Family Member Acceptance of Black-White Marriages: The Impact of Age, Gender, Race, and Socioeconomic Status

Richard Lewis, Jr.


This research effort examined support levels associated with Black/White interracial marriage. Differences in support for Black/White marriages between Black and White family members along with other variables that influence support attitudes was explored. Age, gender, family income, marital status, and residence were used as control variables. Information from the General Social Survey conducted in 2014 was used to focus the analytical process. The theoretical hypothesis posited that assimilation is differential and more problematic for those racial groups whose members are perceived to have darker skin color. Colorism was used to reinforce the hypothetical assertion. The study results showed that potential support with respect to a family member choosing to marry someone outside of his or her racial group was influenced by race and gender. Black respondents were more likely to support a family member who chose to marry a White spouse. Women were more likely to support a family member marrying someone of a different race in comparison to men. Differential assimilation and colorism were identified as factors influencing the variation in interracial marriage acceptance.

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