Marriage squeeze

Marriage squeeze refers to the fact that the most "eligible" and "desirable" African American men are marrying non-African American women at a higher rate, leaving African American women who wish to marry African American men with fewer partnering options.[1] According to Newsweek, 43% of African American women between the ages of 30 and 34 have never been married.[2] Several explanations of this phenomenon have been advanced by sociologists. It may be in part due to the still lingering effects of social ostracism, to which Caucasian American men who married African American women were heavily subjected in the past. It may also be the result of a desire among African American women to marry African American men due to concepts such as racial loyalty.[citation needed] There also appears a lingering perception that negative social stereotypes cause black women to be viewed as sexual objects by non-African American men.[citation needed] Lastly, there is a desire among educated women of all races to marry partners within or above their social and economic class; when African American women restrict their marriage prospects to African American men, African American women risk either marrying below their socioeconomic class or not marrying at all as African American women consistently achieve better completion rates in higher education than African American men do.[3]. Also, rates of incarceration for marriage-age African American males are far higher than rates for females, further contributing to the male/female gap. As of 2002, 10.4% of all African American males between the ages of 25 and 29 were sentenced and in prison.[4] The African-American male-female disparity is highest between the ages of 25 – 29, when for every two African-American men, there are nearly three African-American women. [5]

According to AsianWeek, possible explanations for the relatively low number of African American/Asian American interracial couplings could be covert racism from first generation family members at the idea of marrying African Americans. These negative views on African Americans possibly stem from stereotypes within the Asian community which portray African Americans as "violent" and "lazy", or from the perception that marrying a black partner constitutes "marrying down" because black Americans are on average less affluent than Caucasian Americans.[6]

References

  1. ^ Crowder, Kyle D.; Tolnay, Stewart E. (August 2000). "A New Marriage Squeeze for Black Women: The Role of Racial Intermarriage by Black Men". Journal of Marriage and the Family (Minneapolis, MN: National Council on Family Relations) 62 (3): 792–80. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2000.00792.x. ISSN 00222445. OCLC 49976459. http://www.jstor.org/pss/1566797. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  2. ^ "The Black Gender Gap". Gene Expression. 2003-02-23. http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/000493.html. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  3. ^ Melendez, Michele M. (2004-04-25). "Fewer Women are 'Marrying up'". The San Diego Union-Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040425/news_mz1c25marry.html. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  4. ^ Harrison, Paige M.; Beck, Allen J. (July 2003). "Prisoners in 2002" (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin. U. S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/p02.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  5. ^ O'Connor, Vikki (February 2006). "Barriers to Marriage and Parenthood for African-American Men & Women" (PDF). Syracuse University. http://www.thrivingcouplesthrivingkids.syr.edu/Pdfs/0VOConnerresearchpr0jspring05.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  6. ^ Lavilla, Stacy (April 1998). "The Minority Interracial Couples". AsianWeek. http://asianweek.com/040998/feature.html. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 

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