The Pew research foundation recently released some data comparing generational cohorts. Data on the acceptance of interracial dating shows that acceptance is increasing among all groups and is higher for each successive cohort:
C.N. Lee, at Asian Nation, interprets:
I am also not surprised that the Millennials are the most supportive of interracial dating, as the graph illustrates. However, in looking at the graph, it shows that somewhere around 2007, the approval rates for interracial dating actually declined slightly for Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials. Further, at this point, we do not yet know whether the approval rate for interracial dating will continue to decline, or whether it will rebound and continue its upward trajectory.
See also our post on rates of support for gay marriage by age.Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
KD — March 20, 2010
Those numbers are interesting when you compare them to interacial marriages, which, according to a 2008 study in my textbook, comprises only 5% of all marriages in the US. From the same textbook and the studies of Hohmann-Marriot and Amato (2008) people in interracial and inter-ethnic marriages report less satisfaction and higher rates of conflict, and Bratter and King (2008) find higher rates of divorce. Seems like people are really more supportive of experimenting. Which is something.
mercurianferret — March 20, 2010
I wonder what caused the large jump in 1991. That seems to have been significant...
Marty — March 20, 2010
I had the same thought as mercurianferret. What happened? With a jump like that in both groups it seems like they either changed whom they were asking or how they worded the question.
AmandaLP — March 20, 2010
Also, part of what sets apart the "Millennials" generation is both increased racial and ethnic diversity, as well as social media being a part of our lives. Have any studies been done on users of social media and their views on race? Which would obviously include an age bias, so it may not be comparable.
I also would like to see a breakdown by geographic area, as well as by race. Are whites or blacks more or less likely to agree? My partner and I (I am white, he is black) do not see many stares in white or diverse areas of NYC, but in the neighborhoods which are primarily black, he gets a lot of stares.
Beth — March 20, 2010
My mom is from The Silent Generation. I'm Millenial. To say there is a generation gap is a bit of an understatement.
I have absolutely no problem with interracial dating. Makes me smile even to see an interracial couple because I do see it as a sign of progress, though I know it's still not easy for many interracial couples living the U.S. (and elsewhere, too).
My mom will deny being a racist but she's against interracial dating -- "for the children's sake!" she says. Yeah...she's soooooo concerned about the children not be accepted. Even if she is, I think it's a bad argument against interracial dating because shaming people out of loving relationships because of what some other people might choose to do their hypothetical future children is just wrong, but also won't lead to more acceptance for the children of those that do decide to have kids.
My mom also refers to black kids hanging out on the streets as "young bucks" and calls the local bar in the black area of town the "black watering hole". No, she's not racist at all! And the sad thing is, growing up in the south she actually was one of the least racist people I knew. I won't repeat what things I've heard others say but, suffice it to say, racism is alive and well today, even among others my age.
Jadehawk — March 20, 2010
Where do I protest the name "millennials"? It reminds me too much of millenialism. I prefer "Net Generation", myself :-p
My family is from Europe, and they are mostly racist in the "the chinese are outbreeding us!!!" sort of sense. I'm kinda proud of my mom (boomer) for not being like that. I've not the faintest clue what she thinks about interracial dating, though.
C — March 20, 2010
I wouldn't take the C.N. Lee quote too seriously. I can't find sample size information, but unless these surveys use *extremely* large samples, we aren't seeing anything but noise. Keep in mind that 2007 could have a slightly positive error, and 2009 could have a slightly negative error.
The only clear trend in the last decade is in the increasing acceptance of interracial dating among the silent generation.
Meems — March 20, 2010
I despise the term "millennial" to describe my generation. It also strikes me as disingenuous that the term is used to describe people born in both the early '80s and late '90s, even though no other generation (including the Silent Generation, which is more accurately described as including those born between 1925 and 1945) spans more than 15 to 20 years at most.
Regardless, these findings don't surprise me.
alaina — February 5, 2020
Interracial dating also supported on alternatives of omegle