Document Type




Submission Date

January 2019


The utilization of race as a proxy for evaluating different characteristics of others contains risk because it results in stereotyping and potential alienation of individuals from negatively judged groups. This concept motivated me to uncover the extent to which race affects intimate relationships amongst the historically opposed groups of blacks and whites in the United States. I am studying the historic racially-driven marginalization of blacks and the resulting relationship to recent dating and marriage patterns between black-white interracial pairs. I want to find out why the socioeconomic advantage held by whites is transmutated into dating culture, in order to understand the continued prioritization of race as a factor in forming romantic relationships. I engaged scholarly articles with analyses on the foundations of interracial relationships between black and white people and studies exploring online dating site behavior and the racial preferences of members. Main contributors to interracial marriages include higher educational achievement and cultural similarity. Factors that decrease black-stereotypical congruence tend to increase the chances of black individuals having relationships with white individuals. Race prioritization in relationships acts as a preliminary screening of resources deemed important to the longevity of a marriage and can therefore result in the discrimination of stereotypically disadvantaged blacks. I aim to emphasize the importance of accepting diversity and embracing individual characteristics, instead of the prejudices and stigmas against individuals simply due to appearance. I suggest that future research utilize the evidence provided here to speculate methods to improve implicit biases and attitudes toward interracial interactions.


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