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The differing ages of individuals, culminating in the generation divides, have traditionally played a large role in how mixed ethnic couples are perceived in American society.
Interracial marriages have typically been highlighted through two points of view in the United States: Egalitarianism and cultural conservatism.
Gurung & Duong (1999) compiled a study relating to mixed-ethnic relationships ("MER"s) and same-ethnic relationships ("SER"s), concluding that individuals part of "MER"s generally do not view themselves differently from same-ethnic couples.
In Social Trends in America and Strategic Approaches to the Negro Problem (1948), Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal ranked the social areas where restrictions were imposed on the freedom of Black Americans by Southern White Americans through racial segregation, from the least to the most important: basic public facility access, social equality, jobs, courts and police, politics and marriage.
Public approval of interracial marriage rose from around 5% in the 1950s to around 80% in the 2000s.
The proportion of interracial marriages is markedly different depending on the ethnicity and gender of the spouses.
Interracial marriage in the United States has been legal in all U. states since the 1967 Supreme Court decision Loving v.
Virginia that deemed "anti-miscegenation" laws unconstitutional. The proportion of interracial marriages as a proportion of all marriages has been increasing since, such that 15.1% of all new marriages in the United States were interracial marriages by 2010 compared to a low single-digit percentage in the mid 20th century.
Research at the universities of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Texas A&M addressing the topic of socio-economic status, among other factors, showed that none of the socio-economic status variables appeared to be positively related to outmarriage within the Asian American community, and found lower-socioeconomically stable Asians sometimes utilized outmarriage to whites as a means to advance social status.
By 1910, 28 states prohibited certain forms of interracial marriage.
Eight states including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah extended their prohibitions to include people of Asian descent.
Virginia, but also continues to represent an absolute minority among the total number of wed couples.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of interracially married couples has increased from 310,000 in 1970 to 651,000 in 1980, to 964,000 in 1990, to 1,464,000 in 2000 and to 2,340,000 in 2008; accounting for 0.7%, 1.3%, 1.8%, 2.6% and 3.9% of the total number of married couples in those years, respectively.
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However, a 2009 study a year later by Yaunting Zhang and Jennifer Van Hook on behalf of Journal of Marriage and Family using a larger sample size than the previous study produced different results with Asian female/White male marriages shown as the least likely to divorce of any marriage pairing.