The percentage of all U. While 70 percent of adults in said they approved of interracial marriage, that figure had climbed to 83 percent by , according to a Roper Reports study. Neither the Roper Report nor the General Social Survey specifically queried respondents on their attitudes or practices concerning interracial dating.
But a study by George Yancey, a sociologist at the University of North Texas, found that interdating today is far from unusual and certainly more common than intermarriage. Yancey collected a sample of 2, adults age 18 and older from the Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Friendships, a telephone survey of English- and Spanish-speaking adults conducted from October to April He found that Men and those who attended racially or ethnically integrated schools were significantly more likely to interdate.
Yancey says that whites might interdate less because they are a numerical majority within American society. While Yancey studied interdating habits among adults, the future of interdating can perhaps best be understood by studying the activities and attitudes of teenagers. Younger people have historically been more open to racial integration and more positive about race relations than older people, according to Jack Ludwig, senior research director at the Gallup Poll in Princeton, N.
According to a Gallup survey of 1, U.
Research on Cross-Race Relationships: An Annotated Bibliography
A Gallup national survey of people ages 13 to 19—found that nearly two-thirds 64 percent of black, Hispanic, or Asian teens who had ever dated and who attended schools with students of more than one race said they had dated someone who was white. This poll is the latest comprehensive survey of U. Some theorists have proposed that people seek interracial relationships because they feel they have qualities that are more attractive to other ethnicities or that they desire characteristics that are associated with other races.
All-in-all, it appears to be the personality of a potential mate, not the race, that most influences an individual's motivation to enter into a romantic relationship. An examination of the characteristics of those who have interracially dated. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 33 , Yancey analyzed data from a national telephone survey of English and Spanish speaking U.
He identified factors that influence whether an individual interracially dates by each ethnicity. The table below displays characteristics that predicted interracial dating by ethnicity. Overall, Caucasians have the greatest number of qualifications affecting whether they will date interracially. For both Caucasian- and Hispanic-Americans, being well-educated was positively associated with interracial dating, and a higher income predicted cross-race dating among Asian-Americans.
In addition, young Caucasian- and African-Americans were more likely to have dated interracially than older Caucasian- and African-Americans. Finally, Caucasian-, African-, and Hispanic-American males were more likely to interracially date than females, but there was no significant difference in likelihood of interracial dating between Asian-American males and females. For all ethnicities, interracial dating was predicted by not being Catholic and being immersed in an integrated environment.
Research on Cross-Race Relationships: An Annotated
Evidence from personal advertisements. Journal of Family Issues, 19, Yancey and Yancey analyzed personal ads from a variety of single's magazines to examine what qualities are sought and offered termed "relational capital" by individuals who are open to interracial dating. When controlling for age and sex, there were no significant differences between African-Americans or Caucasians in either qualities desired or qualities offered. In addition, when controlling for age and sex, there were no significant differences in relational capital defined as the characteristics one can offer in a relationship between individuals who are or are not open to interracial dating.
The authors conclude that neither the desire for out-group qualities nor the possession of attributes supposedly more attractive to other groups serve as bases for whether or not people will choose to date interracially.
Journal of Black Studies, 28 , The authors collected survey data from a nationwide sample of adults in interracial marriages. They compared their results to an annual national survey collected on a random sample of adults. Compared to intraracial marriages, individuals in interracial marriages had achieved slightly higher levels of education, yet had lower family income. In addition, individuals in cross-race marriages tended to have married at an older age and have fewer children than individuals in same-race marriages.
Nonracial factors played a much larger role in spouse selection for the interracially married sample than racial factors. Overall, racial factors played a nominal role in choosing a spouse.
Out of the racial factors, the most influential characteristics were the sexual attraction of someone from another race However, out of individuals who had not dated outside their race prior to marrying a cross-race spouse, a significantly smaller percentage reported sexual attractiveness of other races and ease of talking to people of other races as very important or important in their spouse selection process.
Defending the color line: Racially and ethnically motivated hate crimes. American Behavioral Scientist, 46, Perry reviews literature, statistics, and the popular media to examine motivations for race-based hate crimes. Perry reports that non-Caucasians are at the greatest risk for hate crime victimization when they engage in interracial romantic relationships. Cross-race romantic relationships are a visible violation of anti-miscegenation norms.
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In particular, African-American male-Caucasian female pairings appear to be the least socially acceptable. Drawing from interviews with American high school students, Perry explains that interracial relationships threaten Caucasian males' access to Caucasian women.
Attempts to regulate interracial relationships by Caucasian males also imply that Caucasian women are viewed as the property of Caucasian males. All-in-all, increased risk of hate crime victimization for non-Caucasians in interracial relationships presents a barrier to the formation or maintenance of cross-race relationships, because the risk might scare individuals away from interracial relationships. From miscegenation to multiculturalism: Perceptions and stages of interracial relationship development. Journal of Black Studies, 29, Foeman and Nance review literature on interracial marriage to construct a model of the development of interracial romantic relationships.
They contend that maintenance of cross-race relationships involves the successful management of four stages: The authors conclude that the successful navigation of these stages yields a happy, self-sustaining cross-race relationship with the same intimacy and adjustment as same-race relationships.
The literature on characteristics of children's cross-race friendships has revealed that interracial friendships appear to be less stable and less intimate than same-race friendships. However, there are many caveats to these findings. In addition, although cross-race friendships were found to be less intimate, they were still equally characterized by helping behaviors, emotional security, and positive affections. Therefore, while there seem to be more barriers towards cross-race friendships in terms of general relationships stability and intimacy, once those barriers are crossed, interracial friendships provide equal, positive environments that foster less racial bias as well as other benefits, discussed later Click here to go to the Benefits section.
Cross-race peer relations and friendship quality. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, The authors interviewed elementary school children to examine characteristics of cross-race friendship. Cross-race friendships were less likely in the older students than the younger, with Caucasian boys being the least likely to have cross-race friends. Fewer interracial friendships were stable than same-race friendships, and cross-race friends were less likely to be added over the course of the school year. In terms of friendship quality, same-race friendships were more intimate than cross-race ones.
However, there was no difference between cross- and same-race friendships for helping behaviors, emotional security, or positive affection. High quality interracial friendship was associated with less racial bias. The authors conclude that cross-race friendship can be true "equal status relationships," providing mutual social and emotional support. Friendship similarity during early adolescence: Gender and racial patterns. Journal of Psychology, , Both cross-race and Caucasian same-race friends were more similar to each other on mental alertness and less similar on personality characteristics that predict school achievement than African-American same-race friends.
Caucasian same-race friends were more similar on verbal achievement than cross-race or African-American same-race friends. Overall, cross-race friendship nominations were less reciprocated e. The stability of students' interracial friendships.source url
U.S. Attitudes Toward Interracial Dating Are Liberalizing
American Sociological Review, 52, Hallinan and Williams examined the stability of interracial friendships through the use of a longitudinal data set collected on 4 th through 7 th graders six times throughout one school year. All friendships, regardless of racial composition, were likely to endure for at least six weeks, and most lasted past the final assessment period.
Same-race friendships were more likely than cross-race friendships to last longer than six weeks, with cross-race friendships identified by African-American students having the greatest risk of dissolving from one assessment point to the next. African-American students who identified Caucasian students as their "best friend" were the least likely to be labeled as a "best friend" by the Caucasian student they named. However, Caucasian students who named an African-American student as their "best friend" were just as likely as students who named a same-race student to have that election reciprocated.
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Classrooms with higher proportions of African-American students had more stable interracial friendships. In terms of characteristics of adult cross-race relationships, most of the literature has focused on romantic relationships. However, results from a large, nationally representative survey revealed that American adults' cross-race friendships were similar to children's cross-race friendships.
In general, interracial relationships were less stable, but when there was a high —proportion of cross-race others in an individual's social network, cross- and same-race relationships exhibited similar levels of stability. There has not been much research on the characteristics of these friendships, but extrapolation from children's cross-race friendships implies that adult's cross-race friendships should be similar to their same-race friendships in terms of helping behaviors and positive regard, and that high-quality interracial friendships should yield more positive racial attitudes.
Differences in social difference: Examining third party effects on relational stability. Social Networks, 20, Reagans analyzed data on Americans' social networks collected in a large, national survey. It appears that if a respondent has only one cross-race relationship, that relationship is more likely to have been formed recently than if a respondent has two or more cross-race relationships. Similarly, relationships with cross-race individuals were more likely to end prematurely than same-race relationships if the cross-race individual was a racial isolate in the respondent's social network.
Reagans concludes that interracial relationships tend to end sooner than same-race relationships if the cross-race individual is a racial isolate, but not if the cross-race individual is one of a few cross-race friends.