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This trend reflects the increasing acceptance of interracial relationships in today's society," said Kara Joyner, assistant professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell and co-author of a study on interracial relationships in a recent issue of the American Sociological Review (Vol. Although more young adults are dating and cohabiting with someone of a different race, the study found that interracial relationships are considerably less likely than same-race relationships to lead to marriage, though this trend has weakened in recent years.

To explore the changing patterns of interracial sexual relationships during the transition to adulthood, Joyner and her co-author, Grace Kao, associate professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and the National Health and Social Life Survey, some of the first nationally representative surveys to collect information on sexual relationships.

We learn through seeing and observing models, as psychologists have shown; the fancy scientific term is "social cognitive theory." "Symbolic communication influences human thought, affect, and action," psychologist Albert Bandura , "This is just a stupid commercial about Cheerios but it means a lot to me.

It shows interracial families and their children being normal and cute, not something to gawk at or to question." That imagery can be powerful.

The rate of interracial marriage, however, is still relatively uncommon: in 2002, only 2.9 percent of all marriages were interracial, according to the U. The study was supported, in part, by grants from Mc Gill University, Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.Pat Cassano, assistant professor of nutritional sciences, and Ron Booker, associate professor of neurobiology and behavior, are an interracial couple who have been together since she was 19 and he was 20 years old, about 31 years ago.Interracial relationships and marriages are becoming more common in the United States, according to a new Cornell University study.But the representations we do have can help move the ball forward.Just as negative racial portrayals to negative stereotypes, more positive visibility for cross-race couples in media makes a difference.

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