You don’t have to be a social scientist to know that Asian Americans have the highest rate of marrying outside their own race than any other group in the United States. (photo by Anthony Van Dyck)
A study by Pew Research Center confirms what most people, especially on the East and West Coasts, can see for themselves.
In 2008 31 percent of Asian Americans married outside their own race, compared to 26 percent of Hispanics, 16 percent of blacks and 9 percent of whites.
Most people have probably also observed that more Asian American women marry outside their race than Asian American men.
Again, the Pew study confirms this with 40 percent of Asian American women who married in 2008 married someone outside their race. That compares to 20 percent of Asian American men.
This gender gap has caused a division between some Asian American women and men. A story in Racism in Review tells the story of three Asian American women who discuss the resentment they receive for dating outside their race.
These feelings can be quite strong, sometimes leading to accusations of being a race traitor or sellout.
These women don’t deserve to be treated that way. What’s needed is a better understanding on both sides of the dynamics at play.
Inquisitive minds want to know if the gender gap in outmarriage is due to stereotypes of Asian American women as sexy, exotic and submissive and of Asian American men as passive, effeminate and nerdy.
It’s an obvious question and one that shouldn’t be simply dismissed.
At the same time, it wasn’t that long ago when it was illegal for Asian Americans to marry whites in this country. Few would argue for returning to such outdated modes of dating.
Check out the stories in Racism in Review and leave your comments below.