Interracial dating commentary
Many 21st century Black college women that are interested in finding a Black mate of similar academic status are not optimistic about their future for dating, marriage, and family (Henry, 2008). A review of relevant literature reveals several challenges that influence the dating decisions of Black women in college. Thus, some Black women may make poor dating decisions that lead to low self-esteem, negative self-efficacy, dysfunctional intimate relationships, academic failure, and an overall unhealthy identity, as well as lifelong physical and psychological health challenges (Hughes & Howard-Hamilton, 2003). Women from other cultural groups also may face some of the same types of concerns and issues as Black women in the process of finding a mate; however, Black women in college are particularly challenged in the process of finding a mate because they have endured a long history of racism, sexism, and classism. Henry The purpose of this article is to assist mental health counselors and student affairs practitioners to gain a better understanding of the challenges 21st century Black college women may face in their attempt to develop intimate heterosexual relationships with Black men. Interracial dating attitudes among college students. Consequently, higher education leaders have the opportunity to support Black women in their quest to establish a healthy identity by providing educational opportunities within co-curricular and academic contexts to meet the needs of this unique population of students. For example, a woman in the pre-encounter stage may make very different dating decisions than a woman in the internalization stage. Within this context, the discussion that follows details the many challenges Black women face during their quest to date as they progress through college. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of Multicultural Counseling (pp.
In the second stage, encounter, as a result of new information and experiences, the woman begins to question accepted values and beliefs (Helms). Researchers studying women’s identity development have emphasized the significance of establishing intimacy and interpersonal relationships in the process of identity formation (Blackhurst, 1995; Chickering, 1969; Josselson, 1987, 1996; Taub & Mc Ewen, 1991). Additionally, studies investigating intimate relationships between Black women and Black men have called attention to the effects of race, gender, and social class as constructs that influence their intimate interactions (Hill, 2005; hooks, 2001; Hughes & Howard-Hamilton, 2003). The implementation of culturally relevant interactive workshops, case studies, and conversations focused on the positive contributions and value of Black women may aid them as they wrestle with relationship issues during the crucial process of developing a salubrious evolving identity.
It is imperative that college counselors and student affairs professionals strive to augment appropriate multicultural awareness, knowledge and skills necessary to effectively assist Black women grappling with relationship issues as they move through the process of identity development. The hip hop generation: Young blacks and the crisis in African-American culture. Thus, it seems that the dating decisions of Black women and men are influenced by their worldview at a certain stage of racial identity formation (Henry, 2008).