Mixed race couples in the US are definitely on the rise. While earlier more of white and black couples comprised the chunk of inter-racial relationships in mainstream society, nowadays Asian and white pairings appear to become more common, especially where the woman is Asian and the man Caucasian. So what are the reasons for this phenomenon and why are Asian girls particularly falling for Caucasian guys?
First let us look at the numbers. If you do indeed feel that more and more of your white male friends and co-workers have been coming up with Asian dates, you are not really far from the truth. The anti-miscegenation laws introduced in the US from the late seventeenth century onwards prohibited inter-marriage between whites and all other races, including Asian. However US service personnel returning from the war after the Second World War and later the Korean and Vietnam War led to the arrival of war brides from the East. With the Supreme Court ruling in 1967 that all anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional, inter-racial marriages were finally decriminalized in the country and led to more open Asian-White marriages. However the most important aspect of the increasing trend of Asian-White marriages is that Asian women are more likely to settle for Caucasian husbands than Asian men are likely to marry White women. In 1990, about 69 percent of married Asian American women aged between 18 and 30 were wed to Asian American men, while 25 percent had White husbands1. However in 2006, 41 percent of Asian American-born women were registered as having White husbands, while 50 percent were married to Asian American men2. Also a research conducted by the Columbia Business School for two years from 2005-2007 found that Asian women and White men constituted the prevalent form of inter-racial dating in the United States.3
But what are the reasons why Asian women increasingly seem to be gravitating towards Caucasian men instead of looking for partners from their own community. Primary among them seems to be the far more equitable sexual relationship that dating a White guy offers to an Asian woman than a similar relationship with an Asian man. Traditional Asian cultures are known for overt or covert restrictions on women and having been brought up in such a household, Asian women are only too painfully familiar with the expectations that Asian men have from a wife of their own ethnic background. Thus when faced with the prospect of a relationship which offers greater breathing space than one which comes with traditional expectations, Asian women, like those from any other ethnicity, would prefer to choose the former.
Another interesting explanation and one which is related to the above point is to be found in the analysis of the rising trend of “Asian Trophy Wives” published recently in Marie Claire magazine 4. The author of the article Ying Chu studies the phenomenon of America’s many recognizable names like Woody Allen, Nicholas Cage, CBS head Leslie Moonves and investment magnate Bruce Wasserstein settling for female Asian partners and makes the observation that “power divorcés of a certain ilk make the perfect renegade suitors for these overachieving Asian good girls” - perhaps “an ultimate (yet lame) attempt at rebellion” . What Chu is trying to say is that brought up in an often emotionally barren family environment where the male members rarely show any form of open appreciation and love, young Asian women are increasingly opting for the more expressive and indulgent form of love that older white men are ready to accord them.
However skeptics argue that the main reason why Asian women seem be falling for White men is simply because White men prefer Asian women. Most Caucasian men appear to secretly believe the Oriental stereotype of the Asian women that swings between the two extremes of the submissive wife and the deeply sensuous geisha-like figure. This kind of preference is in fact uncannily akin to a fetish - something that Asian women being courted by the white guys may not even be aware of, according to Bich Minh Nguyen who broaches the stereotypes in her latest novel, Short Girls. Adds C.N. Le, director of Asian and Asian-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, "From an academic point of view, the perception still serves as a motivation for white men." However if this perception of the good, submissive Asian woman with a red sensual streak serves to offer a higher quality of life and a more equitable sexual relationship, there is no reason for young Asian women to refuse. Finally things appear to boil down to the simple economics of market segmentation more than concerns of race and ethnicity.
Swanbrow, Diane (2000-03-23). "Intimate Relationships Between Races More Common Than Thought", University of Michigan. http://www.umich.edu/news/index.html?Releases/2000/Mar00/r032300a.
Table FG4. Married Couple Family Groups, by Presence of Own Children/1 In Specific Age Groups, and Age, Earnings, Education, and Race and Hispanic Origin/2 of Both Spouses: 2006". U. S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2006.html.
Fishman, Ray (2007-11-07). "An economist solves the mysteries of dating". Slate magazine. http://www.slate.com/id/2177637/nav/tap3/.