HOW COLOR-BLIND IS LOVE? INTERRACIAL DATING FACTS AND PUZZLES
A fact sheet for the Council on Contemporary Families
by Colleen Poulin and Virginia Rutter
March 30, 2011
How colorblind is love? In interracial and intercultural romances, color counts for less than ever. But when it comes to marital commitments, and even public displays of affection, barriers still remain.
The following fact sheet was prepared for the 2011 Council on Contemporary Families conference, "Tipping Point? When Minority Families Become the Majority" (April 8-9 at the University of Illinois Chicago), by researchers at Framingham State University. CCF public affairs intern Colleen Poulin and FSU sociologist Virginia Rutter consider what's working and what remains challenging in interracial relationships.
Interracial dating has increased dramatically
But the increase in types of interracial romance is uneven
And interracial couples still feel hesitant about engaging in public displays of affection
Interracial dating is less likely to lead to marriage (or long term commitment) than same-race dating
Still, interracial marriages have increased
Colleen Poulin is a graduating psychology major with a minor in sociology at Framingham State University. She is a public affairs intern for this year with the Council on Contemporary Families. She is at email@example.com.
Virginia Rutter is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Framingham State University. She is a columnist and editor at www.girlwpen.com, author of the forthcoming The Gender of Sexuality (2nd edition) and a senior fellow and board member of the Council on Contemporary Families. She is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fact Sheet References
Burton, L.M., Bonilla-Silva, E., Ray, V., Buckelew, R., & Hordge-Freeman, E. (2010). Critical race theories, colorism, and the decade's research on families of color. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 440-459.
Joyner, K., & Kao G. (2005). Interracial relationships and the transition to adulthood. American Sociological Review, 70, 563-581.
Knox, D., Zusman, M. E., Buffington, C., & Hemphill, G. (2000). Interracial dating attitudes among college students. College Student Journal, 34(1), 69-71.
Lee, J., & Bean, F. (2008). Reinventing the color line immigration and America's new racial/ethnic divide. Social Forces, 86, 561 - 586.
Lichter, D.T., Brown, J.B., Qian, Z-C., and Carmalt J. (2007). "Marital Assimilation Among Hispanics: Evidence of Declining Cultural and Economic Assimilation?" Social Science Quarterly 88(3): 745-765.
Lichter, D.T., J.H. Carmalt, and Z-C Qian. (2011). "Immigration and Intermarriage among Hispanics: Crossing Racial and Generational Boundaries." Sociological Forum 26, forthcoming.
Northcutt, M. (2006). Adolescent interracial dating: Birds of a feather don't flock together. American Sociological Association, 1-22.
Passel, S. P., Wang, W., & Taylor, P. (2010). Marrying Out: Pew Social & Demographic Trends. June 4. Online at: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1616/american-marriage-interracial-interethnic.
Pew Research Center Publications. (2010). Almost All Millennials Accept Interracial Dating and Marriage. February 1. Online at: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1480/millennials-accept-iinterracial-dating-marriage-friends-different-race-generations.
Qian, Z. (2005). Breaking the last taboo: Interracial marriage in America. American Sociological Association, 4(4), 33-37.
Qian, Z., & Lichter, D., (2007). Social boundaries and marital assimilation: Interpreting trends in racial and ethnic intermarriage. American Sociological Review, 72, 68-94.
Rudder, C. (2009). How your race affects the messages you get. Posted at blog.OkCupid.com. October 5. Online at: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-race-affects-whether-people-write-you-back/.
Schoppflin, T., (2009). Perspectives of interracial dating at a predominantly white university. Sociological Spectrum, 29, 346-370.
The Statistical Assessment Service (STATS). "Can Intermarriage Make You Smarter or Richer? http://www.stats.org/newsletters/9708/interrace2.htm.
Tsunokai, G. T. (2007). Examining interracial dating patterns: A comparison between the Jim Crow and the Millennium generation. American Sociological Association,1-19.
Vaquera, E., & Kao, G. (2005). Private and public displays of affection among interracial and intra-racial adolescent couples. Social Science Quarterly, 86(2), 484-508.
Wang, H., & Kao, G. (2007). Does higher socioeconomic status increase contact between minorities and whites? An examination of interracial romantic relationships among adolescents. Social Science Quarterly, 88(1), 146-164.
Yancey, G. (2002). Who dates interracially: An examination of the characteristics of those who have dated interracially. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 33, 179-190.
Yancey, G. (2009). Crossracial differences in the racial preferences of potential dating partners: A test of the alienation of African Americans and social dominance orientation. The Sociological Quarterly, 50, 121-143.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS:
For further information on interracial dating trends, contact sociologist Virginia Rutter, Associate Professor, Farmingham State University, email@example.com or 206-375-4139.
For information on demographic changes in American families, contact demographer Daniel Lichter, Professor of Policy Analysis and Management and Sociology, Cornell University, firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-354-8781.
For information on the history of interracial unions in the United States, contact Michael Rosenfeld, Associate Professor of Sociology, Stanford University, at email@example.com.
For more information on interracial dating, including online and other ways that couples "make connections" contact Pamela Anne Quiroz, Professor of Public Policy and Sociology at University of Illinois at Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-769-2890.
The Council on Contemporary Families is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of family researchers, mental health and social practitioners, and clinicians dedicated to providing the press and public with the latest research and best practice findings about American families. Founded in 1996 and based at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Council's mission is to enhance the national understanding of how and why contemporary families are changing, what needs and challenges they face, and how these needs can best be met.
CCF's April 8-9, 2011, Conference in Chicago:
The topic of our 14th Annual Conference, April 8-9, 2011, is "Tipping Point? When Minority Families Become the Majority." The conference is held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Panels in our customary brief formal presentation/long dialogue format convene experts on minority families. The program includes a keynote by Dan Lichter of Cornell University: "The Reshaping of Racial Boundaries in Personal Relationships."
Other topics at the conference examine race, ethnicity, and social class related to: multiracial identities, sexual diversity, child-rearing and transitions to adulthood, paid and unpaid care at home, and family counseling beyond the white middle-class model. A detailed program is at http://www.contemporaryfamilies.org/conference/2011-conference-program.html.
To receive a complimentary press pass to the conference or receive future CCF briefing papers, contact Stephanie Coontz, CCF's Co-Chair and Director of Research and Public Education: email@example.com.