White male and interracial dating

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Despite the steamy scenes on ABC's hit show, (and yes, I am a fan), most single black women are not dating white men (and certainly not hunky white men who hold high government offices and are willing to risk all they have achieved for illicit love).

Many single black women are instead finding themselves ignored in today's dating scene.

White women are less willing than white men to date outside of their racial group, but heavier-set white women are more willing to date black men, because, researchers Cynthia Feliciano, Belinda Robnett, and Golnaz Komaie of UC Irvine posit, of "racial-beauty exchange theory" -- the notion that a white woman who is less attractive by the measure of dominant Euro-American beauty standards is willing to "trade down" on the racial hierarchy by dating a black man.

By the same token, black men who date white women are "trading up" on the American racial hierarchy.

Most striking to me in recent sociological studies about interracial dating and marriage, is that on every measure, African American women seem to come out at the bottom of the pile.

Black people as a whole intermarry with whites less frequently than other people of color do; and black women intermarry far less than black men.

And when people do venture across the color line to date, they do so in ways that continue to affirm a social hierarchy based on race in which whiteness is prized.

White men are the most sought after dates by women of all groups (except for African American women, who, researchers speculate, may rule out white men due to the fear of being stereotyped).

White men can therefore afford to be the pickiest group in the online dating market; they respond to fewer overtures than other men on dating websites, and they have a strong preference for white women.

Once I overheard my black boyfriend telling his buddies how he preferred white women; on another occasion (with a different black boyfriend) a guy told me he didn't care that I was breaking up with him because he could go out and get a white woman, which was what he really wanted anyway.

For both these men (and to be fair, they were not much older than 20 at the time and thus had plenty of maturing to do), white women were the pinnacle of womanhood -- the prize that they secretly coveted, the emotional weapon that they knew they could wield.

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