How Interracial Marriage Affects Children

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Multiracial, Miscegenation Pages: 8 (2863 words) Published: September 21, 2008
How interracial Marriage Affects Children

What do you think that your reactions would be if your sibling or friend introduced their spouse, who happened to be from another race? Would you be taken aback? Would you never accept the situation? If that would be the case, it is the time to face the reality. These days, mixed-color families and couples are common. I have personally seen many cases. Interracial marriages happen everywhere. Even in Korea where people are proud of a five thousand year of history of homogeneous population, interracial marriages occur. What is the interracial marriage? It means marriage between different races that is a form of exogamy. The term of interracial marriage is synonymous with interethnic marriage, multiracial marriage, multiethnic marriage, and mixed marriage. I am using the term “interracial marriage” in this research paper. In recent years, the number of interracial marriages has gone up. According to the Census Bureau’s research in 2005, about two million American children come from mixed race families. The number of marriages between blacks and whites has increased 400 percent in the last 30 years – from 65,000 in 1970 to 422,000 in 2005. Between whites and Asians, marriages have had a 1000 percent increase. It is surprising to see how much the numbers have jumped since the U.S. Supreme Court abrogated a Virginia statute barring marriage between whites and nonwhites on June 12, 1967. (Crary and Associated Press) Interracial marriages are now commonplace, but how are the children and the marriages affected? Children are the most important result of marriage no matter what ethnic group is involved. I will use the term of “multiracial children” in this paper. Is being a multiracial child easy, as interracial marriages are commonplace? Multiracial children face different issues from their parents. Many believe that multiracial children usually have a difficult time establishing a racial identity. There are other issues at stake as well, that create same problems for multiracial children. What are some negative effects that the interracial families have on their children? First, the biggest negative effect multiracial children may face is that they usually have hard time identifying themselves. People tend to think every person can be categorized in specific one group according to skin color. We usually divide people into four groups: Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. Multiracial children seem not to fit into any of those categories. Marta Cruz-Janzen, who is an assistant professor of secondary education at the Metropolitan States College of Denver, says in his thesis that “multiracial children believe they are invisible. One reason for this belief is that they do not see themselves in newspapers, books, TV, or any other mass communication.” However, in the recent years, this phenomenon has been changed as the media illuminates multiracial people in different ways. I will talk about the details later in the paper. Racial and ethnic identity and the concepts associated with racial and ethnic diversity are developmental tasks that begin in early childhood. (Derman-Sparks qtd. in Wardle) Sociologist, psychologists, and interracial parents believe that children who identify their races at early age have fewer identity problems (Cruz-Janzen). The issue of racial identity is the most common problem that multiracial children face. This phenomenon can be explained by Maslow’s theory of “Hierarchy of needs.” Maslow, who was a well-know American psychologist, explained human’s fundamental human needs by depicting a pyramid consisting of five levels. According to his theory, human’s need can be divided five levels: physiological needs, safety needs, love/belonging/social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs (370-96). This case of multiracial children is explained with love/belonging/social needs of the theory. Belonging is one of the top fundamental needs of people...
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