Date of Award
Psychology & Gerontology
Maureen Erber, Ph.D.
Even though interracial marriage became legal in 1967 changes have been slow (Field, Kimuna, & Straus, 2013): e.g., Interracial marriages have increased from roughly .7% in 1970 to about 3.9% in 2008 (U.S. Census Bureau). However, Americans have slowly become more accepting, and according to the U.S census (2010), there are over 5.3 million interracial couples in the United States. There are many factors that could have influenced this change, one of them may reside in a well-studied phenomenon that is our tendency to perceive those who are attractive as “good” (Lemay Jr., Clark, & Greenberg, 2010); that is, the physical attractiveness stereotype that associates beauty with goodness. This study investigates the role of physical attractiveness on the acceptance of interracial relationships. Participants evaluated mono and interracial couples that were comprised of a mix of Caucasian, Latin/x, and Asian individuals who were high or low in attractiveness. This study used a Qualtrics survey to collect feedback on participants’ perceptions of mono- and interracial couples. The analysis test is a 2 (attractiveness: high versus low) x 2 (monoracial vs interracial) within-subjects ANOVA. Results show that attractive couples of all types were evaluated more positively. The implications of the results of this study could shed light on the internalized stigma individuals have towards interracial relationships and one of the mediating factors that might affect it. This study will also contribute to the growing literature of the attractive bias phenomenon and expand our knowledge of interracial relationships beyond Black-White relationships.
Castaneda, Jackelyn, "Impact of the Attractiveness Bias on Acceptance of Interracial Relationships" (2022). University Honors Program Senior Projects. 32.