Although modern societies are, to a certain degree, open to different forms of sexual expression, in the main however, individuals are sexually socialised to be heterosexual.Sociological scholarship calls this process , “whiteness is an implicit prerequisite for finding a mate.” The so-called “bachelor” is invariably a white man and while women of colour appear on the show, they do not thrive.Historically, interracial romance has been framed as a transgressive sexual act through anti-miscegenation laws.
The history of lynchings in the United States demonstrates this point, while South Africa had the Immorality Act.
In her Ph D thesis about the social construction of white womanhood in New Zealand, Helen Gibson reports that white women participants shared with her, a number of accounts of how they learned what their families expected of them as “respectable” and “proper” white women.
Being a good white girl was often bound to matters of racial loyalty, “which holds them responsible to draw and maintain boundaries around whiteness.” Gibson points out that the crucial method of preserving these social boundaries was a prohibition against romantic attachments or permanent relationships with men of colour.
Hence, feminists argue that white women’s entitlement to respectability and femininity is contingent upon marrying a white man.
Implicit in that logic is that men of colour have no entitlement to hegemonic masculinity, which white men embody.
It should be pointed out though that different people of colour are racially stereotyped differently.
For example, apartheid South Africa viewed Indians differently to ‘Coloureds’, and the Japanese were given an ‘honorary white’ status.
Sexual and gender hierarchies are very much raced too.
Last month Christian Rudder, co-founder of Ok Cupid, an online dating website, released statistical data collected over a five-year period about how people who subscribe to the website ‘weigh race in deciding attraction’.
The data doesn’t reveal any new insights into the issue, which people of colour are not already aware of.
For instance, according to Ok Cupid, “racial bias has intensified a bit” with respect to how people choose romantic partners. Basically Ok Cupid’s data shows that the website’s subscribers prefer to date whites.