Interracial dating in the past has been considered taboo. But as time passed by, more and more people came to understand and accept relationships of people from different races. Although there are still quite a few who are uncomfortable about the idea of interracial dating, most people in the society nowadays are open-minded.
You cannot control what your heart tells you. If you fell in love with someone from a different culture and racial background, you may find it difficult to fight for your love because of other people’s reactions. However, there are a lot of interracial relationships that prove to last longer than those who have had same-race relationships. This may be because they felt a stronger bond of love between them and the trials that they went through made them love each other more, instead of breaking them apart. They grow together as one which is a really strong foundation for real love and long lasting relationship.
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There are some challenges that face interracial dating because of cultural differences between interracial couples. There are some countries that still have this societal pressures and prejudices about it. In addition, some of the interracial couple’s family members might oppose the union because they might think that it is unsuitable for their family’s image in the society. They are worried about what other people might think about their son or daughter’s relationship with another person of different background and color.
The cultural differences between the couple are one of the most difficult of all challenges because each one has to adjust to the other’s cultural upbringing. While establishing their own family, the question lingers about how they would raise their children. What cultural background should they be exposed to and other things for that matter. In order to resolve this, they should have a serious exchange of ideas for raising their children. The best thing to do is mix in all the good things about each culture but leave out anything negative about it.
Interracial dating might have its difficulties and trials however there are a lot of couples who are successfully and happily married. They outgrew and withstand all the trials they have faced during their first days of dating up to the time they have established a happy home. They both have benefited of learning new things about one another’s culture, both the good and the bad attributes of each culture.
Another thing that contributes to the success of every interracial dating and relationships is the advancements of technology nowadays. The mobile phone industry and the internet revolution lets people interact accordingly even if they are on the opposite sides of the planet. They feel closer than the actual thousands of miles distance between them. According to studies, there are more love quotes and love sms sent nowadays and much more egreetings sent over the internet. This surely is the essence of the new technologies constantly renovated each day and the interracial couples are greatly benefiting from them.
Interracial couples are brave enough to face the world and let the society know that nothing can stand between them and their love for each other. The more challenges and trials the interracial couples are undergoing, the stronger their relationship becomes. This only proves that love can indeed conquer all, from the moment it starts and hopefully until eternity.
Interracial Dating-Does It Turn You On?
Interracial dating and intermarriage has increased in the last century due to greater human mobility and multiculturalism. It should be remembered that personal preferences and the presence or absence of prejudice are irrelevant to people who are born and die in the same town or city, which was often the case before the invention of the automobile and the jet plane. Before the 20th century, with the exception of soldiers and traders, most people rarely interacted with foreigners.
Even the term “interracial dating” is subject to interpretation. Often people take it to mean marriage between caucasians, asians and blacks. However, most people have strong historic, national and linguistic identities as well, which may cause more interpersonal differences than just ethnological definitions of race. For instance, most caucasians would not view a union between Korean and Japanese nationals as a “mixed marriage”; however, many Koreans and Japanese would heartily disagree.
According to USA Today, in America 6% of marriages are interracial; in 1970, it was less than 1%. A Gallup Poll on interracial dating in June 2005 reported that 95% of 18- to 29-year-olds approve of blacks and whites dating. About 60% of that age group said they have dated someone of a different race.
This level of tolerance did not always exist. Anti-miscegenation laws used to be very common in America. They were first passed in the 1600s to prevent freed black slaves from marrying whites.
More such laws were passed in the 1700s and 1800s as a response to an influx of Chinese and Filipino laborers, almost exclusively male. In this case, anti-miscegenation laws were part of a larger anti-asian movement that eventually led to the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 and other restrictive regulations. These laws actually excacerbated ethnic tensions because asian men were no longer allowed to bring their wives to America. Those who wanted to marry had no other choice but to find a non-asian partner.
After World War II, racial barriers began to lessen somewhat as U.S. servicemen who had fought and were stationed overseas in Asian countries returned with asian “war brides” of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnamese origin.
It was only in 1967, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that miscegenation laws were unconstitutional (Loving v. Virginia). At that time, 38 states still had formal laws on their books to forbid the marriage of whites and non-whites. In this era, these laws still had widespread public support: just two years earlier, a 1965 Galllup poll found that 72 per cent of Southern whites and 42 per cent of Northern whites still wanted to ban interracial marriage.
Especially in the Southern states, there was widespread public fear specifically over predatory black men lusting after white women, and white women being unable to resist their charms. Black men who merely looked at white women were in danger of being lynched. In one famous case, a 14 year-old black boy named Emmett Till, who whistled at a white woman, was murdered by Mississippi Klansmen in 1955. There was no similar level of high-pitched racist hysteria about black women or asians.
Upfriends believes people of all races and ethnicity should be able to hook up without being in danger of third parties.
Studies consistently show that asians have the highest rates of intermarriage, and that Japanese are the most likely to have a white spouse. Those who are most likely to marry within their own ethnic group are Vietnamese men and women, Korean husbands and Asian Indian wives. Most asians who marry a non-asian have a white spouse; intermarriage with blacks and latinos is less common. However, even among asians, most people still marry someone of their own racial group. 22 percent of Asian-American women have a non-asian husband. A mere nine percent of asian husbands have non-asian wives
The 2000 Census showed a gender disparity in the composition of interracial couples. The Census Bureau confirmed many black women’s complaints that white women tend to marry black men more often than white men marry black women. Currently, six percent of black husbands are in an interracial marriage, compared to only two percent of black wives. Fourteen percent of black men who are cohabiting without marriage have a white woman living with them, while only three percent of cohabiting black women live with a white man.
African-American men had white wives 2.65 times more often than black women had white husbands. In other words, in 73 percent of black-white marriages, the husband was black. This trend is even more pronounced among black-white couples who cohabit without being married; in this case, five times as many black men live with white women as white men live with black women.
18 percent of Asian wives have white husbands, while merely seven percent of asian husbands have white wives. The sex ratios of asian/white couples is the mirror image of black/white marriages. Asian women had white husbands 3.08 times more often than asian men had white wives. In other words, slightly more than 75 percent of white-asian couples featured a white husband and asian wife. However, unlike the situation with black/white couples, the gender imbalance is slightly less with cohabiting couples; only 2.09 times as many white men cohabited with asian women as asian men cohabited with white women.
Black-asian marriages, such as the one that produced golf legend Tiger Woods, are still rare, but here the gender imbalance is even more pronounced than interracial pairings involving whites. 86 percent of black-asian couples consisted of a black husband and an Asian wife. This means that there were 6.15 times more couples where the husband was black and the wife was asian than where the husband was asian and the wife black.
Non-Hispanic whites marry other whites 96.5 percent of the time, with little difference between men and women in the rates of intermarriage.
Slightly less than 18 percent of Hispanic wives are wed to non-Hispanics husbands, and a little over 15 percent of Hispanic husbands have non-Hispanic wives.
This gender discrepancy has grown larger over time; in 1960, white husbands were found in 50% of black/white marriages, and in 62% of asian/white marriages. The social result of this imbalance is a lack of marital opportunities for black women and asian men.
It is tempting to blame media-driven social stereotypes for the large gender discrepancy in black and asian intermarriage. Black men are prominent in sports have frequently been depicted in films as icons of virility. Americans engage in hero-worship of sports figures, and despite the average low income of lack males, elite black athletes are rich and famous.
Black women are rarely cast in highly sexualized film roles. However, black women are prominent in sports, and are often on stage as glamorous singers and dancers. In addition, black men are have high incarceration rates, earn lower incomes and are less likely to get post-secondary education than black women. For practical reasons, one would expect black women to be viewed on average as more desirable mates than black men.
However, according to a 2005 study done at Columbia University by Aaron Gullickson, black with college degrees are 35% more likely to enter into interracial marriages than blacks with less education, and lower-class blacks showed “strong isolation from the interracial marriage market”. Whites who marry blacks engage in cherry-picking, removing only the most successful individuals from a disadvantaged minority community sorely in need of successful role models. The Columbia study showed no correlation between educational level and interracial marriage for white spouses of blacks.
The image of asians may be more clear-cut and consistent; Asian women are presented as quiet, delicate and exotic. Asian men, with the exception of martial-arts films, are portrayed as “nerdy”, unathletic intellectuals. In fact, asians (both men and women) are slightly smaller than the national average size. Asians have been called a “model minority”, for they tend to be well-educated, hard-working and law-abiding. However, judging from the low rate of intermarriage for asian men, it seems that these old-fashioned personal virtues are less appealing to women than a hypermasculine, macho image.
In the search for a mate, people say they are high-minded and look for beauty within, and that their mates’ personalities are the most important factor in determining the outcome of a relationship. Yet it is abundantly clear that people are quite superficial and still to adhere to age-old sex stereotypes : women find muscular, aggressive males attractive, while males idealize the image of non-threatening, demure, petite women. In the public’s mind, if not in reality, black men and asian women fit these social roles, and are therefor most fashionable as dates and spouses.
2005 Census data was derived from counts of all 54,493,232 married couples in America as of April 1, 2000. Due to the large population surveyed, these statistics are extremely reliable. Census enumeration is made once every 10 years. The Census Bureau also releases annual Current Population Survey reports on “Families and Living Arrangements,” but these are based on sample sizes too small to be entirely trustworthy.
Interracial Dating – Prejudice is Alive and Well!
Any observer of the dating scene will know that there is a wide array of people seeking inter-racial or inter-cultural relationships. The area is of quite some controversy, with some viewing mixed relationships as an attack on their culture or race, and others regarding it as the ultimate melting pot ideal. However, my view is that often it is more complicated than that and racism can live well in the minds of people who are seeking mixed relationships, and there are particular stereotypes that people have in mind. One case in particular is that of white men who are seeking ‘Asian’ women. This is a discussion of my findings on personal ads put out by white men in Asian press and Asian dating sites.
Clearly, Asian women are in quite some demand in the personal columns and the internet. In particular, personal ads, whether on the internet or in the press, often cost money which means people are prepared to put significant resources into finding a partner. The targeting of minority press indicates that there is a great deal of selection going on, and these advertisers are researching where would be the best place to reach a large number of Asian women.
This would further bear witness that those men who do not specify what sort of woman they were looking for know exactly what sort of woman they were looking for simply by advertising where they advertise. However, the research that these men undertake seems to be somewhat scanty and is based on a visual appreciation rather than anything deeper. Many minority press or dating sites are written by and for a specific community, but white male advertisers also occasionally include specifications such as Oriental, Chinese, or Asian/Black – quite different groups in terms of distinct cultures.
To discard these types of advertising as aberrations is to understand these patterns by ignoring them. There is clearly a conscious move by some white men to seek out specifically Asian women, and as some of the adverts would indicate, non-white ‘other’ women in a more general sense. I wonder why.
This is even more striking, when one compares this seeking out to the number of marriages between the Asian and white communities. The actuality of intermarriage between whites and Asians is low, and lower for Asian women than for Asian men. Thus, statistically speaking, the chances are low.
White male advertisers have a number of significant differences from Asian advertisers. They are older, are more likely to be homosexual, prefer above all “Asian” women (rather than a specific caste/religious/cultural background), and they place little importance on religion. Asian advertisers are far more likely to have a religious specification, and conversely, are less likely to state they were willing to take any race/religion.
White men in adverts specifically want Asian women, and not for their religious suitability or cultural compatibility. Few white men specify the woman they are looking for in terms of religion. Overall, the most common tag applied to the desired partner was “Asian” which indicates that white men were seeking a specific ‘race’, as opposed to religion, nation or language. The fact that the other advertisers used such descriptions such as Asian/Oriental or Asian/Black would also indicate a seeking out of merely ‘other’ non-white ‘races’.
This would indicate that there is a large amount of presupposition on the part of white men on the sort of qualities that Asian (and ‘other’) women may have, and what a white person could offer them. Asian (and ‘other) women are subject to a specific sexual racialisation. This was indicated in the text of some advertisements.
Most adverts from white men are fairly run-of-the-mill personal advertisements, apart from the insistence on “Asian”. For example, it is common to read “seeking attractive Asian lady” “seeks slim young pretty Asian female”, “seeks an attractive Asian girl” and so on. One advertiser declared that he “adores Indian/Pakistani females”, which would seem to conflate two countries. If one were to very broadly generalise, India may be more defined by Hinduism, and Pakistan by Islam, two very distinct religious and cultural backgrounds, indicating that the belief patterns of his prospective partners are wholly unimportant.
If advertisers specify an age of the respondent it was usually younger, sometimes many years so. Advertisers also tend to split into two groups, those who emphasise their financial status and others who emphasise their romantic nature. For example:
European mature white professional businessman / film executive lively personality, VGSOH, interesting lifestyle, kind caring, totally honest and genuine…
English boy, 33, longing for the love of an Indian girl. If you enjoy simple things, summer walks, winter cuddles, then you’re the one for I’m looking for. …
Another common feature was to emphasise their respect or interest in “Asian” or “eastern” cultures, including what music and food they liked. “Respects eastern cultures and religions”, “into travelling, music (e + w) …”, “Genuine [sic] respectful of Asian identity” “Interests include Asian culture…”, “Likes cinema, hot food, music”, “have a wide range of interests including Asian culture” and so on are common.
One advertiser — the 33 year-old “English boy” above — identifies religion and culture as a difficulty, saying “Don’t let religion and culture be barriers against two ordinary people who just want to enjoy themselves”, which indicates that enjoying oneself is more important than either religion or culture. One white man indicates the taboo nature of the relationship he was seeking and the disapproval it might get from the Asian community by writing “confidentiality assured” in his advert, which conversely might also imply that he himself would prefer to keep this relationship ‘under wraps’ too.
Another advertiser indicated that Asian women would not get “respect” unless it was from a white man: “If you are looking for a special someone who will treat you with the respect you deserve, please reply, telling me a little about yourself” he wrote, clearly meaning that Asian culture would not accord respect to its women. Another not so blatant advert “I am looking for someone who wants mutual respect…” seemed to touch on a similar theme.
Some adverts allude to the special ‘domestic’ nature of Asian women by indicating that Asian women would be more caring. One said “I’m an honest caring and gentle person ( an incurable romantic) who works to [sic] hard and needs an Asian girl to ease the stress!” and another 27-year-old advertiser stipulated his respondent should be a “nice, gentle intelligent woman 18 – 25”.
There is some transparent racialised and stereotypical thinking in the manner in which white men advertise for Asian (or ‘other’) women. Clearly the biggest single factor to support this case is that white men are clearly advertising in high proportions in Asian media. This preference is supported by some notions of what Asian women in general are like, and what each can offer in the marriage/romance trade-off. Taking all advertisements into consideration — which is not necessarily indicative of any one advertiser — the composite picture is that:
- The white man seeks out broadly ‘other’ (black, coloured, oriental, Indian/Pakistani) women. He is not seeking a specific religious, cultural, linguistic or national background. The defining feature is ‘race’ or ‘otherness’.
- The white man can offer either financial support or romance, either of which he assumes is wanted by the Asian woman.
- In addition, the white man will be respectful of the Asian woman’s heritage.
- The white man will treat Asian women with more respect than Asian men. Asian women are implicitly not satisfied with the deal they get from Asian men or culture.
- Asian women are more ‘caring’ than their white counterparts and have stress-relieving capabilities, clearly an allusion to a domestic role. Furthermore, this may have sexual particular connotations as stress-relief does come in many physical forms.
These assumed qualities are further evidence that colonial and racist representations of the ‘other’ are alive and well in the minds of some white men, and that the whole area of inter-racial relationships is not free of prejudice. Indeed, Roger Bastide wrote of interracial sex: “In those bodies finding each other, fusing, there are two races at each others throats.”