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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships: Public Perceptions and Practical Benefits of Friendships and Romantic Relationships in Intercultural Contexts
Unformatted Document Text:  Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 11 Intercultural Romantic Relationships An intercultural romantic relationship can be defined as an intimate connection existing between people of different cultures that comprise involvement, sharing, disclosure, and/or love. Most of the research in this arena has been conducted on heterosexual couples, even though homosexual relationships have existed in every society in every era (Martin & Nakayama, 1999; Robertson, 1988). Romantic relationships in the United States traditionally involve dating and/or marriage, however not all relationships require marriage or dating in order to be considered romantic. Perceptions of Intercultural Romantic Relationships It was not until 1967 in the United States that the Supreme Court fully nullified laws against interracial marriage (Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 1967). Up until 2000, numerous states, such as Alabama and South Carolina, had written laws in their state constitutions that prohibit interracial marriage. Although these laws were not enforceable after 1967, they remained as a part of their state constitutions for nearly 30 years after the Supreme Court ruling struck down these provisions which prohibited interracial marriage. Our past conceptions, ideals, and laws have created strong attitudes among the majority of people looking at interracial romantic relationships. By the time most individuals reach adolescence in the United States, they have been taught that it is better to date within one’s ethnic and racial group (Lampe 1982). In addition, by the time that one reaches adolescence, fewer opportunities will be available for interracial dating. Numerous studies demonstrate that families instill negative attitudes regarding

Authors: Docan, Tony.
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Building and Sustaining Intercultural Relationships 11
Intercultural Romantic Relationships
An intercultural romantic relationship can be defined as an intimate connection
existing between people of different cultures that comprise involvement, sharing,
disclosure, and/or love. Most of the research in this arena has been conducted on
heterosexual couples, even though homosexual relationships have existed in every
society in every era (Martin & Nakayama, 1999; Robertson, 1988). Romantic
relationships in the United States traditionally involve dating and/or marriage, however
not all relationships require marriage or dating in order to be considered romantic.
Perceptions of Intercultural Romantic Relationships
It was not until 1967 in the United States that the Supreme Court fully nullified
laws against interracial marriage (Loving v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 1967). Up until
2000, numerous states, such as Alabama and South Carolina, had written laws in their
state constitutions that prohibit interracial marriage. Although these laws were not
enforceable after 1967, they remained as a part of their state constitutions for nearly 30
years after the Supreme Court ruling struck down these provisions which prohibited
interracial marriage.
Our past conceptions, ideals, and laws have created strong attitudes among the
majority of people looking at interracial romantic relationships. By the time most
individuals reach adolescence in the United States, they have been taught that it is better
to date within one’s ethnic and racial group (Lampe 1982). In addition, by the time that
one reaches adolescence, fewer opportunities will be available for interracial dating.
Numerous studies demonstrate that families instill negative attitudes regarding


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