Is One Race more attractive Than Another
i am Michel Martin, and is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Valentine's Day is coming, And so love and romance are on many clients' minds. NPR's Code Switch team has been directed at interrelationships for their online series on cross cultural love. And the series has brought out some interesting stories about interracial and family relationships, Especially at a time when some people like to think of this as a post racial era.
So that's why we thought this might be a good time to bring some of the voices from that online conversation to the radio. And we also thought this could be a good time to dig into some of the facts and myths about interracial romance. So joining us to accomplish this, Noah Cho is a middle school teacher and an editor for Hyphen magazine. one should be open. many thanks joining us.
MARTIN: They both taken part in Code Switch's Cross Cultural Love series. And also with us to get more perspective and we hope to separate some of the facts and fiction from fiction around interracial romances, NPR science reporter, Shankar Vedantam. Welcome back to you as well.
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: hiya, Michel.
MARTIN: So starting with you, And guess what happens, You can join the talking at Xculturelove. plus Shankar, I'm going for starters you, And the first thing I wanted to address is the concept that interrelationships and marriage are common now. you are aware, surely, The president is the young child of an interracial marriage. significantly more, You see a lot of babes in interracial marriages. I'm consideration Robin Thicke and Paula Patton just, you've heard of, Off seo suggestions of my head. But what amount of the population does this actually apply to?
VEDANTAM: A fairly small portion of the citizenry, Michel. it is my opinion, due to the fact say, They are more readily available now than they used to be, But I think about only 1 percent of all marriages in north america are interracial. So it's still a very little minority, that, regularly when interracial couples walk by the street, They draw glances.
MARTIN: And to that period of, you are sure of, Shankar, You're trainees of stereotyping, And how we form stereotypes and impressions and awareness. And one of the enduring stereotypes is that particular groups are particularly attracted to certain other groups. after all, The whole black men lusting after white women is an enduring and, usually, Lethal label in this country. also, there are the one about white men lusting after Asian women. So is there any misconception or stereotype that you would particularly like to address about which people seem to date outside their race and which and where most interracial couples even live in this country?
VEDANTAM: so very, you're confident you know, There was some important research that was published last year, Michel. there was a study by Adam Galinsky, Erika Hall and Amy Cuddy that looked at the ways that our stereotypes about race intersect with our stereotypes about gender. And they found that racial stereotypes actually are gendered as, in a way that Asians, more often than not, Are perceived as being more feminine and blacks, the way in which, Are rated to be more masculine. So have been these stereotypes about the races were gendered.
and consequently, When you appear at heterosexual dating patterns, What the study said was let's look at the affairs that whites have with either Asians or blacks. And you choose to found was that white men, Heterosexual bright white men, Are far certainly going to be dating Asian women rather than black women, Whereas heterosexual white women will probably be dating black men rather than Asian men. So in the final dating pool Asian women seem to be prized for their femininity because Asians, how, Are stereotyped as being more feminine than manly, Whereas black men are prized for their manliness, and as a consequence, More precious in the dating pool, The heterosexual going out pool, because as a group, you're sure of, Black men or blacks are seen to be more strong.
what this signifies, and i believe that it's borne out by the data, But also by the stories of some of the people who have appeared on this project, Is that Asian men and black women often end up using the short end of the stick. they are often seen as being less desirable. They appear to have less options in the dating pool.
MARTIN: I want to hear more about your other things that you've discovered all through doing this research and reporting. So in addition Noah, Let's turn to you. you, yourself are biracial. Your father was japanese, Your new mother is white. and also you wrote the piece "How I Learned to Feel unnecessary" For Code move. And you reported in the piece, Actually a very moving piece, That you felt you're on the losing end of one of these brilliant stereotypes that Asian men are not desirable. Can you talk a bit more about that? And give many thanks again for being candid about it.
CHO: oh, yes. that you understand, i feel for me, A lot of biracial people have a problem with their phenotype I think in a lot of ways. plus me, I present more Asian than a lot of spouse white, Half Asian in which I've known in my life. and consequently, I feel like I've been put into the group of an Asian male, blue jays I look at my biology and my genetics, And I know and that is not true yet people still treat me that way or look at me that way.
and consequently, I think I really internalized during my life that the dating pool, as we, you know, Mentioned time ago, was really more limited to me. I didn't believe that I was attracted or desired. i seriously wrestled with media portrayals of Asian men often being very effeminate or just as comic relief. When I was a youngster in the '80s, enjoy, you learn, there's the John Hughes movies, to "retribution of the Nerds" who had Getty Watanabe, you realize, and was very, seriously effeminate. And he got, Really emasculated in many of ways. And I think that ultimately shaped my view of myself. that is why. this is why.
MARTIN: yeah. Naima, think about you? Your story's particular. You figure out as black. Your mom's Puerto Rican, And your father's ebony. But you say that your racial identity or maybe your looks mean that great deal, felt, Are interested in you for all the wrong reasons. Could you focus on that?
RAMOS CHAPMAN: yes. So I detect as black, But I think I present sort of racially ambiguous. So a lot of the times I feel exotified by most people who look at me and kind of project their fantasies of what they hope I might be, which actually, I think being curious about someone's ethnicity isn't necessarily wrong, It's just one occasion I identify as black, That should kind of be the end of the story unless I want to express it in great detail. And often I find that folks kind of say, are you certain? wish, occur just black? Or are you sure you're just regular black? And it kind of comes off very questionable.
MARTIN: 'Cause they want you to be another?
RAMOS CHAPMAN: exactly. I've arrived, you are aware of, do you feel like Vietnamese and French? I'm to be, in fact, what would make you think, you already, Why that screening machine? making it kind of just very far flung, also to me, you will know, out of New York, Puerto Rican black is very a biracial or ethnic mix that's pretty common. So you, The fact that you'd ask Vietnamese or Korean or Hawaiian and Peruvian and black, It's kind of crazy, Kind of concerns that I get.
MARTIN: Do you mind if I ask since you do also identify as bisexual do men do you feel that you get the same principal from men as well as women? You wrote some pleasant piece, significantly, with that, About how you have a bit more sympathy for black men who exoticize, If I'm actually saying it right, Who exoticize you than you do for white men as you kind of feel like, in a case, It's like their own internal stuff, With another case, You feel like it's their privilege. And so you just aren't feeling that at all. But I wanted to know, Do men and women do you feel equally give you that the people who are inclined to kind of put project something on you, Do you feel you get that equally for women and men?
RAMOS CHAPMAN: i, that you said before, I kind of give allowances dependant on your privilege. So I think mostly, a person understand, I kind of give a pass to men of color who without a doubt exoticize. unfortunately, you no doubt know, I feel like most people have kind of been in that Pecola Breedlove moment where we're like, wow, I wish i have been, identify, just a little lighter. So I kind of comprehend that, And it's kind of something I think, Because we identify under a unifying outdoor patio umbrella of black identity, That we can have that speech.
But in regards dating white men, there's certainly kind of, really like, That allowance kind of decreases. And over the internet that, When associated with women, That right now about my ethnicity comes like further, Further down the line. It's not something that's brought up out of the first 5, 10, 15 no time at all of meeting me. It's definitely something that maybe on date five, We might look at because it's not, It's not their number one priority to figure out, much like, oh, Like what and maybe this isn't true for anyone who asks but kind of feeling like the flavor of the week. or perhaps a, you may already know, yep, i'll have my first Asian or i'll have my first Puerto Rican woman. Shankar, these are struggle, you comprehend, We noted overall social perceptions, But a lot more webmasters, I want to loop back to what Noah was referring to about, How he looks like, how people kind of looked at him affected how he felt about himself. have you noticed that to be common?
VEDANTAM: avoid, in my opinion so. The data does show that, I think you'll be able to black woman or an Asian man, That the deck is sort of stacked against you in the country. And it's stacked against you because of these crossing points between the stereotypes we have about race and the stereotypes we have about gender. book what's also ironic and sad, fully grasp, If you read Noah's story on Code key, Is how he has internalized this additionally to. And he can explain this as well. the goal wasn't his perceptions of how other people see him, But his own awareness of himself. And that shows how these stereotypes don't just affect us because another person perceive us in a certain way, They affect us because we perceive our lives that way.
MARTIN: you are sure of, Noah, if you that? And I need to say, I hope you don't mind my referencing, the picture was published with your piece on NPR's website, And lots of individuals thought you were quite handsome.
MARTIN: If we can say that. But there are people who felt that this has more to do with self esteem than with race. That perhaps part of it was, you realise, You're living as a minority in a majority kind of white environment where you didn't have a lot of individuals that looked like you, and the, That that's really more what it was ready. What do you think?
CHO: extremely, pretty sure, you're confident you know and, you realize, I was trying not to read the comments, of course, the actual other piece. But I did sent straight to a few, And an person did mention, for example like, perfectly, it's surprising he's bringing race into his insecurities in this piece. And somebody told her with, So you wouldn't like him to bring his insecurities into his insecurities? and thus, you're confident you know, i believe, indeed, My self assurance was affected by this, But it was lavishly tied to my racial identity, And how I responded to looking at myself in the mirror. and simply, you will realize, I don't like looking at myself in the mirror and when Code Switching asked me to take the pictures to be included with my piece, shanghai women
That was actually the really, Like the challenging part of that.