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The term miscegenation has been used since the 19th century to refer to interracial marriage and interracial sexual relations, In the present day, the word miscegenation is avoided by many scholars, because the term suggests a concrete biological phenomenon, rather than a categorization imposed on certain relationships.
The term's historical use in contexts that typically implied disapproval is also a reason why more unambiguously neutral terms such as interracial, interethnic or cross-cultural are more common in contemporary usage.
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These non-English terms for "race-mixing" are not considered as offensive as "miscegenation", although they have historically been tied to the caste system (Casta) that was established during the colonial era in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
In Spanish, Portuguese, and French, the words used to describe the mixing of races are mestizaje, mestiçagem and métissage.