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While Yancey studied interdating habits among adults, the future of interdating can perhaps best be understood by studying the activities and attitudes of teenagers. A 1997 Gallup national survey of people ages 13 to 19—found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of black, Hispanic, or Asian teens who had ever dated and who attended schools with students of more than one race said they had dated someone who was white.

Ludwig says such parental wariness is not unusual, given blacks' dimmer view of the state of U. "The experience of living as a black person and as a white person in this country is quite different, despite substantial progress since the 1960s." Ludwig and Yancey both agree that interdating is unlikely to increase significantly over the coming decade.

"It's not increasing as fast as some people might be thinking," says Yancey, who says that U. trends overall are trailing media depictions of the phenomenon.

(June 2005) As the United States population becomes ever more diverse, are more people dating across race lines? married couples that are interracial nearly doubled from 2.9 percent to 5.4 percent between 19, to a total of more than 3 million.

The question isn't simply a matter of whom you'll be going out with on Saturday night. Indeed, despite its increasing depiction in the media, interracial romance is still America's "last taboo," according to Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. And recent surveys reveal that American attitudes toward intermarriage have also steadily improved: While 70 percent of adults in 1986 said they approved of interracial marriage, that figure had climbed to 83 percent by 2003, according to a Roper Reports study.

But, fortunately, love can ameliorate some of the hate.

In addition to the visual media now depicting interracial couples as "normal" (thanks largely in part to Shonda Rimes and her stable of shows), there is also a burgeoning genre in literature that only a few seem to know about. At least one mainstream romance reader in the comments section of a romance book blog seemed taken aback by what she mused was a growing proliferation of romance novels depicting white heroes and black heroines in love matches.

For instance, 72 percent of teens surveyed thought people dated people of other races because they cared about the other person, while less than 20 percent thought their peers interdated as a rebellion against parents or as an attempt to "be cool." Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of white students who had not dated interracially said they would consider dating someone who was not white, while 58 percent of black students would consider dating a nonblack.

But the Gallup survey also found that teens thought some interracial couples—always involving a black partner—faced potentially greater friction from their respective racial and ethnic groups about their relationships.

But a study by George Yancey, a sociologist at the University of North Texas, found that interdating today is far from unusual and certainly more common than intermarriage.

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