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What You Should Know About Inter-Racial Marriages

Inter-racial marriages is a term used when two individuals of different races get married. An inter-racial marriage is considered to be a type of exogamy, which means that a person chooses to marry outside of his or her social and cultural group. Looking at it in a much broader sphere, inter-racial marriages concern miscegenation, which means the mixing of more than one race when it comes to cohabitation, marriage or in relation to sexual behavior.

Inter-racial marriages are also called bi-racial marriages.

Bi-racial marriages are legal in the majority of countries across the globe but there have been specific factions in history that have restricted or all out banned bi-racial marriages from taking place. These include the period of the Nazi occupation in Germany and South Africa when it was under apartheid. This also includes some of the states scattered throughout the United States over the years. While the law no longer impedes bi-racial couples from marrying, in many societies these couples face many challenges not faced by other couples, such as cultural and social obstacles.

On the date June 12, 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court faced a landmark case and that case, Loving v. Virginia , saw the end of the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, which then paved the way for whites to marry those who were of a different race. Thanks to the strides made in that case, the number of inter-racial marriages has increased tremendously since that time. According to the Census Bureau figures, in 1970 there were 65,000 marriages that took place between African American and whites. This number had increased to 422,000 by the year 2005.

According to Stanford University sociologist Michael Rosenfeld, taking a close look at all racial combinations he says that an excess of seven percent of the 59 million married couples residing in the United States are inter-racial as of 2005 which is very different from the less than two percent that was noted in the year 1970- only three years after the groundbreaking Loving v. Virginia case.

Due to the increase in inter-racial marriages and the influx of immigrants into the United States, the America we face today is becoming more diversified and has the potential to be much less stratified according to race than it has been at any other time in the past. Recent statistics show us that approximately 50,000 interracial babies are born into the United States on an annual basis and this number is expected to continue to climb in the years to come.

While mixed-race partnering is becoming more commonplace, it is an interesting phenomenon that African American men are more likely to marry white women than are African American women to marry white men. According to the 1990 U.S. census reports, 17.6 percent of African Americans marry Caucasian Americans. African American men are 2.5 times more likely to marry white women than are African American women to marry white men.

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