Investigators at Claremont McKenna College zero in on anxietyCould it be that the pressure those students felt came from the same racial retreats that stress group identity over individuality? Could it be that scholarships, like the JAMA ones, are designed to bulkanize us into little racial boxes, instead of draw us together? Could it be that the groups that say they promote "social/racial justice" are the same groups that make it awkward or downright hostile for interracial couples? Maybe those very groups can read Ms. Levin's study and think twice about taking a bunch of young students through racial sensitivity reeducation in the hopes of promoting social harmony.
According to recent research from the United States, "Longitudinal data on interethnic and interracial dating were collected from over 2000 students at a large multiethnic university (see also Anxiety). Results indicated that, controlling for relevant background variables, students who exhibited lower levels of ingroup bias, intergroup anxiety, and group identification before college were more likely to date members of other ethnic and racial groups during college."
"In addition, controlling for relevant background variables and precollege group attitudes, students who dated outside their group more during college showed less ingroup bias and intergroup anxiety at the end of college, but also felt more pressure not to socialize with or date members of other groups. Some findings varied across ethnic and racial groups," wrote S. Levin and colleagues, Claremont McKenna College.
The researchers concluded: "Results are discussed in terms of theories of intergroup contact and interethnic and interracial dating."
As anyone who has seen my Facebook picture can attest, I'm for interracial dating. But that's because I don't believe race should have any bearing on public policy, social interactions, etc. Just as our great-grandparents gave up phrenology, so too should we give up our hyper-race consciousness.
We say we want a community that values the individual doing his own thing, but then when he does his own thing, we chide him for having a fetish. True, it might be that so and so "has an Asian/black/Latina thing," but so what? Just as some people are attracted to red hair (god bless 'em!), so too can others be attracted to various racial groups and there's nothing wrong with that. So long as the affection for the person is genuine and not some obsession over a racial caricature, what's the harm?