What the Future America Will Look Like: Interracial Dating and Marriages

What the Future America Will Look Like: Interracial Dating and Marriages

Hok Yung Mary Yeung (Marymount Manhattan College, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2404-5.ch012
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Abstract

This chapter begins with the historical antecedents of interracial dating and marriages (IRM) within the United States and then the increasing rates of IRM in the 21st century. Several forms of discrimination against interracial couples such as racial microaggressions and the transmission of implicit racial attitudes within the family, are analyzed. The Marketplace Economy Theory is also examined. It attempts to explain the existence of IR couples. Theories behind the origins of racism against IRMs are explored. Asian American dating interracially is also discussed. The latter section examines the implications of IRMs for mental health counselors. It provides recommendations of techniques and special therapy styles that may be more effective for IR couples and IRMs during therapy sessions. These techniques (including goal-oriented sessions, based on strengths, psychodynamic approaches, and postmodern approaches) may be more efficacious due to the unique problems IR couples encounter. Suggestions are provided for why further research into biracial and multiracial children is needed.
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Introduction

Throughout history race has been a major divider and the source of many conflicts among nations; despite the substantial globalization of the world, racism is still a problem. Although interracial marriage has been legal in the United States since 1967 (when the Supreme Court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional), there is still a vast amount of discrimination and racism that exists today. Anti-miscegenation views, against racial groups mixing via marriage and procreation, have a deep history rooted in slavery within the United States. After the abolishment of slavery there was an increase in black – white marriages amongst the general population, although it was extremely controversial. Similarly, today’s interracial couples are still not free from judgment and stigma. This is evident from a 2013 Gallup poll that found that 13% of the population still report they are against marriages between Blacks and Whites.

Nevertheless, in the 21st century, the numbers of interracial couples and marriages have increased exponentially. In fact, it is estimated by The Next America (as cited in The Rubin Report) that by 2060 non-white ethnicities will make up more than 50% of the population in the United States. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, there were a total of 5,369,035 interracial or interethnic couples in the United States, which is approximately 9.5% of all married couples. Due to these marriages, there are also individuals of mixed race that numbered just under 9 million in 2010 (The News Observer, 2015).

Another interesting statistic is that there are higher rates of divorce among interracial couples versus those who marry within their race. The reason for this could be related to the stigma and lack of social support these couples encounter and contend with. These issues that couples in interracial marriages face, may be the reason why the marriages have a 41% chance of divorce versus 31% of same-race couples. Based on figures from 2008 (as cited by Madamenoire, 2014), White Female–Asian Male couples have a 59% greater likelihood of divorce; White Female-Black Male, 50%; Asian Female-White Male, 4%; however, Black Female-White Male couples are 44% less likely to divorce.

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