Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Dating Trends in a Multi-Racial Society: Examining Racial/Ethnic Coupling Patterns in the United States

Dr. Herman Leon DeBose, Melanie C. Klein, Eileen Le.

Discussions of race relationships, in the United States, are no longer limited to predominantly black and white communities and rates of interracial relationships and marriage have been used as a yardstick to measure the state of race relations. In a pilot study, we examined the dating, or "coupling" patterns of college students in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Southern California, and Los Angeles specifically, have been recognized as political and social trendsetters, displaying an increased pattern of multi-racial communities taking place. Their unique racial demographics are indicative of changing racial populations that will continue to grow throughout the United States. This article, with an expanded sample consisting of college students across the United States, continues to explore dating trends prior to spouse selection and marriage. Studying interracial coupling patterns allows us to determine how these decisions are made and if people have racial predispositions at various stages of intensity and commitment. These findings help us understand the possible bridges and continued road blocks in interracial unions as the global community expands.


Dr. Herman Leon DeBose  (United States)
Professor Sociology/Social Work
Department of Sociology
California State University, Northridge

Melanie C. Klein  (United States)

California State University, Northridge

Eileen Le  (United States)

California State University, Northridge

  • Race relations
  • Dating
  • Interracial relationships

(60 min. Workshop, English)