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Academics often portray race as a “social construction”, implying that it is nothing more than an idea bred through human thought and interaction. In the process, they deny race to be a material fact of life on earth but the truth is that it does exist and contains a biological element – because we have awarded it one. Race has come to impact various aspects of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, and one of the institutions that has been significantly affected by race is marriage.

According to the 2010 Census in the United States, interracial divorce rates are comparatively higher than divorce rates between white couples. Thus, the success of your marriage will depend on the race of your partner. It should be remembered that the stats presented in the survey are not absolute and may be subjective in nature, not taking into consideration the fact that whites significantly outnumber other racial groups.

These facts and figures are furnished not with a view to dissuade you from exploring possibilities of approaching people from other races, just that you’d want to be watchful the next time you log in to renowned dating websites like kovla.com to find the right companion.

Scheme source: nydailynews.com

Multiple Factors at Work

Most studies conducted on interracial marriages conclude that same race marriages tend to last longer. However, the results of some studies led to the opinion that factors like the age of marriage and educational qualifications had greater bearing on the stability and longevity of such marriages than the racial identities of the individuals. It was found that the higher the educational level, the lesser the rate of divorce was while marriages between interracial individuals which took place earlier in life had increased chances of ending in divorce.  The members of the interracial pairings were more than likely to possess traits which correlated with a higher possibility of divorce.

Problem of Gender

It seems as if the majority of these studies, however, failed to account for the differences in gender in the context of race of every individual in interracial marriages. A study published by the National Council on Family Relations decided to focus on this specific aspect in various interracial couples within the United States. The research made use of data taken from a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and analyzed close to 6,000 men and women varying between the ages of 15 years and 44 years who had been married to a person of a separate race, over a period of ten years.

The study turned up some interesting observations –

  • Marriages that took place between African American men and white women had twice the potential of ending up in divorce in comparison to marriages involving a white man and a white woman. When the background factors like the age of marriage and the level of education were adjusted in the course of the study, it was found that the differences that cropped up in white female and African American male marriages and white male and white female marriages disappeared almost entirely in a few cases. This indicates that, compared to the earlier findings, the greater rate of divorce between interracial couples, especially involving African American men and white women, is not just due to the background aspects.
  • Any pairing that occurred between Asian men and white females had a 59 percent higher chance of ending up in divorce in comparison to white male and white female couplings.
  • The same study uncovered that marriages involving an African American wife and a white husband had comparatively lower chances of ending up in divorce than marriages which involved both a white man and a white woman. The divorce rate of the former couple was almost 44 percent lower than the latter.
  • Couples which consisted of an Asian woman and a white husband had a 4 percent higher chance of ending in divorce compared to white man and white woman pairings.
  • It was noticed in the course of the study that marriages between Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic whites, and Asian and white people had a greater chance of ending in divorce than those of in-married Asians and Hispanic whites.
  • If a marriage consisted of a African American wife and a African American husband, the couple were less prone to divorce than the coupling between a white wife and a African American husband. White female and African American male couples also had the greatest chances of divorce out of all non-white and white marriages.
  • It should be understood that even though interracial marriages usually indicate a higher rate of divorce, this parallel applies primary to marriages involving a white female and a non-white male.

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Divorce over time

There is a 41 percent chance that an interracial marriage will swirl out of control. However, the percentages tend to vary across a certain period of time. For example, the probability of divorce by the 10th year of marriage, in comparison to an all-white couple, changes considerably. In case of an Asian husband and a white wife, the chances of the couple ending up in divorce are 59 percent higher than a regular white couple. The percentage dips down to 50 percent when the couple consists of a African American husband a white wife. However, there is a tremendous decrease to 4 percent involving a white man and an Asian woman in contrast to a couple consisting of a white man and a white woman.

All of these interracial couples have a higher chance of getting divorced within a decade of their marriage but when the couple has a African American husband and a African American wife in the relationship, the likelihood of divorce is actually less than 44 percent. This is a huge contrast and it may be attributed to the changing face of the world, especially the United States.

In a country, which forbade interracial relationships at one point in time even a couple of decades back, the number of interracial marriages has risen successfully owing to interracial blending. There is no doubt that bigotry will still exist with the passage of time. However, it is also true that the newer generations are more responsive and open-minded to the idea of interracial marriages than their predecessors. Not only is the mindset of the entire nation evolving but the face of America is also changing over the course of time.

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