Interethnic dating preferences of Roma and non-Roma secondary school students.

February 16, 2021 1:26 pm Published by

Integrated schooling is known to induce interethnic friendship relations; however, it also creates the opportunity of interethnic dating. Interethnic personal relationships or long-term exposure decreases ethnic prejudice, thus it is proposed that willingness to date between ethnic groups may also increase. The question arises, whether in the school context exposure is enough for this mechanism to emerge, or personal contact is necessary. It must also be taken into account that romantic relationships are embedded in status relations within schools. Based on a ‘social exchange’ mechanism, it is assumed that the less popular members of the majority groups are those who are more willing to form interethnic dating relations. To address the above questions empirically, the data of 1213 Hungarian 9th grade students in 43 classes were analysed. Preferences of Roma and non-Roma students were measured by dyadic attribution of physical attractiveness and nominations of willingness to date. Results of multilevel p2 models suggest that mixed groups are not sufficient, but personal contacts are necessary to decrease same-ethnicity preferences in dating. An additional tendency is salient: among majority students, those who are isolated from the friendship networks are the ones who are more willing to date members of the minority group.


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