US[ edit ] This section focuses on the US as research on sexual racism in the USA is the most prevalent in the available literature, this does not mean it does not exist elsewhere.
After the abolition of slavery in , the white citizens of America showed an increasing fear of racial mixture. Uncontrollable lust threatened the purity of the nation, which increased white anxiety about interracial sex. This can be described through Montesquieu 's climatic theory in his book the Spirit of the Laws , which explains how people from different climates have different temperaments, "The inhabitants of warm countries are, like old men, timorous; the people in cold countries are, like young men, brave.
As the men were not used to the extremely hot climate they misinterpreted the women's lack of clothing for vulgarity. This created tension, as if white men were having sex with black women because they were more lustful, this meant black men would lust after white women in the same way, this threatened the white male dominance that was apparent at the time, increasing the fear of interracial interactions. There are a few potential reasons as to why such strong ideas on interracial sex developed.
The Reconstruction Era following the Civil War started to disassemble traditional aspects of Southern society. The Southerners who were used to being dominant were now no longer legally allowed to run their farms using slavery. Additionally, the white Democrats were not pleased with the outcome and felt a sense of inadequacy among white men.
This led to them taking out their frustration on the black population. This radical reconstruction of the South was deeply unpopular and slowly unravelled leading to the introduction of the Jim Crow laws.
This increased the sense of white dominance and sexual racism among the Southern people. There were general heightened tensions following the end of the failed civil war in , and this increased the sexual anxiety in the population.
Races did not want to mix, the whites were feeling inadequate and wanted to take back control. The Ku Klux Klan then formed in , which led to violence and terrorism targeting the black population.
This was not just senseless violence, but an attempt to preserve 'whiteness' and prevent racial blur, the whites wanted to remain dominant and make sure there was no interracial sexual activity. For example, mixed race couples that chose to live together were sought out and lynched by the KKK.
The famous case of Emmett Till who was lynched at the age of fourteen for supposedly whistling at a white women shows the prominence of white male anxiety in the s. Heterosexual community[ edit ] Sexual racism exists in both the heterosexual and homosexual communities across the globe. Interracial couples are prevalent in both historical and contemporary contexts, and illustrate the former impact of sexual racism, in addition to highlighting how attitudes have changed in the last 50 years.
The couple lived in Virginia yet had to marry outside the state due to the anti-miscegenation laws present in nearly half of the US states in Once married, the pair returned to Virginia, however in the same year were both arrested in their home for the infringement of the Racial Integrity Act , and each sentenced to a year in prison.
Before the laws were officially abolished in , the couple attempted to quash the charges, however were met with an ultimatum that led to their short-term relocation to avoid further prejudice.
Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray with their two children in , attending a silent march. Around a similar time was the controversy surrounding Seretse and Ruth Khama.
When they met, Seretse was the chief of an eminent Botswanan tribe, and Ruth an English student. The pair married in but experienced robust discrimination from the onset, including Seretse's removal from his tribal responsibilities as chief. For nearly 10 years, Seretse and Ruth lived as exiles in Britain, as the racism towards their relationship remained strong. Britain hoped that holding them would reduce their desire to continue the marriage. Once the couple were allowed home in , they became prominent figures in the human rights and social world, contributing to Seretse's election as president of Botswana in After this, they both continued to rebut the laws surrounding interracial marriage.
The pair are one of the first interracial couples to stand in power side by side. Both de Blasio and McCray are active political figures, and although they are not exempt from racial discrimination, the attitudes of the world to interracial marriage are much more positive and optimistic than in previous decades. Sexual racism also exists in the heterosexual community in online dating.
This spike is consistent with an increase in access to the internet in homes across the globe, in addition to the number of dating sites available to individuals differing in age , gender , race , sexual orientation and ethnic background. White Americans are the least open to interracial dating, and select preferences in the order of Hispanic Americans , Asian Americans and then African American individuals last at Both Hispanic and Asian Americans prefer to date a White individual High levels of previous exposure to a variety of racial groups creates a more accepting attitude.
Those residing in more Southern regions, particularly in American states, are less likely to have been in an interracial relationship, and are unlikely to inter-racially date in the future. Moreover, those from a Jewish background are significantly more likely to enter an interracial relationship than those from a Protestant background, indicating differences in levels of sexual racism present, which translate into the virtual world of online dating. In addition to this, there are online dating services that target race-specific mate choices, and a selection of pages dedicated to interracial dating that allow users to select mates based on age, gender and particularly race.
Online dating services experience controversy in this context as debate is cast over whether statements such as "no Asians" or "not attracted to Asians" in user profiles, are racist or just signify individual preference. The gay Asian-Canadian author Richard Fung has written that while black men are portrayed as hypersexualized , gay Asian men are portrayed as being undersexed.
According to Fung, gay Asian men tend to ignore or display displeasure with races such as Arabs , blacks, and other Asians but seemingly give sexual acceptance and approval to gay white men. White gay men are more frequently than other racial groups to state "No Asians" when seeking partners.
In interracial gay male pornography, Asian men are usually portrayed as submissive " bottoms ". According to a study by Sung, Szymanski, and Henrichs-Beck , Asian American participants who identified as lesbian or bisexual often reported invisibility, stereotyping, and fetishism in LGB circles and the larger U. This is in addition to the heterosexism and invisibility they felt in Asian American communities. Phua and Kaufman noted that men seeking men online were more likely than men seeking women to look at racial traits.
Interestingly, in Callander, Newman, and Holt's study, White participants self-disclosed their racial identity less often than non-White participants, with the implication that Whiteness was the norm and non-Whites expected to self-disclose their racial identity.
They cite one profile description as an example: Have it available straight away or I'll just pass over your profile. In another study by Callander, Newman, and Holts, researchers found that attitudes towards sexual racism was often tolerated, with many participants feeling that racial preference was not racism.
Just because someone isn't sexually attracted to someone of Asian origin does not mean they wouldn't want to work, live next to, or socialize with him or her, or that they believe they are somehow naturally superior to them. Researchers noted that there is a general hesitation to call racial preference "racist", with many defending racial preference as saving time. That is, patterns of sexual racism seems to follow similar patterns of general racism.
For example, they found that higher levels of education was associated with more positive attitudes about multiculturalism and less positive attitudes about racial sexism. They also found that experiences of exclusion online due to race was correlated with more accepting views of multiculturalism and less accepting attitudes about sexual racism, regardless of racial identity.
These findings suggest that being more aware of racism in general, due to experience or education, and racism's impact had an effect on racial preference such that it was seen as less desirable. Within the context of Freudian sexual fetishism , people of one race can form sexual fixations towards individuals of a separate generalised racial group.
This collective stereotype is established through the perception that an individual's sexual appeal derives entirely from their race, and is therefore subject to the prejudices that follow. Racial fetishism as a culture is often perceived, in this context, as an act or belief motivated by sexual racism.
The objectification and reductionist perception of different races, for example, East Asian women, or African American men, relies greatly on their portrayal in forms of media that depict them as sexual objects. An example of such a medium includes pornography. Choi's intention comes across through implying the presence of an obvious dehumanisation of Asian women in the eyes of another race.
This is a deliberate commentary on the fetishisation rooted within the social issue of sexual racism. These mentioned social locations included pornographic media, gay clubs and bars, casual sex encounters as well as romantic relationships.
This high prevalence was recorded within Plummer's research to be consequentially related to the recorded lower self-esteem, internalised sexual racism, and increased psychological distress in participants of colour.
People subject to this form of racial discernment are targeted in a manner well put by Hook. Coetzee's novel, largely addressed Coetzee's depictions of racial otherness within South Africa. Additionally, Coetzee goes on to write about how the otherness and social detachment from the colonials was what fabricated present racial stereotypes. Such stereotypes are what is said to encourage the perception of other racial groups as fantasmatic objects; a degrading and generalising view of different racial populations.