Do Americans make '"like for like" assumptions when it comes to race and dating?

For example, I notice that black artists are always teamed with other black 'love interests' in music videos, and white nearly always teamed with white.

I have also noticed that when I read Traci Bingham's bio (the first black woman to feature on Baywatch the TV show), it was mentioned that 'she prefers white men'. Also, for example, why was there any need for that bizarre and stupid film Ashton Kutcher did about dating a black woman.

It made me wonder why there was any need to state that, and if people do mostly make assumptions that people don't /shouldn't date interacially - especially in the USA?

Updates:
Dear All

Please my response to @ladsin if you want further clarification on the nature of my question.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I wasn't sure exactly what you are asking but will try and explain to the best of my ability.
    1.) All over the world it is slightly "abnormal" to date people of other races. Just because of nature. Only recently has it become really an ability (with people being able to travel all over.)
    That being said I do not think anything is wrong with it but that is just my observation.
    2.) In the music section. No, music is loved by all people and breaches all racial and social boundaries (for the most part except for extreme racists). Simply look at bob marley/ other reggae bands which are predominantly black. Also young white Americans tend to associate/ act more like black males (listening to music, acting "thug" etc.)
    This is not to say that all black males are thug but that is simply how rap (predominantly black) music portrays them and white kids are emulating this (idk why perhaps because it is edgey)
    3.) Is this just America or all over? I believe a bit of both. America still has fairly traditional/ Christian values when it comes to sex and relationships. These are outdated and antiquated but do tend to look more sternly on interracial couples. This branch of "morality" is slowly being phased out as these older values are becoming less common. On the flip side I don't believe this is strictly American, rather it is just more easily seen because our "culture" seems to be more widespread and the news tends to polarize everything, therefore the ideas of a few (racism etc) begin to look like the ideals of everyone.

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    • Beyonce's music videos always feature black men as her love interests, and for example Britney Spears music videos always feature white men as her love interests. I have noticed that this happens a lot in music videos, so I wondered why and what the inference was. Migration isn't an appropriate argument in this case. Hence why I wondered if people generally crassly made assumptions in assuming 'black should be with blacks' and white should be with whites' - given the subliminal message delivered via pop culture, outlined above.

    • I see what you mean. I believe that is more about the music and who they are attempting to target. For instance Brittney Spears pop music is mostly bought by younger white girls (my assumption based off what I've seen) which means that that is the target group she is trying to reach (cute white boys.)
      As for beyonce, I can't really say. My assumption would be that originally she was probably predominantly liked by black males which is why she would target to them originally. I think she is loved by most everyone so I would guess the only reason she has continued doing so would be out of habit...

What Guys Said 3

  • It isn't always strictly racial reasons that keep people of different races from having strong relationships. Cultural differences can make a relationship/marriage difficult. By itself, of course, there isn't anything morally wrong at all about two people of different races dating. However, even now most white people and most black people generally grow up in different environments and have different things around which they feel comfortable.

    I don't think there is any very big overt belief in not dating the opposite race (although it's hard to say how many people are unconsciously prejudiced), but the fact that many people do not date inter-racially may fortify a belief that the races SHOULDN'T mix. Of course, it's hard to measure that belief.

    I myself am not opposed to inter-racial dating. Two people of different races should be able to date and marry. I do think, however, that if there is a big cultural divide between two people and they obviously do not get along because of it, they should not be called "racist" simply because they want to avoid a mutually destructive marriage.

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    • From an impartial point of view, I (to an extent) agree with your rationale. But it does make me feel uncomfortable, given my personal circumstances, outlined below. As your comments about cultural difference don't marry up with my experience of life to date. However, I am not sure if this is owing to the fact that I am British and not American, and also I do appreciate that one size doesn't fit all, and there is no one explanation that explains every situation, so I should try to take the personal stuff out of looking at situations like this. I think that the attitudes towards interracial dating in those two places are markedly different. I very much agree with your comment 'hard to say how many people are unconsciously prejudiced' also. Good point.

    • Show All
    • (cont'd)
      Which choice, they think, will cause the least controversy--only black people in the video, only white people in the video, or a mix of them (or other races)? I imagine they tend to go with only the first or second simply out of a desire to maximize sales or minimize losses. This, of course, reinforces people's beliefs that black people go with black people and white people go with white people.

      I've never been fond of interfering with artists choices (in music or otherwise) in order to make a political statement, but I do like for interracial couples to be celebrated, and I think it is a noble thing to fight pressure in order to be with the one you love. I'd rather not force musicians to change their material, but it's good when they have discussions akin to the one we're having now, about how people of different races aren't unattractive and positive relationships can exist between people.

    • Well said! Thanks for yet another insightful post. It is responses such as these that make very grateful to have found this website.

  • Let's be honest here, most people in the world are going to want to date their own race. It doesn't matter how racist or non racist a country is supposed to be, it's how humans do their thing.

    Is it right? Probably not. Is it going to change anytime soon? Probably not.

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    • I find your comments pretty ignorant and non objective. I expected investigative non one dimensional answers to this question, as per the one provided by @Kinstrome. I am a black woman that has only ever dated Caucasian guys, and only ever seem to attract such for whatever reason, and also specifically Scandinavian men for whatever reason (I live in the UK and have done my whole life), so I am afraid that your one size fits all opinion is misplaced, to be quite frank.

    • Did I convey a one sized fits all opinion? No. I'm simply stating how I see things. Of course there are going to be interracial couples and open people. I never said there wouldn't be. I said that MOST people date within their own race, and that it doesn't matter what society says or accepts, it will still happen. I don't think it's right, but at the current moment it's how things go. This isn't just a problem in the US, it's a WORLD problem. People will just continue to do how it's always been done. They won't open up to interracial dating most of the time. Us humans like to think of ourselves as SOOO progressive and accepting compared to previous generations, but we really aren't any better than them. Racism is still widely prevalent, it's just transformed into a more silent and reculisive state.

      Whatever, maybe I'm in the wrong here. However, this is how I see things as happening. Feel free to agree or disagree. I'm just giving my viewpoint.

  • There is a lot of racism in America, and it doesn't all come from white people like the media try to claim. The hate comes from all sides. The Ashton Kutcher film actually makes a lot of sense. There is a lot of racism on the part of blacks towards whites. I have seen more black women come onto GAG talking about how they face family problems when dating white men, than any other group that tries to date interracial.

    When a man sleeps with a woman it is often seen as him defiling her, so black men are okay with sleeping with white women, but don't want their women defiled in a similar manor. When black women try to date white men, the men in their families, (the same ones dating white women), tell her that she is degrading herself by sleeping with a white man. I have even heard black guys talk about how they love cumming inside a white girl, because they think it is a disrespectful act towards white men.

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    • I am a black woman and all of my exes are Caucasian, and I do not behave in the manner outlined. I did not identify with any part of the Ashton Kutcher film and found it bizarre.

    • It likely depends on where you live, and will vary from family to family, but it is a problem that does happen. We get black women on here complaining about it from time to time. I have yet to see a white woman complain about the same thing. So it leads me to believe it is far more common for black women to encounter the issue.

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