Racial diversity in schools and interracial dating
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?
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