Why Do White Guys Love Asian Girls So Much? A History of Yellow Fever

Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of a single author, and doesn’t necessarily represent the viewpoints of Amped Asia magazine. We believe that these viewpoints should be voiced, and we won’t censor this author’s opinion.

UPDATE: Cindy wrote a response to the negative backlash of this article, which can be read here.

A long time ago, in a university library far, far away, I put off studying for my biology final so I could witness the hilarious glory that launched the career of Asian America’s most well-known film crew, Wong Fu Productions.


For those of you who remain blissfully ignorant of what yellow fever is and why that video hits so close to home for the characters, allow me to enlighten you: yellow fever is the unique phenomenon attributed to a non-Asian man’s preference for Asian women.

RELATED: Is My Love for Asians a Fetish or a Preference?

But why? Why are Asian women so popular?

Take yourself back 200 years. Asian immigrants poured into the US by the thousands to work in mines, on railroads, and at shipping docks. When American men observed what they didn’t know from the outside — they thought they saw Asian men being treated like gods by small, delicate, docile, obedient, exotic-looking women (though anyone who has ever dated an Asian woman knows that our fiery personalities could scare even an Irish woman).

Beverly Swerling’s Novel “City of God” captures it best: a fabulously wealthy New York merchant travels to China, purchases a toddler from her parents for a box of opium, and has her groomed to be the perfect, docile, submissive spouse his American wife can never be.

Historically, Asian women were seen as an obedient, submissive alternative to White women.

All the beauty with none of the hassle of a fiery-tempered White woman. If I didn’t know any better, I’d want in on that too. (White) American guys thought they had won the lottery when they discovered Asian women, and having an exotic Asian mistress who were more obedient than their White female counterparts gave them a feeling of power. Asian women were suddenly en vogue, the newest, coolest accessory.

World War II and the proliferation of Asian prostitutes magnified the stereotype

World War II and Vietnam didn’t help, with thousands of clever Asian prostitutes who started draining soldiers’ bank accounts with ease by playing the coy, submissive part to get the cold, hard cash. If your country is being obliterated, food is scarce, and the only way you can feed your family is by letting some big-shot soldier think you’re a delicate Oriental flower, then stereotypes be damned.

Asian prostitutes with White Guy

The present day

Fast forward 200 years, past a Hollywood that continues to portray Asian women as little more than exotic handbags, and that stereotype is here to stay. White guys salivate at the thought of Asian women. Some hunt their prey (yes, prey) here. Some go by mail-order. And, curiously, White male tourists in Asia outnumber female tourists TEN. TO. ONE.

White Guy Asian Girl

Hmmm, I wonder why? (Remember this sick guy molesting women in Japan?)

It’s funny to think of the sad, Asian-obsessed White guy with no social life and a serious case of cystic acne watching Bible Black and dreaming about his Asian princess. But it’s also hard to be an Asian woman and wonder whether a guy actually likes you any time you get asked out, or whether you’re a sick fetish.

But what are the implications of yellow fever for Asian men?

It means that Asian guys are portrayed as weak and effeminate (since Hollywood is run by White men).

It means that Asian women marry outside of their race more often than Asian men do.

And it means that up to a fifth of Asian men might never marry as a result.

Wong Fu’s video is only the latest installment in the “Realistic Misadventures in the Life of Asian Men Everywhere,” but it’s the truth. So let’s be realistic — Yellow fever is here to stay. White guys love Asian women, and that’s going to continue for a long time.

Yellow Fever White Guy Asian Girl

But before you lament the fact that non-Asian women rarely have yellow fever for Asian men, consider three things:

1) Asian men are getting more and more attention — and that’s because Asian men are starting to find themselves a lot better within American society.

2) If you do get a white girl, you’ll probably never be treated like an object. That’s always a plus.

3) If you harness your inner Grant Imahara or Eugene Jang and pursue the girl of your dreams with the confidence of white guys who place no limitations on themselves, you too can bring home a smoking-hot girl of any race.

Written by Cindy Young

  • Kashif Jaffri

    1/4 Chinese and 3/4 lol! Regardless of what is your exact genetic composition is, this column sounded like complete fantasy to me, let’s back it up with some facts otherwise it sounds complete rubbish to someone who knows a thing or two about history!

  • shironinja

    Smh. It’s only projected and shown that asian women only prefere white men and totaly dis and or disrespect black or latin american men. Onesided and biased at best.

    • Eric Edwards

      Why u mad? You have loads of white women.

  • Dat Asian Guy

    I agree with what people have written here.
    That 1/4th of you has deep rooted history in this country so you can write this article right now, but that 3/4th of you has given you white privileges that us 100 percents, can’t.
    Sorry, we can’t not.care.what.you.think.
    Some of us have to know where we can jog at any hour of the day so we don’t get harassed by the police, and I’m Asian, let alone the other minorities in worse parts of the USA.

    That also trickles down to who we talk to and how we are presented.
    Even if we didn’t care what anyone thinks, most of society do, and it’s usually have been tampered with by the perception of White Hollywood. We can’t celebrate that shit, because we are people individually and not the stereotypes that you ask us to accept.

    “White guys love Asian women, and there’s nothing anyone can or should do to change that.”

    See, here’s the integral part of your column that I disagree with. I am not against interracial relationships, but what I am against is to be accepting of the person that I am rather than the color of my skin.
    If you want to be loved and coveted solely because you are exotic and 1/4th Asian, I’m sorry love, I don’t think you truly understand what it is to be really wanted to be you.

  • Kid1

    What about men who simply find Asian women attractive? Not because of a stereotype or anything but because he finds them beautiful? You never mentioned that at all.

    • Rafael

      It’s never mentioned because when it comes to Yellow Fever and interracial relationships regarding Asian females, the focus is mainly on White male/Asian female relationships. Men of other races or men who are simply attracted to Asian females are completely neglected, partially due to the fact that Asian females stereotypically date only Asian and White males. As a half Black half Hispanic male who happens to find Asian women attractive, I wish that wasn’t the case…but it is what it is.

      • Kid1

        Unfortunately you missed the nail completely as well. I’m white, and I’m neutral on the dominant vs. Submissive thing. And considering this yellow fever thing happens in many groups, female, male, white, black. I think she is hitting the issue on the head… If she were to travel about 40, 50 maybe 100 years into the past. But now it’s something else. It’s not in the stereotype or in the “personality” expected of them. Is something more basic (physical / biological) than that I’m pretty sure.

        • Rafael

          Yes, I’m not really addressing the point of this article. Honestly, I don’t know whether or not the author is right as to why White guys go after Asian girls and the history behind it. However, I’m simply pointing out that this article is an example of how guys who aren’t White or Asian are left out of the conversation when it comes to dating Asian females. Even if the title says White guys, “Yellow Fever” refers to males of every race who prefer Asian females, therefore other races should not be neglected.

          • Kid1

            Point taken. I just am bugged that she pulled the race card a little

    • No way

      Agreed, I have a thing for Asian woman, has nothing to do with some of them being doormats, in fact, my asian wife can go toe to toe with me at times, she’s no doormat. I am white, yes, I am one of “those”, I happen to like the Asian face, can’t get enough of their features, I happen to also like hispanics and other Eastern/European woman, their exotic looks drives me wild. Oh, and as a side bonus, most mixed kids are beautiful so I am also mixing up the population. :O)

  • Nicknack 4

    More like “gold digger” fever. Have had plenty of friends that after getting them a passport, and drying up their bank accounts, the asian women leave to find someone else.

  • Peter

    To the Asian guys: If you yourselves are attracted to Asian women, then how can you claim that your values differ than white guys afflicted with this “yellow fever?”

    Also, the more white guys that end up with Asian women means there are more white ladies for you. America is a melting pot, after all, right?

    • YourHusband

      but asian dudes don’t like their own women to the point of fetishism. if anything, most asian men only find a small percentage of asian women attractive, whereas white men with a fetish will be attracted to a woman just because she’s asian, regardless of how she looks. asian dudes also don’t expect their women to be “submissive”, whereas many white men will have this preconceived idea of how an asian women will behave towards them

      • No way

        Have you gone and asked very man who likes asian woman? Come on, give me a break. So its ok for asian woman to want a white man, where are those articles? Or asian men who like white woman? I know a few of those. As will all cultures, some take it too far, its not the norm.

  • jonblaze1hq

    Damn you are shallow and just plain dumb. Asian women sure have dumb down on the internet lately. Frank chin was right in his writings regarding the future of Asian women.

  • http://medium.com/@frostbitpanda Frostbit Panda

    “It means that Asian guys are portrayed as weak and effeminate (since Hollywood is run by White men).” What nonsense are you talking about? After Bruce Lee, every White guy FEARED the little Chinese man because he knew Kung Fu in the 80s. In the 90s till now, we have Jet Li and Jackie Chan.

  • Steve Seto

    sorry frostbit panda, i agree with the author. there aren’t many lead roles in the media that don’t involve kung-fu and harvard put out a study about the very issue of historical racial trends and causes. (most of the paper focused on african american black historical racial trends and causes but there was an interesting section on this exact topic between the discrepancies between the numbers of asian women +white/other races, and asian men/white+other races.) if you can find the article i think it was on featured on bloomberg some time ago as well. congrats to wongfu and to the author. great article and video.

    • JohnnyMangoes

      Just a heads up, women aren’t attracted to men who smile a lot. Want to be seen as more aggressive and desirable, stop with the social media and the smiling. Unfortunately I’m dead serious.

  • ohhellno

    White society and white media at its “best” as usual, trying to make people of color feel inadequate and messing up love lives due to stereotypical portrayal when a lot of white men secretly want beautiful women of other races especially if they come from a more traditional culture because modern feminist white women are trying to take power away from white men and they’re tired of it but instead of reclaiming their place and controlling their women, they use their media power to paint themselves at most desired and brainwash other cultures and mainly their women so they’ll start to choose white mates over their own, leaving those in that culture to have less success at dating and marriage, or just to create disunity in other cultures. They’re doing it to Asians, they did it to Latinos, they did it to Blacks, etc. Then when confronted about the destruction they’ve caused, they’ll put it on some stereotype that they created as the cause like it had nothing to do with them! White dudes are so full of shit.

  • Jerry

    I may seem out of place here as I am a white guy and I married an Asian woman and have been married to her for 30 years. I knew in the very beginning that Asian women do have a temper even before I started to date them. Asian women are incredibly beautiful in my eyes but what I really love about them is their honesty, their intelligence especially in financial matters and their loyalty to their husband and have high family values. You just don’t see that in America where the divorce rate is extremely high. More marriages here end in divorce than those that stay married. But on another point. Its not just about gender. I find that Asian guys are more friendly and willing to help others than American guys in my own country. Thank you Asia for giving me a positive outlook on life.

  • White Devil

    Oh come now Cindy lets not pretend. Deep down inside you long for the not so secret love that can only be shared between a ( wait for it ) Asian girl/ white guy: the unbridled passion, the intense heat, the throws of unimaginable ecstasy. It is the stuff from which legends are born. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve known the soft caresses of the white man Cindy. He pierces your soul with his sparkling exotic blue eyes, and knows your innermost passions. Your ever fantasy indulged. You’ll never be the same. We are one this night OH GOD! Is it hot in hear? Hold on just give me a minuet…

    What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Asian guys whining again. Ahem…seriously though, I really like your articles Cindy, and I agree 100% with every thing you say (ever). Really, I was just wanting to know if I could maybe have your # for networking purposes obviously. I would really like to hear more about your perspective on the subject perhaps over a coffee. Thank you ; )

  • gonzomatic

    This article is total garbage written by the typical fat,white feminazi 30 something that can’t find a man so she blames the hot asian girls for stealing them all; while shaming white men for their “fetish”. They’ve done numerous studies on this phenomenon and the reality is actually the opposite, ASIAN WOMEN have a strong desire to be with white men, because asian men expect them to be subservient, obedient, docile housewives, and white men don’t treat them like this. Therefore asian women are more responsive to white mens advances, and boom, you get the “yellow fever” stereotype.

    now go feed your 30 cats

  • Herbert Elizondo

    Here in Brasil we got a lot of japanese descendants (1,4 million) and a lot of otakus who try to date with these japaneses (women and men)

    Today, 60% of japaneses great-grandchildren are mixed