Interracial marriage is a form of exogamy that involves a marriage between spouses who belong to different races.
In English, an "interracial marriage" refers to the institution of marriage, including childless marriages.
Formerly, the term was used more widely as a euphemism for interracial sexual unions that produced mixed-race offspring out of wedlock, since both miscegenation and illegitimacy were historically taboo in Western culture, particularly in the context of Victorian morality.
Case in point, the emergence of large populations of Afro-Arabs in the Arab World and mulattoes in the New World historically came about in the context of the Arab and Transatlantic slave trades, respectively, which resulted in impregnation of black women.
These women were sex slaves (rather than wives) of non-black men (cf.
the older US euphemism children of the plantation).
Many jurisdictions have had regulations banning or restricting not just interracial marriage but also interracial sexual relations, including Germany during the Nazi period, South Africa under apartheid, and many states in the United States prior to a 1967 Supreme Court decision.
Interracial marriage in the United States has been fully legal in all U. states since the 1967 Supreme Court decision that deemed anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, with many states choosing to legalize interracial marriage at much earlier dates.
Anti-miscegenation laws have played a large role in defining racial identity and enforcing the racial hierarchy.
The United States has many ethnic and racial groups, and interracial marriage is fairly common among most of them.
Interracial marriages increased from 2% of married couples in 1970 to 7% in 2005 According to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data conducted in 2013, 12% of newlyweds married someone of a different race.
(This share does not take into account the “interethnic” marriages between Hispanics and non-Hispanics).