Publication Date

April 2017


Clara Wilkins




English (United States)


This research examines Asian Americans’ attitudes toward different combinations of interracial couples. It further explores the cause of those varying attitudes. I found that Asian men held more negative attitudes toward White male/Asian female couples compared to Asian male/White female couples, whereas Asian women’s attitudes did not differ between the two interracial couples. Realistic Group Conflict Theory (RGCT) suggests that when groups compete for scarce resources, it leads to negative intergroup attitudes (Sherif & Sherif, 1953). Drawing from RGCT, I propose that when a particular combination of interracial couple is perceived of as threatening an individual’s access to potential partners, the individual holds more negative attitudes toward couples of that combination. Consistent with my hypotheses, I found that the scarcer Asian men perceived Asian women to be, the more negative Asian men’s attitudes were toward White male/Asian Female couples. Furthermore, after controlling for Asian men’s perceived competition with White men for Asian women, Asian men’s attitudes toward White male/Asian female couples and Asian male/White female couples no longer differed from each other. This research concludes that Asian American men’s attitudes toward interracial couples are likely driven by perceived competition from White men for Asian women.

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