Polimis, Kivan (2012). Junk in the trunk: Evaluating the relationships between body mass index and interracial dating for white adolescent females. 2012 Add Health Users Conference.
Increasing racial diversity in the United States coupled with changing cultural norms toward interracial dating fuels the growth of interracial couples. Past research on interracial dating provides modest information on the factors that affect an individual’s tendency to date interracially. This shortcoming in available research is important because of the significant demographic changes that are being driven, in part, by interracial dating and marriage. Furthermore, adolescents maturing in an increasingly diverse climate have greater opportunities to date interracially with little research focusing on the factors that influence interracial dating for adolescents. The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that influence heterosexual interracial adolescent dating, specifically the link between an adolescent’s body mass index (BMI) and the likelihood of that individual entering an interracial relationship. I hypothesize that white adolescent women with BMI levels that align with the body type preferences of black men will date interracially at higher rates than their peers with BMI levels that are not consistent with preferences common among black men. Using data from Add Health, I estimate the effects of BMI on the likelihood of an individual entering an interracial relationship through binomial logistic regression analysis. I find that for white female adolescents, as BMI increases the likelihood of dating black men increases as well.
2012 Add Health Users Conference
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