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Dating Across Racial Boundaries: UGA Students’ Stance on Interracial Relationships

BY KELCEY CAULDER

People often say that the Millennial Generation, made up of individuals born from the 1980s to the early 2000s, is very different from its predecessors. We are stereotypically considered the most progressive generation thus far, exhibiting less racism and sexism while also supporting legislation promoting social equality. The University of Georgia, however, is located in the southern United States, which comes with its own set of stereotypes; particularly the stereotype of being very racially prejudiced. These contrasting stereotypes sparked curiosity within me. Are we, students at the University of Georgia, racist as our location might stereotypically suggest, or are we in line with the stereotype that our generation might suggest?

In an attempt to try and understand the official stance of University of Georgia students on the issue of interracial dating, I randomly surveyed over one hundred students on the issue.

87% of the surveyed students stated that they approve of interracial relationships and that they would participate in interracial dating given the opportunity. This percentage is equal to the percentage of Americans who now approve of interracial relationships according to Gallup’s 2013 Minority Rights and Relations poll.

Despite the relatively high number of students who stated that they approve of interracial dating, only 80% said that they believed interracial relationships were accepted on campus. One University of Georgia sophomore* told me, “I feel like I would date outside of my race, but I would honestly feel pretty awkward telling people about it if I didn’t know them really well. Some people are still pretty prejudiced here.”

When questioned about who she felt would treat her differently, this student reported that her grandparents would likely be the most opposed to her dating outside of her race. It seems that she is not the only student fearing their family’s rejection of their significant other as 52% of respondents stated that the main factor in their decision not to date outside of their own race was their family.

The survey also questioned students on the likelihood that they would date someone of the following races: Caucasian, African American, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, Native American and other.

The ‘most dateable’ race on the University of Georgia campus according to results was Caucasian with 91% of respondents saying they would date someone of this race. Following Caucasians in descending order were Asians (62%), Hispanic (56%), Native American (54%), African American (52%) and other (49%).

A common stereotype on campus according to students on the cell phone app YikYak is that females are less likely to date outside of their own race. According to results, only 38% of respondents feel that it is equally likely that persons of both genders would date outside of their own race. Surprisingly, however, respondents voted with only a one percent difference in their views of which gender would be more likely to date outside of their race with the less likely gender being female.

Results further revealed that 53% of respondents believed that certain races are more likely to date outside of their own race; the races that respondents believed to be most likely to do so were Caucasians, African Americans and Asians.

After studying the results of the survey, it became clear that University of Georgia students are neither stereotypically Millennial nor stereotypically Southern. Rather, UGA students generally fall in line with the standard view of modern Americans in polls regarding race and minority relations.

* This individual’s name has been omitted to reflect their wish to remain anonymous.


Featured Image is “True Romance” by Guian Bolisay, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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