Older generations and interracial dating

"Once we get older, we can decide that racial stereotypes are wrong and we can inhibit them with an effortful act.

But older adults gradually lose that ability to inhibit."Von Hippel, a professor at the University of Queensland in Australia, has found that as the brain's frontal lobe begins to atrophy with age, elderly adults exhibit greater social inappropriateness and increased stereotyping and prejudice.

This was problematic, because I am your standard-issue white girl of European descent.

Which does not mean that my Caucasian parents were any more accepting of whom their children loved.

This high level of acceptance among Millennials holds true across ethnic and racial groups; there is no significant difference between white, black and Hispanic Millennials in the degree of acceptance of interracial marriage.

Compared with older groups, particularly Americans ages 50 or older, Millennials are significantly more likely to be accepting of interracial marriage.

The rest of the public says it doesn’t make a difference.

And unlike among Millennials, among those ages 50 and older there are substantial differences between blacks and whites in acceptance of interracial marriage, with older blacks considerably more accepting of interracial marriage than are whites of the same age.

We assume that old people are the products of less-enlightened times, they're unlikely to change and their comments, however ugly, are largely innocuous. Barack Obama during the Democratic primary season, and national polls indicate that group now leans toward Sen. Pollsters and political scientists cannot pinpoint how much of that anti-Obama sentiment may be related to racial prejudice.

Now, though, in the midst of the nation's first presidential campaign between a black candidate and a white one, a convergence of new political and scientific research suggests that prejudice and stereotyping among elderly white Americans in particular may not be so innocuous after all. But sociologists say their research indicates that implicit racial biases influence the voting decisions of many Americans of all ages—and that, for very basic physiological reasons related to the aging of their brains, many older citizens may be unable to suppress their prejudicial impulses, whether at the family dinner table or in the privacy of a voting booth.

More than half of blacks (51%) and 48% of Hispanics say that the increase in intermarriage has been a change for the better in society, compared with four-in-ten whites.

Asians are not included in the analysis here given the limited sample size of the group in the survey.

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