Gender, generation, and multiracial identification in the United States

Janet Xu, Aliya Saperstein, Ann Morning, Sarah Iverson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Multiracial self-identification is frequently portrayed as a disproportion-ately female tendency, but previous research has not probed the conditions under which this relationship might occur. Using the 2015 Pew Survey of Multiracial Adults, we offer a more comprehensive analysis that considers gender differences at two dis-tinct stages: reporting multiple races in one’s ancestry and selecting multiple races to describe oneself. We also examine self-identification patterns by the generational locus of multiracial ancestry. We find that females are more likely to be aware of multiracial ancestry overall, but only first-generation females are more likely than their male counterparts to self-identify as multiracial. Finally, we explore the role of racial ancestry combination, finding that multiracial awareness and self-identification are likely gendered differently for different segments of the mixed-race population. This offers a more nuanced picture of how gender interacts with other social processes to shape racial identification in the United States.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1603-1630
    Number of pages28
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


    • Gender
    • Identity
    • Multiracial
    • Race/ethnicity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Demography


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