“How Multiracial Identities and Racial Classification Shape Latinos’ Dating Preferences“
Abstract:Understanding how life experiences vary by different dimensions of race may help clarify the growing Latino population’s place in the U.S. racial structure. This study examines how self-identifying with more than one racial group and racial classification relate to racial dating choices among Latinos. Analyses of data from online dating profiles reveal divergent patterns in stated racial preferences among Latinos depending upon whether and how they also identify with other racial groups. Latinos who identify as White express racial preferences that are more similar to Whites than to monoracial Latinos, while the preferences of Black-identified Latinos are more similar to Blacks, consistent with Whitening and Black exceptionalism theories. However, regardless of racial self-identity, Latino online daters vary in their exclusion of Whites depending upon how they are racially classified by others. These findings suggest that Latinos’ racial preferences are influenced by the existing racial structure and that Latinos contribute to maintaining the racial hierarchy through their dating choices. In addition, the findings suggest multiple assimilation trajectories within this diverse population.
*Co-Sponsored with the Center for the Study of International Migration