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Despite the steamy scenes on ABC's hit show, (and yes, I am a fan), most single black women are not dating white men (and certainly not hunky white men who hold high government offices and are willing to risk all they have achieved for illicit love).

Many single black women are instead finding themselves ignored in today's dating scene.

White women are less willing than white men to date outside of their racial group, but heavier-set white women are more willing to date black men, because, researchers Cynthia Feliciano, Belinda Robnett, and Golnaz Komaie of UC Irvine posit, of "racial-beauty exchange theory" -- the notion that a white woman who is less attractive by the measure of dominant Euro-American beauty standards is willing to "trade down" on the racial hierarchy by dating a black man.

By the same token, black men who date white women are "trading up" on the American racial hierarchy.

According to data released by the online dating site Ok Cupid, black women (perhaps due to politeness; perhaps due to the recognition of their less desirable status) respond to more initial overtures than other groups; at the same time, black women's initial contacts are ignored most often.She was probably very nice; but I cannot say for sure.She was shy and didn't talk much in what was likely an unfamiliar and perhaps overwhelming African American social setting.Within this racialized landscape in which whiteness has reigned supreme, the line between white and black has been the starkest marker of racial difference, with the white side of the line representing all that is positive, and the black side of the line representing all that is negative. I recognize that many people form loving relationships across the black-white color line.Whiteness has been a privileged and prized identity in the U. So when black men select white women and de-select black women, they are doing so in a context of charged racial meanings. Some of the people I admire and respect most in my professional life are black men married to white women and white women married to black men.While interracial marriage rates in this country have grown remarkably to 8.4 percent in 2010, Americans still marry within their own racial group the majority of the time.

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