Interracial dating scholarly articles

This may also provide the foundation for higher levels of cultural mistrust among African American women. Less educated and economically disadvantaged African American women are particularly unlikely to marry at all, let alone marry interracially Bennett et al. This may be partially explained by these women being more likely to have outof-wedlock children, making them less desirable as a potential mate Bennett et al.

African American women's skin color could also be a factor in interracial dating. This factor is likely more pertinent to the preferences of the potential partners of African American women. Thus, it is imperative to examine African American women with multiple disadvantaged statuses and their perceptions of the availability of partners within and outside their race. Women who may lack the bargaining power to be selective and believe it is difficult to find an eligible African American man may broaden their base of potential mates by looking outside of their race.

Clearly, there is a constellation of factors that contribute to African American women's interracial relationship intentions and behaviors. This topic is important to examine because there is a clear juxtaposition faced by African American women. While racism and cultural mistrust may encourage African American women to only consider dating African American men, the limited pool of eligible African American male partners may dictate that African American women look outside their racial group for potential partners.

However, African American women who are open to interracial dating may be excluded from the dating pool by potential partners due to their race, resulting in African American women's interracial behaviors lagging behind their interracial dating intentions.


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This study offers a unique opportunity to examine these issues from the perspective of the economically disadvantaged African American woman, who are the least likely to interracially marry Bennett et al. The B-WISE project includes data collected between and from African American women in Kentucky, with the aim to sample equal proportions of women who were incarcerated at baseline, on probation, and not involved in the criminal justice system.

In addition, participants who self-reported illicit drug use were intentionally oversampled using stratified sampling procedures. Eligibility criteria for all participants included: The recruitment strategy varied for the three groups. For the prison sample, all African American women eligible for community reentry within the next 60 days were invited to participate in the study via an information session.

Interviews were conducted in a private room in the prison. For the probation sample, African American women were recruited from seven Probation District offices on report days by project staff and by flyers. For community participants, recruitment efforts were focused on the zip codes identified as having large African American populations based on census data, and recruiting methods included flyers and newspaper advertisements. The additional eligibility criteria for the community sample included that the person could not currently be involved in the criminal justice system e.

For the probation and community samples, interviews were conducted in private locations such as a room in a public library or an office on a university campus. Due to the regional nature of the sample as described and the intentional oversampling of drug users and women involved in the criminal justice system, this sample is not representative of all African American women in the U.

However, this study still makes a significant contribution to the literature because it is conservative in nature. Rather than examining interracial dating among middle-class or more upwardly mobile African American women, it is examining the dating behaviors and intentions of a sample of African American women who are more disadvantaged and may have less choice in partner selection.

The original B-WISE sample had participants; however, only participants were included in these analyses examining the significant correlates of both interracial dating intentions and behaviors. Four dichotomous dependent variables were of interest in this study.


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Two control variables, past year drug use and criminal justice status, were included in the multivariate models as they were part of the sampling strategy. Criminal justice status measured if the participant was recruited from prison, a probation office, or the community.

U.S. Attitudes Toward Interracial Dating Are Liberalizing – Population Reference Bureau

The community sample was the reference category. The sociodemographic variables of age, household income, and education were also included the analyses. Age and education were continuous variables measured in number of years. Household income was measured in income categories; however, for use in this analysis, each response was assigned the middle dollar value in tens of thousands of the range they selected.

Examples included mistreatment from friends, coworkers, or institutions because you were black, being suspected of doing something wrong because you were black, or being called a racist name. Responses to all items in the scale were summed, so higher values in the SRE indicate more racist life experiences. Questions for this scale were statements, and response options came in the form of a seven-point Likert scale measuring the extent to which respondents agreed or disagreed with the statements i.

Negative items were reverse-coded. Higher scores on the CMI represented a higher level of cultural mistrust toward whites. This study examines the significant correlates of both African American women's interracial dating behavioral intentions as well as actual behaviors with both white men and Hispanic men. Descriptive statistics are presented for both the independent and dependent variables. Next, two paired t-tests are conducted to identify significant differences in African American women's interracial dating intentions with white versus Hispanic men, and with dating white men as compared to Hispanic men.

1. Introduction

As the dependent variables of interest are dichotomous, multivariate logistic regression was used 1 2. The first two sets of multivariate models examine if perceptions about partner availability, cultural mistrust, and experiences of racism are significant correlates of whether an African American woman would date someone white or Hispanic, respectively.

The third and fourth sets of multivariate models explore if these same independent variables are significant correlates of whether an African American woman has ever dated someone white or Hispanic, respectively. All models include socio-demographic and control variables. In each of these four sets of models, variables are introduced in a stepwise progression, adding variables categorically as follows: For the sets of models identifying the interracial dating behaviors, a final step of adding interracial relationship intentions as an independent variable is also included.

U.S. Attitudes Toward Interracial Dating Are Liberalizing

Odds ratios, standard errors, and likelihood ratio chi-square tests are presented for all multivariate models. Figures of predicted probabilities are included to facilitate interpretation of findings. Descriptive statistics for variables included in the multivariate models are displayed in Table 1. Respondents averaged approximately 12 years of education in this sample. Two paired t-tests were conducted to identify if significant differences existed between African American women's intentions to date white men as compared to Hispanic men and their actual behaviors.

The series of models displayed in Table 2 report the results of the stepwise multivariate models of intentions to date white men. The same result was duplicated in Model 1F, but additionally, respondents who perceived that it was easier to find an eligible white man, as compared to an African American man, were over twice as likely to be willing to date a white man, all else equal OR: Predicted probabilities for both statistically significant variables are presented in Table 3 to more fully understand the statistical associations produced in Model 1F of Table 2.


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Predicted probabilities revealed that respondents who felt it was not easier to find a white man and had high cultural mistrust had the lowest predicted probability of interracial dating intentions, with a predicted probability of 0. Meanwhile, respondents who reported that it was easier to find a white man and had low cultural mistrust had a predicted probability of 0.

Predicted probabilities are presented, confidence intervals in parentheses. Racist life events failed to reach statistical significance after including perceptions about partner availability in Model 2F. Respondents with the perception that it is easier to find an eligible Hispanic man were over twice as likely to be willing to date a Hispanic man, all else equal OR: Predicted probabilities for statistically significant variables are presented in Table 5 produced by the logistic regression of interracial dating intentions in Model 2F of Table 4.

Predicted probabilities revealed that respondents who felt it was not easier to find a Hispanic man and had high cultural mistrust had the lowest predicted probability of interracial dating intentions, with a predicted probability of 0. Meanwhile, respondents who felt it was easier to find a Hispanic man and had low cultural mistrust had a predicted probability of 0.

The third set of logistic regression models identified the significant correlates of having dated a white man see Table 6. Model 3F showed that, on average, being in prison in the past year was associated with an increase in the likelihood of a woman ever having dated someone white by a factor of 1. Finally, perceiving that it is easier to find an eligible white man was associated with an increase in the likelihood of having dated a white man by a factor of 2.

Model 3G stepped in an additional independent variable, intentions to date a white man. With the inclusion of intentions to date someone white in the model, cultural mistrust and racist life events were no longer significant correlates of having dated a white man; however, one new variable, education, reached statistical significance. All of the other variables remained significant and in the same direction. Finally, and predictably, respondents claiming they would date a white man was associated with an increase by a factor of The results displayed in Table 6 are further clarified by Table 7 , which provides the predicted probabilities of having ever actually dated a white man based on education, whether the respondent claimed they would date interracially, and whether the respondent believed it was easier to find an eligible white man.

The results indicate a variety of trends, with the highest predicted probability of 0. On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest predicted probability of having ever dated a white man was for women with high education who said they would not date someone white and did not believe it was easier to find an eligible white man, with a value of 0.

The fourth and final set of logistic regression models identified the significant correlates having dated a Hispanic man see Table 8. Model 4F included the same independent variables in the logistic regression model predicting intentions to date a Hispanic man Table 6 , Model 3F , and showed that, on average, being in prison in the past year was associated with an increase in the likelihood of a woman ever having dated someone Hispanic by a factor of 2. Additionally, perceiving it is easier to find an eligible Hispanic man was associated with an increase in the likelihood of having dated a Hispanic man by a factor of 2.

Model 4G included intentions to date a Hispanic man as an independent variable in identifying the significant correlates of having dated someone Hispanic. While the perception that it is easier to find an eligible Hispanic man was no longer a significant correlate in this model, predictably, a respondent claiming she would date a Hispanic man was associated with an increase by a factor of The results of Model 4 in Table 8 are further clarified by Table 9 , which, similar to Table 8 for white men, provides the predicted probabilities of having ever actually dated a Hispanic man based on education, whether the respondent claimed they would date interracially, and the respondent's perceptions about the availability of eligible Hispanic men.

On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest predicted probability of having ever dated a Hispanic man was for women with high education who said they would not date someone Hispanic and did not believe it was easier to find an eligible Hispanic man, with a value of 0. This is the first known study to explore correlates of both the interracial dating intentions and behaviors of socioeconomically disadvantaged African American women in Kentucky.

This study is important in that it sheds light on how Wilson's MMPI operates over 25 years after its origin in two ways. First, it examines the relationship between African American women's perceptions about partner availability both within and outside their racial group and interracial dating. Second, this study explores possible contradictions between African American women's interracial dating intentions and behaviors. However, as much of this research occurred several decades ago and does not represent the direct voice of the African American women, it is unclear if African American women's preference to date African American men still exists, especially among economically disadvantaged African American women who face a smaller pool of African American male partners and may have less social capital and bargaining power in romantic relationships.

The importance of these findings are three-fold. First, this leads to serious skepticism regarding widley-held perceptions of African American women's unwillingness to cross racial lines romantically.