.

The study, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the users of the free online dating site OKCupid were more likely to chat with someone from a different racial background if the person broke the ice. The same daters hesitated to be the first one to talk to someone from a race on the site.

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According to Kevin Lewis of the University of California San Diego, who conducted the study, it is hard to tell whether people choose their partners because of a racial preference or if it has to do with whether they have the opportunity to meet and interact with someone of a different race, the Daily News notes.

"We expect that someone from a different background wouldn't be interested in us," Lewis told the Daily News. "The willingness to reciprocate may tell us more about site users' 'real' preferences than their willingness to initiate contact."

"We are generally unwilling to cross racial lines—unless someone else takes the vulnerable step of making the first move," he added.

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The study data were taken from 126,134 OKCupid users from October to December 2010.

Read more at the Daily News.