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Interracial Dating and Marriage, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1206

Essay

“The charisma king of the 2008 presidential field. The world’s best golfer. The captain of the New York Yankees. Besides superstardom, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter have another common bond: Each is the child of an interracial marriage.” (Associated Press) It’s just been some 40 years since the US Supreme Court has banned the Virginia statute that did not allow whites to marry non-whites and ever since the number of successful marriages is growing rapidly.

Interracial dating or marriage according to the dictionaries happens when the two individuals of different racial group are in couple or in marriage with a possibility of creating multiracial offspring. Marrying outside of person’s racial group is called exogamy. In the US where various racial and ethnic groups meet, interracial marriage is a common happening and occurs very often. About 2.4 % of the entire population is indeed multiracial Americans.

It’s ironic that interracial marriages were a taboo about 50 years ago because today we see it as a common norm of our society. In the US there is a multitude of interracial couples that goes much further than just white/black relationship. Hispanics, Asians, Caucasians and others are equal citizens. USA is a so-called “melting pot” where anytime one can meet, for instance, a Korean man walking hand in hand with a Caucasian woman and it is normal.

There are no moral or Biblical considerations that prohibit interracial dating or marriage decisions. Every single person no matter the culture and race is equal in the face of God and the society he or she lives in. Therefore, if a person feels that his/her second half is someone from another racial group; it should be a norm of our life. When a woman and a man commit themselves to each other, it is the cause of celebration and joy.

However, there definitely exist pros and cons about interracial dating and marriage. One of the major pros is that the person has an opportunity to choose to be with any other person whom he or she loves. This is one and only consideration that I think people should use when thinking of interracial relationships. We are all equal and we have a freedom of our personal choice.

Nevertheless, sometimes friends or family can be against such decisions and be less supportive. Often the rejection of close relatives happens due to the numerous stereotypes that still exist today. They can start looking for specific reasons or clues that motivated two people to become a couple or to get married.

Generations and age seem to affect the openness towards the interracial relations. Some studies have shown that generational factors and influences are strong. When we are young we seem to be more open in our choices. People are more favorable to mixtures between the races. However, say, parents who are older often express disapproval of their own children daring or marrying representatives of other races. The study conducted by the Cornell University led to the conclusion that “although more young adults are dating and cohabiting with someone of a different race, the study found that interracial relationships are considerably less likely than same-race relationships to lead to marriage, though this trend has weakened in recent years.” (Cornell University Chronicle)

Interracial couples, however, also face some barriers that most other married people do not have because they come from the same race or culture. There are external factors that create disagreements and dissonance in the relationships. Difference in cultures endures diverse ethnical, moral and value foundations that effect the perceptions of family, society and individual lifestyles. When such foundations are operating together with the foundations of different cultural roots, disagreements and problems often occur. Nevertheless, interracial relationships are often not intercultural ones because, for instance, in the US people of various races are sharing the same cultural background.

One of the most common external factors that influence interracial couples is the acceptance of society and family. Often relatives tend to show resistance and hostility to their child’s choice of partner. Generational gaps in ideology and specific issues in family can cause problems. There exist numerous studies that show that intercultural couples face conflicts over the issues of religion and child bearing. However, it is important to understand that when facing such problems, all parties involve should maintain tolerance and ability to learn. If the son made a choice to marry a girl from another racial group, it is the wisdom of the parents to be open and accept his choice.

People who are in an interracial couple should know that there always will be some supporters and those who are strongly against the union of the two. However, today we are living in a civilized society where people respect each other choices and values. There is no conflict that can’t be resolved or understood. What is necessary to keep in mind is that in comparison to same race marriage, interracial couples just have to take more time and efforts to create harmony and acceptance among friends and family.

Another problem that interracial couples can have is the communication style. For example, people from the high context culture are not often verbally explicit in their behavior. Such occurs among people who come from eastern world where harmony and collectivism underline the communication patterns. Individuals from the low context culture tend to use direct obvious communication to express information. In the cases where people come from two different communication backgrounds, conflict is just a matter of time. This type of conflict, however, is common and requires time to be adapted. The longer the people live together, the less the conflict will be.

People who date or marry persons from another race have a higher chance to face hardships and problems. But who said same race families do not have difficulties? Today there exist various ways to get help and counseling. Managing to adapt is an important issue and it will take time and patience. Conflict resolutions and mediations often lead to a better understanding of communication and cultures. Interracial couples create challenges in many ways that do not differ from traditional couples. Most of the dating experience goes through same wearing rose-colored glasses and marriage brings slights conflicts in child raising or feeding, etc.

However, the challenge is to respect the culture and race of each other. People should pay careful attention to comparisons between the partners. The differences that two people have can be easily turned into benefits and unique bonds. When coming from various racial backgrounds, two people must also make careful assumptions because what one is used to might not be a common thing for another person.

Interracial relationships are a common thing in our life today. No matter the difficulties and hardships, such people create new and unique interracial interpersonal bonds. They have yet an amazing opportunity to explore and learn new things and new values from each other. What makes interracial couples special is that every day of their mutual life the two individuals have a chance to observe and accept new cultural and social aspects.

References

Lang, S. S. (2 November 2005.) Interracial relationships are on the increase in U.S., but

decline with age, Cornell study finds. Chronicle Online. Cornell University.  http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/nov05/interracial.couples.ssl.html

Solis, R. V. (3 April 2010.) After 40 years, interracial marriage flourishing. Associated Press. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18090277/

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