As recently as 1967, interracial marriage was banned in more than a dozen states. Mis­cegenation—sex between members of different races, whether or not the people involved were married—was also illegal until the U. S. Supreme Court invalidated those laws in 1967. Since the elimination of those discriminatory and racist laws, interracial marriage has increased dramatically—from less than 3.2% of all marriages in 1980 to over 8.4% in 2010. Further, in 2010 about 15% of all new marriages in the U. S. were of mixed race and ethnicity (Wang, 2012). Public approval of interracial marriage has also risen sig­nificantly, from 54% in 1995 to 80% in 2009 (Meacham, 2009). Younger people are, in general, more accepting of interracial marriage than are older adults (Herman & Camp­bell, 2012; Poulin & Rutter, 2011). In addition, 1 in 19 children born today—compared with 1 in 100 in 1970—is of mixed race (Pew Research Center, 2006).

One of the few studies on relationship quality in interracial couples found that inter­racial and same-race couples were similar in conflict and attachment styles. However, interracial couples reported significantly higher relationship satisfaction than same-race couples. The researchers concluded that either interracial relationships are less burdened with problems than same-race relationships, or individuals in interracial relationships are more effective in coping with problems (Troy et al., 2006).