The day after his arrest last month, his wife, Kellie, filed for divorce , citing "an irretrievable breakdown" in the marriage. She also indicated her intention to change her name. Many experts feel the reaction is symptomatic of attitudes that many in the community, especially certain men, have held toward women in interracial relationships, particularly with white men.
Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the nonprofit National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, told NBC Asian America that by passing judgment on Asian women's interracial relationships without context or details essentially removes their independence. Kellie, who came to the U.
She explained she had previously been in an arranged marriage in which she endured domestic abuse. Kellie Chauvin is hardly the only Asian woman who has been the target of these comments. But sociologist Nancy Wang Yuen, a scholar focused on Asian American media representation, pointed out that the origins of such anger have some validity. That time period marked some of the first waves of immigration from Asia to the U.
While Asian men made their way stateside, women largely remained in Asia. Moreover, antimiscegenation laws, or bans on interracial unions, kept Asian men from marrying other races, Yuen noted. Virginia, that such legislation was declared unconstitutional. Because of immigration laws, there was a whole bachelor society … and so you have all these different kinds of Asian men in the United States who did not have partners. As the image of Asian men was once, in part, the architecture of racist legislation, the sexless, undesirable trope was further confirmed by Hollywood depictions of the race.
Even heartthrob Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa, who did experience appeal from white women, was used to show Asian men as sexual threats during a period of rising anti-Japanese sentiment. Often, these portrayals of both men and women evolved with war, Yuen added. For example, the sexualization of Asian women on screen was heightened after the Vietnam War due to prostitution and sex trafficking that American military men often took part in. Yuen is quick to point out that Asian women, who possessed very little decision-making power throughout U.
The historical emasculation of Asian men stings to this day. A study from OkCupid found that Asian men were ranked least desirable among all demographics. Another study found that the majority of its Asian American female respondents reported their attraction, from a young age, was overwhelmingly to European American boys.
However, directing anger toward Asian women for their interracial relationships uncovers a host of problematic underlying beliefs, experts said. Some of the vitriol stems from erroneous assumptions that because women are seen as more sexually desirable, they are therefore more privileged.
Chinese media displaying an overly positive image of intermarriage is of course not very surprising. Attitudes toward mixed couples in China have been deemed socially appropriate since the s, according to a study by Finnish scholars Fred Dervin and Minghui Gao.
However, AMWF which admittedly sounds like another porn category when you first hear it has the potential to gather an even bigger following than television programming, going far beyond the minority of AMWF couples themselves. Standing out in America Celebrity Liu Ye, a famous Chinese actor, is married to a French woman, with whom he has two children.
His intercultural love and family life has attracted over 50 million followers on his Weibo account. With an increasing number of international students and workers coming to China, along with record-breaking numbers of Chinese now studying abroad, many Chinese men are inevitably falling in love with Western women, and vice versa. This is exactly what happened to Vicky and Shen Da five years ago.
They met in college in New York, where Shen "stood out" because there were literally no Asians in the Texas town she grew up in. Even though Shen had already spent four years in San Francisco, all his friends in the US were Chinese, so his English still wasn't at a level to be able to adequately express his feelings for Vicky.
Thus, Vicky was compelled to make the first move. The couple are now living together in Shanghai, Shen working for his family business and Vicky studying Chinese. Apart from language barriers and cultural differences, the troubles they face as a couple are pretty similar to any cohabiting man and woman in the world: Vicky snores during the night and Shen has a hard time apologizing after a fight.
Another AMWF couple, who also studied together in the US, recently stirred up some buzz on social media for openly disclosing anti-Chinese and Japanese nationalist publications found in a Japanese hotel chain. Kat and Sid, as the couple-vloggers call themselves, found 1.
In their videos, Kat reacts to popular Chinese TV shows, speaks Putonghua and tries to cook tomato and eggs a popular Chinese dish for Sid. The popularity of this sort of WWAM content on the Web provides a platform for identification and gives Western women who date Asian men newfound confidence.
Blogger Lena Elsborg alias Lingling is a very lively example of it. The Danish national, who resides in Beijing, informs her viewers about the many advantages of dating Chinese men on her popular YouTube channel. According to her, apart from learning more about Chinese culture and language, another benefit of having a Chinese boyfriend is that they will "definitely carry your bag and immediately text you back.
Another plus, she said, is that Chinese men like to go shopping with their girlfriends. Blogs and vlogs about the AMWF phenomenon still count as niche content, but the sum of their global awareness among online viewers may soon lead to the dissolution of common stereotypes Western women tend to have toward Asian men.
Indeed, interracial marriages are often disparaged in racial minority communities as well. Chuang and colleagues start with the observation that there are quite large gender imbalances in American interracial marriages. The most common combination is a Black man married to a White woman, with the reverse pairing of a White man and a Black woman being quite uncommon.
The second most likely type consists of a White man married to an Asian woman, again with the reverse of an Asian man and a White woman being much less frequent. In a recently published study, the researchers examined the dynamics of interracial marriage. Rather, they were interested in how other members of the particular minority viewed these racially mixed marriages.
In psychology, a phenomenon known as the mere exposure effect shows that humans have a tendency to like or prefer things that are familiar to them. Conversely, we often harbor negative attitudes towards things that are unfamiliar. For instance, our comfort foods are the ones we grew up with, and the music we like most is usually that of our youth. The mere exposure effect then predicts that Black participants should show more warmth toward Black male-White female couples because they are far more common than the reverse.
Likewise, Asian participants should feel more warmth for White male-Asian female couples for the same reason. In the case of Black-White marriages, Black men showed roughly equal warmth for both Black male-White female and White male-Black female couples. Black women indicated a similar level of warmth for White male-Black female couples, but they were quite cool toward couples where the husband was Black, and the wife was White.
When the researchers looked at the data from the Asian participants, they found the opposite pattern of results in terms of gender. Specifically, Asian women were equally warm to couples where the husband was White, and the wife was Asian and to couples where the races were reversed. In contrast, Asian men indicated high warmth toward Asian male-White female marriages, but they were quite cool to couples where the husbands were White, and the wives were Asian.
The researchers hypothesized that this pattern of results was due to perceived mating competition. This is especially true when members of the opposite sex are far more likely to marry out of their race. However, many more Black men marry White women, so Black women should perceive a reduced pool of potential mates, and thus they should disapprove of Black male-White female unions.
However, Asian men should feel threatened by the frequent combination of White male-Asian female, since that leaves fewer potential mates for them. Follow-up studies in which participants were probed about the reasons for their attitudes about mixed-race relationships provided support for this mate-competition hypothesis.
The researchers concede that mate competition is only one of many factors shaping our attitudes about interracial relationships. For instance, they note that common stereotypes about the relative masculinity and femininity of Asians, Blacks, and Whites also play into attitudes about mixed-race marriages. Thus, an Asian man who buys into the stereotype that White men are more masculine would naturally feel threatened when he sees them with Asian women that he could otherwise be dating.
Social attitudes are complex, and no single factor can ever completely explain them. Overall, the warmth expressed by the participants towards various types of interracial relationships was quite high, typically in the interval, on average, out of a possible range of And yet, couples comprising the two most common types of interracial relationships are still likely to encounter negative attitudes about them.
As these data show us, Black women likely perceive Black male-White female unions as a threat to their own ability to find a quality mate. Likewise, Asian males tend to look at White male-Asian female couples as a threat for the same reason. In conclusion, Chuang and colleagues note that studies of attitudes about interracial marriage need to consider more than just the race of the respondents. Rather, psychologists need to consider the intersection of race and gender as they tease out the dynamics of social attitudes.
Chuang, R. Advance online publication. DOI: The role of gender in interracial divorce dynamics, found in social studies by Jenifer L. Historically, mixed-race offspring of black and white people such as mulattos and quadroons were often denominated to the lower racial category, an example of the " one-drop rule ", as a way to maintain the racial hierarchy. When slavery was legal, most mixed children came from an African American mother and white father.
Relations between an African American man and white woman were deeply frowned upon, often due to the frequent portrayal of the men as sexual dangers. By the s, intermarriages flipped to be more common between a white woman and African American man. Once slavery was abolished, intermarriage was more common among higher educated and more affluent African Americans.
There became a balance between racial prestige and socioeconomic prestige in intermarriages. The and censuses showed that interracial marriage between black people and white people was least likely to occur in the South and most likely to occur in the West, specifically the West coast. In the census, 0.
Ten years later, 0. By contrast, in the western U. In the census, the percentage of black men in the western U. In the 17th century, when Filipinos were under Spanish rule, the Spanish colonists ensured a Filipino trade between the Philippines and the Americas. When the Mexicans revolted against the Spanish, the Filipinos first escaped into Mexico, then traveled to Louisiana, where the exclusively male Filipinos married Native American women.
Le estimated that among Asian Americans of the 1. Historically, Chinese American men married African American women in high proportions to their total marriage numbers due to few Chinese American women being in the United States. After the Emancipation Proclamation , many Chinese Americans immigrated to the Southern states, particularly Arkansas , to work on plantations. The interracial disparity between genders among Native Americans is low.
Historically in Latin America, and to a lesser degree in the United States, Native Americans have married out at a high rate. Many countries in Latin America have large Mestizo populations; in many cases, mestizos are the largest ethnic group in their respective countries. In the United States, interracial unions between Native Americans and African Americans have also existed throughout the 16th through early 20th century resulting in some African Americans having Native American heritage.
Throughout American history, there has been frequent mixing between Native Americans and black Africans. When Native Americans invaded the European colony of Jamestown, Virginia in , they killed the Europeans but took the African slaves as captives, gradually integrating them. Interracial relationships occurred between African Americans and members of other tribes along coastal states. During the transitional period of Africans becoming the primary race enslaved, Native Americans were sometimes enslaved with them.
Africans and Native Americans worked together, some even intermarried and had mixed children. The relationship between Africans and Native-Americans was seen as a threat to Europeans and European-Americans, who actively tried to divide Native-Americans and Africans and put them against each other. During the 18th Century, some Native American women turned to freed or runaway African men due to a major decline in the male population in Native American villages. At the same time, the early slave population in America was disproportionately male.
Records show that some Native American women bought African men as slaves. Unknown to European sellers, the women freed and married the men into their tribe. Some African men chose Native American women as their partners because their children would be free, as the child's status followed that of the mother. The men could marry into some of the matrilineal tribes and be accepted, as their children were still considered to belong to the mother's people.
As European expansion increased in the Southeast, African and Native American marriages became more numerous. Historically, interracial marriage in the United States was subject to great public opposition often a taboo ,  especially among whites. It was only in when more than half of Americans approved of such marriages in general. Attitudes towards interracial marriage can vary depending upon the race of the union and the person judging them - for example, black women expressed less approval for black men-white women marriages than the reverse, and Asian men less approval of white men-Asian women marriages than the reverse, seemingly due to concerns over mate competition.
A term has arisen to describe the social phenomenon of the so-called "marriage squeeze" for African American females. Historically, many American religions disapproved of interracial marriage. Biblical literalists are less likely to support interracial marriage to Asians and Latinos. Whites who attend multiracial congregations or engage in devotional religious practices are more likely to support interracial marriages.
Children with a religious upbringing in non-Western states, particularly the South, were less likely to have interracially dated than those without religious upbringings. According to a Baylor University study "people with no religious affiliation were not statistically more likely to be in intermarriages than evangelical or mainline Protestants or people from other religions"  with one exception, Catholics.
Catholics were twice as likely to be in an interracial marriage than the general population. Some religions actively teach against interracial marriages. For example, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recommends against interracial marriages , but does not prohibit it. Even into the twentieth century, marriage between subcultures of Judaism was rare. Eastern European Jews were the most analyzed subgroup due to having the largest presence in the U.
During —, only 2. This figure only rose to 3. One of the greatest factors that swayed Jews away from intermarriage was a fear of assimilation and loss of identity. Although the beginnings of a melting pot culture appeared to encourage diversity, it was also seen as a threat to the Jewish culture and religion.
However, there was also fear of persecution due to racial tensions and frequent discrimination. Not all Jews were hesitant about assimilating into American culture. Some early Jewish authors such as Mary Antin were strong proponents of abandoning their Jewish heritage and encouraged interfaith marriage. It was suggested as a way to make immigration easier and reflect positively on the Jews in a time of prevailing discrimination. They believed that intermarriage was beneficial to both the Jewish community and America as a whole.
While intermarriage was relatively common among ethnic groups like the German and Italians, the practice of endogamy was still the domineering practice among the newer ethnic groups. It has been found that rates in Jewish intermarriage increase from the initial immigrant wave with each subsequent generation.
Racial endogamy is significantly stronger among recent immigrants. For instance, female immigrants of Chinese descent are more likely to marry U. In the United States, rates of interracial cohabitation are significantly higher than those of marriage. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. No laws passed. Before June 12, Further information: Black Indians.
Main article: Marriage squeeze. Retrieved September 29, The Complete Lincoln-Douglas Debates of University of Chicago Press. Loving Day". Interracial dating attitudes among college students. Historical analysis of college campus interracial dating. College Student Journal, Mixing and matching: Assessing the concomitants of mixed ethnic relationships. Belinda; Mitchell-Kernan, Claudia Winter Journal of Marriage and Family. JSTOR Slate magazine. Retrieved January 18, Newcastle University Press.
Retrieved October 25, Family Relations. Bureau of the Census "Table Detailed data can be found in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, from to Census Bureau. Marriages is Interracial or Interethnic. The Washington Post. November 9, Assisi Archived from the original on January 30, Retrieved January 2, The Library, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved January 8, Tragen September California Law Review. Asian Americans: contemporary trends and issues.
Pine Forge Press. ISBN Bureau of the Census "Statistical Abstract of the United States, " [ permanent dead link ] , Section 1: Population, file Spring Trends in Interracial Marriage over the 20th Century". Journal of Economic Perspectives. CiteSeerX
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