An examination of the roles of competition, norm violation, and stigma on perceptions regarding individuals in interracial and same race relationships
A majority of the literature on interracial relationships has focused on acceptance of and willingness to engage in these relationships. The purpose of this study was to examine if individuals in interracial relationships are perceived differently than individuals in same race relationships. Specifically, the current study focused on White and Hispanic interracial relationships from the perspective of White and Hispanic individuals. White and Hispanic interracial relationships have been largely overlooked in this body of literature. Therefore, this study asked participants to rate individuals in Hispanic and White same race and interracial relationships on a variety of characteristics. Results indicated that at the level of same race and interracial relationships, individuals in these two relationships are perceived relatively similarly. However, at the couple level, interracial relationships were perceived less positively than same race relationships. Additionally, this research suggests that examining the ethnicity / gender composition of the couple (White male, Hispanic female vs. Hispanic male, White female) may reveal different findings. The current study helps to direct future research on this topic and helps to address potential theoretical frameworks for interpreting perceptions of individuals in interracial and same race relationships.