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The fact that the younger generations -- unexposed to Jim Crow laws and other interracial bans of old -- are struggling with the issue, even in the Bay Area, indicates that skin color is at least as big a barrier as anything else when it comes to forming relationships.
Ludwig says such parental wariness is not unusual, given blacks' dimmer view of the state of U. "The experience of living as a black person and as a white person in this country is quite different, despite substantial progress since the 1960s." Ludwig and Yancey both agree that interdating is unlikely to increase significantly over the coming decade.
"It's not increasing as fast as some people might be thinking," says Yancey, who says that U. trends overall are trailing media depictions of the phenomenon.
Yancey says that whites might interdate less because they are a numerical majority within American society.
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.
And she says she faces even more prejudice: from whites who believe she "married down," and from blacks who feel that she stole "another good black man." The experiences of the Morrells and numerous other young people show that interracial dating can still be a minefield -- although interracial marriages nationally have more than quadrupled to 1.4 million since 1970.
Dozens of young people interviewed at Bay Area schools, colleges and shopping malls said they often encounter angry stares, racist comments, shock and disapproval from parents and peers when they date interracially -- especially if the skin color of their partner is darker than theirs.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. Ernest shares some thoughts with his his wife, Jodene Morrell, during Easter Sunday services at their church in San Jose.More than one-third (38 percent) of black students had dated a Hispanic, while 10 percent of black students had dated an Asian student.Teens surveyed also had an overwhelmingly positive view of interracial dating.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.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.The Morrell's chose to make the drive to San Jose because that is where his family has attended for years.Photo by Lea Suzuki less Ernest shares some thoughts with his his wife, Jodene Morrell, during Easter Sunday services at their church in San Jose.