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Racial Relations: Dating Interratially Essay

1549 words - 7 pages

While sitting in a small circle eating lunch, my friends and I somehow got onto the topic of dating. We all confessed who may or may not have our current attention and amongst my very diverse group of friends, one of them, a Hispanic, said she was interested in dating a white male. In response, another friend asked, “you like those white boys don’t you?”. It was a simple joke as all of my friends are open into interracial dating, but there are many people in American society who do not feel the same way. In fact, there are quite a lot of people who oppose interracial dating. This paper will discuss the topic of interracial dating amongst Whites (Caucasians), Blacks (anyone of African ...view middle of the document...

Interracial marriage was illegal in the United States up until about fifty years ago and even when interracial couples were allowed to marry, they still had to deal with harassment and discrimination, which still continues today. However, interracial dating and marriages increased after the Civil War and because they are still increasing, indicate that there is a positive change in regards to racial relations. According to the US Census, the prevalence of inter-racial marriages in the United States has been rapidly increasing, evidencing a 28 % increase from 7 % in the year 2000 to 10 % in 2010 (Lofquist et al. 2012).
Most stereotypes associated with interracial dating include that there is insincerity amongst the couple (due to a difference in culture or simply wanting what their own race is perceived to be lacking). There is also stereotypes against certain races that make some people perceive a race as more or less desirable, such as white women are considered “easy”, black women are “loud and ghetto”, Asian men “are emotionally unavailable”, etc. The problems arise in dating relationships when couples undergo the social pressure from family, friends, and society. According to a study done by McNamara (1997), there are four responses to the family reaction: supportive, rejecting, accepting but not supportive, and split feelings. Storrs (1997) even points out that, “racial communities oppose interracial relationships because of the challenges they pose to both Black and White identity”.
There are a few theories that will be discussed in greater detail in later sections but are: proximity theory, social exchange theory, white privilege theory, and geographic theory. Research has been found that in regards to the proximity theory, men and women are more likely to interracially date when they are raised amongst a diverse neighborhood/environment (Fujino, 1997; Yancey, 2002). The social exchange theory finds that men and women are more likely to be open to dating another race if it is “higher” than their current socioeconomic status. The white privilege theory is that whites have plenty of options to date intra-racially as well as interracially but other minorities only have limited options. Collins was right in regards that white women have the privilege of “naiveté when concerning interracial relationships” because there are other women of minority groups who do think about the topic as opposed to white women who “don’t think anything about it” (Collins 1991). Lastly, the geographic theory states that specific regions of the country are more likely to have interracial couples than other parts of the country.
While reading Claire E. Sterk’s article, “Tricking and Tripping: Prostitution in the Era of AIDS”, I found most of her article to be very informative and detailed. After reading her article, I gained a deeper perspective of prostitutes and it made me look at prostitution, as well as my topic on interracial dating, from a more...

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