U s attitudes toward interracial dating are liberalizing

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But a study by George Yancey, a sociologist at the University of North Texas, found that interdating today is far from unusual and certainly more common than intermarriage.Yancey collected a sample of 2,561 adults age 18 and older from the Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Friendships, a telephone survey of English- and Spanish-speaking adults conducted from October 1999 to April 2000.(June 2005) As the United States population becomes ever more diverse, are more people dating across race lines? married couples that are interracial nearly doubled from 2.9 percent to 5.4 percent between 19, to a total of more than 3 million.The question isn't simply a matter of whom you'll be going out with on Saturday night. Indeed, despite its increasing depiction in the media, interracial romance is still America's "last taboo," according to Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. And recent surveys reveal that American attitudes toward intermarriage have also steadily improved: While 70 percent of adults in 1986 said they approved of interracial marriage, that figure had climbed to 83 percent by 2003, according to a Roper Reports study.Individuals may marry for several reasons, including legal, social, libidinal, emotional, financial, spiritual, and religious purposes.Whom they marry may be influenced by socially determined rules of incest, prescriptive marriage rules, parental choice and individual desire.He found that 35.7 percent of white Americans had interdated, along with 56.5 percent of African Americans, 55.4 percent of Hispanic Americans, and 57.1 percent of Asian Americans.Men and those who attended racially or ethnically integrated schools were significantly more likely to interdate.

And he adds that whites are also more likely to be racially isolated than people of color—a notion sociologists lump under the term "propinquity," which describes the tendency for people to work better or bond with those geographically near them.Blacks' approval of black-white marriage (96%) is now nearly universal, while whites' approval is 12 percentage points lower, at 84%.Blacks' approval has consistently been higher than whites' over the decades, although attitudes among both racial groups have generally moved in a parallel manner since 1968 -- when Gallup first was able to report reliable estimates of each group's opinion.Since interracial dating (or "interdating") and interracial marriage were outlawed or ostracized for so long in U. history, many sociologists see the incidence of these relationships as a key indicator of the state of U. "Many people who are honestly accepting of equal treatment across a wide range of social interaction would finally draw the line when it came to [a romantic relationship] between the race groups," says Smith. "We are seeing declining levels of objection to interracial marriage," says Smith.Neither the Roper Report nor the General Social Survey specifically queried respondents on their attitudes or practices concerning interracial dating.

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