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While Yancey studied interdating habits among adults, the future of interdating can perhaps best be understood by studying the activities and attitudes of teenagers. A 1997 Gallup national survey of people ages 13 to 19—found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of black, Hispanic, or Asian teens who had ever dated and who attended schools with students of more than one race said they had dated someone who was white.
Younger people have historically been more open to racial integration and more positive about race relations than older people, according to Jack Ludwig, senior research director at the Gallup Poll in Princeton, N. (This poll is the latest comprehensive survey of U. teens on the topic of interracial dating.) Consistent with Yancey’s findings for adults, only 17 percent of white students who had dated and attended integrated schools in this survey had dated a black person, while 33 percent had dated a Hispanic person and 15 percent had dated an Asian.
For example, while no more than 11 percent of the teens surveyed thought a white-and-Hispanic or white-and-Asian couple would be ostracized by their respective racial or ethnic groups, about one-quarter of those surveyed said that a white and a black student dating each other would face problems from other white or black students in school.
Given these figures, it’s not surprising that Gallup reported that black students faced the highest rates of resistance from their parents over interracial dating of any group surveyed.
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.The vouch process helps us make sure we have the best and high quality users.Concerned about privacy issues associated with online dating? With our ‘Play Invisible’ feature on, you can show your profile only to those you liked.Among students who had dated interracially, at least 90 percent each of white, Hispanic, or Asian students said their parents acquiesced to their relationship.
But only 59 percent of black students who had interdated said their parents were comfortable with their dating. “People’s view of how things are going in terms of race relations in this country is really distinctively colored by their race,” he says.
In a country that eliminated its antimiscegenation laws less than 50 years ago, perhaps this indifference is the most positive sign yet of progress in U.