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Allison Skinner does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. According to the most recent U. More interracial relationships are also appearing in the media — on televisionin film and in advertising.
These trends suggest that great strides have been made in the roughly 50 years since the Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws. But as a psychologist who studies racial attitudesI suspected that attitudes toward interracial couples may not be as positive as they seem. My work had provided some evidence of bias against interracial couples. But I wanted to know how widespread that bias really is.
To answer this question, my collaborator James Rae and I recruited participants from throughout the U. Psychologists typically differentiate between explicit biases — which are controlled and deliberate — and implicit biases, which are automatically activated and tend to be difficult to control. But someone who reflexively thinks that interracial couples would be less responsible tenants or more likely to default on a loan would be showing evidence of implicit bias.
In this case, we assessed explicit biases by simply asking participants how they felt about same-race and interracial couples. In total, we recruited approximately 1, white people, over black people and over multiracial people to report their attitudes. We found that overall, white and black participants from across the U. In contrast, participants who identified as multiracial showed no evidence of bias against interracial couples on either measure. The figure below shows the from the implicit association test. The lines indicate the average discrepancy in the length of time it took participants to associate interracial couples with positive words, when compared to associating same-race couples with positive words.
Notice that for multiracial participants, this average discrepancy overlaps with zero, which indicates a lack of bias. Next is a figure detailing the from the explicit bias test, with lines measuring average levels of explicit bias against interracial couples. Positive values indicate bias against interracial couples, while negative values indicate bias in favor of interracial couples. Note that multiracial participants actually show a bias in favor of interracial couples. Multiracial people have few romantic options that would not constitute an interracial relationship: Over 87 percent of multiracial participants in our sample reported having dated interracially.
We anticipated that those who had ly been in an interracial romantic relationship — or were currently involved in one — would hold more positive attitudes. For both white and black participants, this is precisely what we found. Next, we wanted to test whether having close contact — in other words, spending quality time with interracial couples — was associated with positive attitudes toward interracial couples.
Psychological evidence has shown that contact with members of other groups tends to reduce intergroup biases. To get at this, we asked participants questions about how many interracial couples they knew and how much time they spent with them. We found that across all three racial groups, more interpersonal contact with interracial couples meant more positive implicit and explicit attitudes toward interracial couples.
Finally, we examined whether just being exposed to interracial couples — such as seeing them around in your community — would be associated with more positive attitudes toward interracial couples. In general, participants who reported more exposure to interracial couples in their local community reported no less bias than those who reported very little exposure to interracial couples.
In fact, among multiracial participants, those who reported more exposure to interracial couples in their local community actually reported more explicit bias against interracial couples than those with less exposure. According to polling dataonly a small percentage of people in the U. Yet our findings indicate that most in the U. These biases were quite robust, showing up among those who had had close personal contact Interracial dating articles interracial couples and even some who had once been involved in interracial romantic Interracial dating articles.
Nonetheless, in14 percent of all babies born nationwide were mixed race or mixed ethnicity — nearly triple the rate in In Hawaii, the rate is 44 percent.
So despite the persistence of bias against interracial couples, the of multiracial people in the U. Plymouth Contemporary — Plymouth, Devon. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. But could more biases lurk beneath the survey data? Solomon R. Allison SkinnerNorthwestern University. What does each race think?Interracial dating articles
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