But the Gallup survey also found that teens thought some interracial couples—always involving a black partner—faced potentially greater friction from their respective racial and ethnic groups about their relationships.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.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.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.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.
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But a study by George Yancey, a sociologist at the University of North Texas, found that interdating today is far from unusual and certainly more common than intermarriage.Yancey collected a sample of 2,561 adults age 18 and older from the Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Friendships, a telephone survey of English- and Spanish-speaking adults conducted from October 1999 to April 2000.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."Chances are, if you're a person of color, you're more likely to be exposed to European Americans than vice versa." However, his analysis also found that neither living in an integrated neighborhood nor attending an integrated place of worship boosted people's interdating rates as much as attending an integrated school. adults, 86 percent of people ages 18 to 29 approved of marriage between blacks and whites, but just 30 percent of those ages 65 and older approved of such marriages.