Interracial dating at college

“In actuality it is something that should not be surprising.

It’s just two people who have a strong connection, making that connection even stronger,” she said.

Gubbins '94 says he belongs in an advertisement for interracial dating.

At Harvard, he jokes, he has dated "the united colors of Benetton." Gubbins, who is white, is just one of many students who have found love on Harvard's diverse campus with someone who is not of their own race or cultural background. Undergraduates who date students of different races say their families and other members of their ethnic groups can exert pressure to limit relationships to within one's own race.

Gubbins acknowledges "there are people I haveheard of, or know, that have a particular fetish."But undergraduates for the most part say love, notcuriosity, is what brings couples together."There is that thing if you watch 'Jungle Fever'-the implication that you have some deviantexotic image of another ethnic group," Gubbinssays. There is no exotic, fetish thing going on."A Black senior, who spoke on condition ofanonymity, says she is dating another senior whois white.

She says she rarely has problems withderogatory comments though lately she has receivedunsolicited "Jungle Fever" remarks from youngpeople she passes on the streets of Cambridge."[The remarks] don't faze me; I could care lesswhat they think," she says.

"Every relationship has issues in it," says Angelina Snodgrass '94, who is half Hispanic And half white and is currently dating Coky T. Students say interracial relationships can carry a social stigma, including director Spike Lee's notion--developed in the movie "If you do date interracially, you worryslightly about [the Jungle Fever Stigma], howpeople may respond in their perception of you,"Gubbins says.

“I would say people are almost confused and surprised by interracial relationships.

They are curious because it is something they perceive as being different,” said Gallagher.

Throughout the discussion, almost all of the panelists agreed that they have certainly gotten strong reactions from their families, friends or society in general about their interracial relationship.

Their experience demonstrates that the idea of dating outside of one’s race continues to be controversial for many and, in some instances, problematic to those in the relationships.

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