A Case for Dating Outside Your Race

Blacks are more hesitant to date outside their race than whites and Latinos. Is this good or bad?

Posted: 06/13/2011 04:44 PM EDT

We’ve told you before that new studies show a majority of Americans, regardless of race, now support interracial marriage. It’s a good sign that the country, which is diversifying rapidly, is perhaps ready to move into an era when Asians, Blacks, Latinos, whites and others will be forced to get along—or perish. That said, other research shows that African-Americans are still more reluctant than other races to marry outside their community. Eventually, this could be a problem.

 

The sociologist who discovered Blacks’ hesitance to marry people of other races, the University of North Texas’ George Yancey, says his research highlights the divisions still very present in America, regardless of how many people say interracial dating is fine by them. Less than 6 in 10 Blacks said they’d be willing to date whites compared with about 8 in 10 Asians and Latinos (it’s also worth noting that only about 50 percent of whites said they’d date Blacks). “It shows me how much we’re still a racialized nation and that has a bigger impact than we want to admit in people’s lives, in that they would use race so prominently in choosing potential people for dating,” Yancey told Miller-McCune.

 

Because many African-Americans remain unwilling to assimilate with other Americans in this way, sociologists and other experts predict that it may hold them back when it comes to their search for equality in the U.S. While other races are learning the benefits of interracial marriage—the sharing of parenting techniques, the sharing of cultures and education, etc.—Blacks are losing out on this opportunity, and thus further isolating themselves from the country.

 

This isn’t to say that African-Americans can’t have a healthy, happy life without dating other races, of course. In fact, the vast majority of people of all races are going to marry within their racial community. It’s worth noting, however, that there’s nothing to fear in going outside your racial group to find love.

(Photo: Ray Chavez/Contra Costa Times/MCT/Landov)

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