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.Yancey collected a sample of 2,561 adults age 18 and older from the Lilly Survey of Attitudes and Friendships, a telephone survey of English- and Spanish-speaking adults conducted from October 1999 to April 2000."If you think about communities in the Midwest, in places such as [rural] Wisconsin and Montana, if you're white and even if you're open to interracially dating, there are not that many people of color around," Yancey says.
The original 1705 ban, the third such law following those of Maryland and Virginia, prohibited both marriage and sexual relations between people of color (specifically, African Americans and American Indians) and whites. "That intermarriage between negroes or persons of color and Caucasians or any other character of persons within the United States or any territory under their jurisdiction, is forever prohibited; and the term 'negro or person of color,' as here employed, shall be held to mean any and all persons of African descent or having any trace of African or negro blood."Later theories of physical anthropology will suggest that every human being has some African ancestry, which could have rendered this amendment unenforceable had it passed. In this case, the Cable Act retroactively stripped the citizenship of any U. citizen who married "an alien ineligible for citizenship," which -- under the racial quota system of the time -- primarily meant Asian Americans. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy ..."The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men ...
When voters finally had the opportunity to remove the language, the outcome was surprisingly close: although 59% of voters supported removing the language, 41% favored keeping it.
Interracial marriage remains controversial in the Deep South, where a 2011 poll found that a plurality of Mississippi Republicans still supports anti-miscegenation laws.
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.
Younger people have historically been more open to racial integration and more positive about race relations than older people, according to Jack Ludwig, senior research director at the Gallup Poll in Princeton, N. (This poll is the latest comprehensive survey of U. teens on the topic of interracial dating.) Consistent with Yancey's findings for adults, only 17 percent of white students who had dated and attended integrated schools in this survey had dated a black person, while 33 percent had dated a Hispanic person and 15 percent had dated an Asian.