Interracial marriages used to be a taboo subject, but the changing cultural and ethnic landscape of the U.S. has enabled the rate of “mixed” marriages to rise in recent years.
According to a study released by the Pew Research Center, the number of interracial marriages has doubled since 1980 and now constitutes 14.6 percent of all U.S. marriages recorded in 2008. Despite these statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau has revealed data, which shows that interracial marriages are slowing down among two ethnic groups: Asian and Hispanic.

American-born Asians are one of the two demographic groups most likely to marry outside of their race (Hispanics being the other). In 2008, two out of five Asian women married a partner of non-Asian ethnicity compared to one in five Asian men. Thirty-one percent of Asians chose to marry another race, in sharp contrast to the 9 percent of Caucasians and 16 percent of African Americans participating in interracial marriages.

From a personal perspective, there has certainly been a marked shift in the acceptance of interracial relationships. A high school friend of mine, who is Caucasian, was initially terrified of bringing her Asian boyfriend home to meet her parents. However, her fears were unexpectedly allayed when her father told her it was not a big deal since “everyone else was doing it.”

What struck me about this study was the emphasis on American-born Asians who choose to intermarry. Having been born in the U.S. myself, I personally identify more with men who are not Asian for reasons I cannot entirely put my finger on. Around Asian men, I oftentimes feel pressured to keep certain thoughts and opinions to myself, but this weight is lifted when I am around men of a different race. In fact, in more cases than one, I have discovered that my “outspoken” qualities were nothing short of distasteful to Asian men, though of course there are exceptions to this general trend as well.

What is your opinion of interracial marriages? Would you ever consider marrying outside of your race, even if your family opposed it?

Photo: Michael Stravato/AP

0 Replies to “Hot Topic: The Rising Popularity of Interracial Marriages”

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  2. Jasmine says:

    Great blog. The question about Asian parents accepting interracial marriages is an interesting one. I know my own parents would be totally fine with it, but that’s because my parents are pretty open/liberal themselves (and American born). However, I know some of my friends’ parents, particularly those that have immigrated, would ‘prefer’ their children to date Asians, because it is culturally more “comfortable” for them.
    I think the “American-born” classification hits the nail on the head -people born here do tend to be more open culturally and we ourselves our used to growing up in cities/places with lots of different races, which makes us naturally attracted to all types of people.

  3. Gabby says:

    Personally, I like looking for guys outside of my race and ethnicity and my parents are entirely fine with it, which is strange since they emigrated from another country.I like the thought of people being in interracial relationships because they love the person rather than for their race, though I know there are people who do it for that reason.
    In general this post was very interesting and I think it touches on a great subject that should be approached more often.

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  5. ric says:

    Still doesn’t divulge into why Asian women an white male couples r most dominant, asian females seem move away from asian men to any non asian men ,or for That matter the LAck of Asian MEN in positive media portrayal …cough ..hangover ..cough.
    How about oversexualized media portrayal of Asian women?

  6. Monica says:

    This article is very interesting and amusing at the same time. I am the result of interracial marriage. My mother is a born and raised in Peru. My father is born Chinese but raised in Peru. I always figured that my father being raised in Peru played a large role in accepting someone outside of his race. My father’s side of the family never approved and they still believe that they should marry within the Chinese, or at least Asian community. Of course, they are all immigrants.
    This pattern that the article raises about the American-born generation. Personally, I love being able to grow up with two different cultures. It exposed me to so many different ideas, foods, and traditions. I think it allowed me to be open-minded and personally, I would definitely considered marrying outside both my races. Whether my family accepts that is a different story. [:

  7. Dee says:

    I agree, great blog. I understand as a first generation born America, I feel that there is a sense of wanting to belong in the American society and wanting to forget who I am. There is always that time when these women want to reject their culture and religion. It’s all a big mess. I also definately agree that there is no positive representation of Asian Males, they are seen as weak and “small”.

  8. Warren Mass says:

    I have grown much in the area and practically reversed my opinion over the course of my life (I am now 63). As a young man, interracial marriages (particularly white women and black men) used to infuriate me. I was a product of my culture ad people marrying outside their own race were considered oddities “in the old days.” By the time I got into my 40s or so, I became pretty much neutral on the subject. However, when I became single again in my late 40s, I really did not consider marrying a black or Asian woman. I hope my present marriage will last for life, but if I found myself single again, I would not rule out marrying a black or Asian woman, if we fell in love. I likewise, no longer view such marriages in others negatively, and think it may actually be a good thing, if it promotes racial harmony and brings happiness to the partners involved.

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