Research has extensively examined matching on race and other characteristics in cohabitation and marriage, but it has generally disregarded sexual and romantic relationships. Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the tempo of key transitions in the recent relationships of young adults aged 18 to We focus on how the racial mix of partners in relationships is associated with the timing to sex, cohabitation, and marriage. We find evidence that relationships between white men and minority women proceed more rapidly than relationships involving other racial combinations from romance to sexual involvement and from sexual involvement to cohabitation. Our findings have important implications for social exchange perspectives on mate selection.
Centuries before the same-sex marriage movement , the U. It's widely known that the Deep South banned interracial marriages until , but less widely known that many other states did the same California until , for example —or that three brazen attempts were made to ban interracial marriages nationally by amending the U. Maryland passes the first British colonial law banning marriage between whites and slaves—a law that, among other things, orders the enslavement of white women who have married black men:. As you might imagine, the white nationalist colonial governments did not leave these questions unanswered for long.
Social Exchange and The Progression of Sexual Relationships in Emerging Adulthood
We use data from pooled — Current Population Surveys to examine generational differences in cohabitation and marriage among men and women ages 20—34 in the U. Consistent with our expectation and in line with assimilation theory, levels of cohabitation rise across succeeding generations. In contrast, generational differences in marriage follow a curvilinear pattern such that those in the second generation are least likely to be married, which supports some contemporary extensions of assimilation theory. These patterns persist across education groups, and tend to hold across racial and ethnic groups, too, although among women, the predicted percentages cohabiting across generations vary widely by race-ethnicity. As immigration increases in the United States, attention has focused on how new arrivals and their offspring fare across multiple social outcomes.
Anti-miscegenation laws were edicts that made it unlawful for African Americans and white people to marry or engage each other in intimate relationships. The measures first appeared in the United States in colonial times and had two functions. First, the laws helped maintain the racial caste system necessary for the expansion of slavery and the idea of white supremacy. Second, anti-miscegenation statutes gave white men greater power to control the sexual choices of white women. In the colonial period, white patriarchs used the laws to discourage white women from choosing African Americans as husbands and paramours.