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The purpose of this article is to assist mental health counselors and student affairs practitioners to gain a better understanding of the challenges 21st century Black college women may face in their attempt to develop intimate heterosexual relationships with Black men. Interracial dating attitudes among college students. Consequently, higher education leaders have the opportunity to support Black women in their quest to establish a healthy identity by providing educational opportunities within co-curricular and academic contexts to meet the needs of this unique population of students. Researchers studying women’s identity development have emphasized the significance of establishing intimacy and interpersonal relationships in the process of identity formation (Blackhurst, 1995; Chickering, 1969; Josselson, 1987, 1996; Taub & Mc Ewen, 1991).
Women from other cultural groups also may face some of the same types of concerns and issues as Black women in the process of finding a mate; however, Black women in college are particularly challenged in the process of finding a mate because they have endured a long history of racism, sexism, and classism.
During the pre-encounter stage, women conform to societal views about gender and tend to display characteristics of gendered stereotypes (Helms, 1990).