Racial diversity in schools and interracial dating

Posted by Ria, 14 Oct 09

frustrated-diversity.jpg

Most schools, just like the infamous Bob Jones University never used to admit certain races just to discourage interracial dating in their institutions. Today, they do. But do diverse schools mean more interracial relationships?

Most of us would like to believe that racial diversity in schools leads to more interracial dating. Apparently, not necessarily. More often than not, it’s the opposite.

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James Moody of Duke University and an expert on how adolescents form and maintain social networks asked 90,000 teenagers at 112 different schools from every region of the country to name their best friends – five male and five female. During his analysis of the data collected, Moody matched the race of the student with the race of every named friend and compared the number of each student's interracial friendships with the school's overall diversity.

The unfortunate twist of his findings was that the more diverse the school was, the more the students segregated themselves by race and ethnicity hence decreasing the likelihood of interracial friendships in the school. “...increased opportunities to interact are also, effectively, increased opportunities to reject each other.”

Much as many students in junior-high and high-school in diverse schools have a friend of another race (which is inspiring), far more kids just like to hang with ‘their own’. And this dynamic becomes more visible as overall school diversity goes up. Why is this so?

The reasoning behind this is: as students get by a totally racially diverse school, they tend to encounter more groups that disqualify them based on their race and more things that are taboo to cross. Even with friends from other races, these things can’t be missed.

...the odds of a white high-schooler in America having a best friend of another race is only 8 percent. Those odds barely improve for the second-best friend, or the third-best, or the fifth. For blacks, the odds aren't much better: 85 percent of black kids' best friends are also black. Cross-race friends also tend to share a single activity, rather than multiple activities; as a result, these friendships are more likely to be lost over time, as children transition from middle school to high school.

With a generation so diverse you would expect children would grow up knowing how to get along with people of every race but according to numerous studies, they don’t. And as they become adults you would expect more interracial dating and marriages to come out of this diversity.

Are our expectations more of a fantasy than a fact?

12 responses to "Racial diversity in schools and interracial dating"

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  1.   Jenna says:
    Posted: 10 Jun 10

    @Bornalone Your question..' Is being in an interracial relationship the Only means to happiness' You are very right,good question. My answer is that race should not be a factor in finding happiness in any relationship,there is good and bad in every race. So race is a non issue, we are the only ones at the end of the day to make ourselves happy. I am happy if I have a relationship or not, it is all the same to me! May the blessings be!

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  2.   Member says:
    Posted: 06 May 10

    i like black men and so does my daughter!

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  3.   Wonka says:
    Posted: 18 Feb 10

    Bro I couldn't agree more with you,you hit it right on the head BORNALONE!!,Good stuff dude!.

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  4.   Bornalone says:
    Posted: 05 Feb 10

    To "homesteader" on your comment "This is the site for Inter-racial Dating / May all those that do knot Desire to be Happy and Enjoy life / Just leave and bother people elsewhere . It seem more apparent that for some the older they get the more foolish they become! Now, this is an Interacial site, "true" but tell me, is being in an interacial relationship the "ONLY" means to happiness? strange enough its took you all these years to realise just how nasty white people are!!! Oh, guess what, I know there are horrible black people too. Just picking your brain! I'm not into that sort of stuff and the only reasons I actually breeze by here itss to read some of the comments people make. Thanks for reading

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  5.   Bornalone says:
    Posted: 05 Feb 10

    I honestly don't know why it appears that its only the black people who yearns for acceptance from others, yet its the black people who has to work even harder to be accepted by those who shunns us but yet wants so much to be like us.... Strange but true, I say to hell with it! Thanks for reading.

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  6.   lt.dan says:
    Posted: 29 Dec 09

    When I was in school I had the worst experiance with this. I come from a real small town 99% white. There was a pretty black girl that went to school with me from K-12th. We were real close friends. As we got older our passion for catching lighting bugs and fishing at the near by stream slowly vanished. I started to look at her in a smitten manner. Our town was so backwards and ignorant towards the notion of dating outside of ones race. My senior year i ended a 2 year relationship with my gf at the time. It was brutal and plus ex did not care to much for me hanging out with Tamara(the black girl). The school year was getting close to the end and the senior prom was coming up. I asked Tamara if she would go with me. She looked at me with tears and said " I wanted to ask you but my parents said that it might not be a good idea" I was hurt and just felt bad. later on that night her mother called my folks house and spoke with my mom. My mother then came into my room and told me that she understood now why they disapproved. Her mom told my mother that my ex had been terrorizing her at school and at prank calls with slurrs and other things. I question the ex about it the next day at lunch. She pretty much said at the top of her lungs that I was every slurr in the book. I got shunned by most for the next couple of weeks we had left in school by all, except for one person. My Girl Tamara. Oh yeah we did do something on prom night, I went to her house and ate her moms cooking and watched movies all night. First true love ok done with that. lol I hope I did not bore you. Jer

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  7.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 02 Nov 09

    I never attended University / Have traveled United States biggest part of my life and met many people , of many nationalities . Met my Wife on this site / Lost some fairweather friends . Gained the Respect of many others in the years we have been together 24/7 as we are both Retired . Southeast Texas has many small cities and Houston within an hours drive . We frequently visit all these different places and meet Friendly people of all walks of life in the market places , eaterys and while we walk on the streets together . Strangers who we have just met for the first time , seem more than willing to engage us in Friendly conversation . I see more Discrimination on Blog topics than we see in everyday life . Of course / I see men who act as Boys with their open Disrespect for a Ladie in a Public Forum . I also have experienced one who asked if I valued my teeth . I physically loaded and unloaded trucks and trailers most of my life / when I was in my twenties operated a hot tar kettle on a roofing crew , placing 100 # and 150 # cold tar into kettles all day long . At 40 years of age I weighed 142 # and could lift 260 # withease . Life is changing everyday in Our part of the world for the betterment of society . If someone Desired my teeth , they are welcome as I was taught to break bones in feet or knees to defend myself / Needless to say most of my troubles in life were with people of my own heritage . President Woodrow Wilson said " Walk Softly and carry a Big stick " and he was the only president with 3 terms in office . Shows he may have been smarter than others . I could not tell as it was before my time to vote . At our older age people have became more Intelligent and We are just a couple in what they see . We Smile and Enjoy the things that are free to all that want to Live openly together . This is the site for Inter-racial Dating / May all those that do knot Desire to be Happy and Enjoy life / Just leave and bother people elsewhere .

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  8.   blue1 says:
    Posted: 28 Oct 09

    People do tend to go with others similar to thierselves. however it is also acceptable to have friends of a different race. When I was young that just didn't happen. You had to do things out of sight. I watch the kids at my school and I see a lot of mixed couples. Of course I live in California and it is different here. We are not in the "promised" land yet but it is better.

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  9.   rarestgold says:
    Posted: 21 Oct 09

    When my children were younger they had lots of friends who were of other races but, as they got older, just as it was stated in the article, their choice of friends changed. Not because they were biased in any way but, simply because people tend to gravitate to those they "think" will understand them; Teenagers bow to peer pressure and it isn't always "cool" to have a "best or really good" friend who is of a different ethnicity. When they were young they never thought about those kinds of things. But, what I have also discovered is that regardless of the cliques and the pressure, they aren't afraid to love someone of a different race. Proving again that love conquers all.

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  10.   Stallion78 says:
    Posted: 19 Oct 09

    I agree w u word for word!

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  11.   Spirit773 says:
    Posted: 19 Oct 09

    WHURR: I knew it wouldn't last! Hope that your inner 'jackass' will allow you to post another normal response this year . This one was interesting reading.I will check out the link that you included. On another note does anybody else who doesn't live in the U.S find much currency in the research used for many of these blog posts ? I live in the UK and whilst i would never ever argue that we live in some kind of racially diverse nirvana we do seem to be more comfortable with diversity than people are in the U.S. Just looking at my kids and the young ones in my extended family i can honestly say that if you looked at their friends, from white to ebony everybody is represented. When i check out Whurrs link it will be interesting to see whether any mention is made of the type of friendship the students parents had. Surely if your parents don't mix what example can your children model their behaviour on ? Added to that we know some communities mix easier than others. For some young women from a community that frowns upon'mixing', engaging in a relationship outside of that community is a death sentence... honour killing is real.How did the study accomodate the fear that goes with something like that ?

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  12.   WHURR says:
    Posted: 15 Oct 09

    Ok...I am normally a clown... but this is actually my specialty ( of sorts)....here we go..... If this is the study he did when he was at Ohio State, then the study is from 1997-1999. There is a big difference within the last decade. We were only 5-6 years away from the death of Kurt Cobain and the influence of Dr. Dre. Music does dictate the social norms of the youth, as we all know. Cell phone minutes were all on a 300 minute plan and text messaging was 10 cents a message. Laptops were for the ones who could afford them and CDs were cool, because IPODs didnt exist. That being said, we have become a transient, non-trusting society when it comes to neighborhoods and stranger awareness. Your 'best friends' are generally dictated around your after-school activities. If your circle of availability and means of transportation limits you to a few streets around your house, you definitely hang out with those few select people within a stone's throw away. Having kids 'one event' in common is very typical. Sports allows kids from all neighborhoods to meet for that 2-3 hour period. The hassle of transportation limits your 'friend circle'. Its a shame that he didn't talk about the '6 Levels of Intimacy'. One of them is clearly that children will acknowledge one another at the bus stop, but then ignore each other in passing through the school's hallways. This generally happens between the ages of 12-15. Its one step closer to the next level which is actually 'physical touching' via poking and slapping. We all know what happens after that. I could go on about this, but I bore myself! If this is a new study, since he transferred to Duke, more power to him. I think this is the old one from http://www.soc.duke.edu/~jmoody77/ajs_reprint.pdf Every 10 years we see social changes with race issues. The advent of technology and the ease of social networking via Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook has definitely caused a change in friendships. Ask the kids who their friends are nowadays and they will refer you to their 'Favs List' online. No need to ask, you can do the research on your own. I am not challenging his findings, nor have I ever publicly. The one thing that I do believe is that with the increase in interracial relationships and instantaneous technology abundance, things might be different than his study. He published all the stuff in 2000 and it was picked up for print in 2001. The kids were asked in the years previous. OK....let me go back to being a jackass!! This is my one normal post this year. BYE

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