Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Joan Krenzin (Director), Dr. Amy C. Krull, Dr. Stephen B. Groce

Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


In-depth interviews were conducted with African-American female college students ranging from freshmen to graduate level. Students were asked about their dating preferences for African-American men. The study investigated how physical appearance, trust, and attitudes about interracial relationships affected their dating selection. Symbolic interactionism and dramatugry were the theories used within this study. This study found evidence that supports existing literature on attitudes of distrust among African-American females toward African-American males, with lying, physical aggression, and cheating as top reasons. Distrust based on the females' viewpoints began with listening to warnings from their mothers about men's behavior. This study, however, found that dating preferences among females interviewed did not recognize physical appearance, such as light or dark skin preference and body-frame preference, as a significant factor for date selection. This finding is in contrast to existing literature. Attitude differences between young African-American female college students and the older African-American female college students were found. Freshmen and sophomores related more of listening to social-group attitudes on dating preferences whereas junior, senior, and graduate- level females relied on individual decision making on dating selection. Supporting the current existing literature on attitudes about interracial relationships, the majority of the women interviewed had negative attitudes toward interracial relationships.


Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Race and Ethnicity | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology | Sociology of Culture