Cross-group romantic relationships are an extremely intimate and often maligned form of intergroup contact. Yet, according to intergroup contact theory, these relationships have the potential to improve the intergroup attitudes of others via extended contact. This study combines the interpersonal and intergroup literatures to examine the outcomes associated with knowing a partner in a cross-group romantic relationship. Results suggest that cross-group romantic partners encounter greater disapproval toward their relationships than same-group partners and, as a result, their relationships are perceived more negatively. Nevertheless, extended contact with cross-group partners, controlling for participants' cross-group friendships and romantic relationships, predicts more positive attitudes toward cross-group dating and positive intergroup attitudes in general, mediated by perceived ingroup norms toward cross-group relationships.
Paterson, J. L., Turner, R. N., & Conner, M. T. (2015). Extended contact through cross-group romantic relationships. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(9), 489-497. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12314