Marriage Squeeze - History

History

A few factors that lead the cause for this condition are: As a category, African American men suffer from higher rates of incarceration, unemployment, and poor health than do their white counterparts in the United States. These conditions often make their lives unstable, and disqualify them from raising a home effectively, in effect brand them as "unmarriageable". Other factors that contribute to the marriage squeeze is that African American men marry non-African Americans at a higher rate than do African American women. According to Newsweek, 43% of African American women between the ages of 30 and 34 have never been married. 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. The "squeeze" appears to be exacerbated by two negative social stereotypes that are qualitatively opposite but whose effects quantitatively reinforce each other: On one hand, some non-black men view black women as sexual objects to be "used" and "disposed of" (as opposed to viewing them as whole persons suitable for lasting relationships not limited to sex), and on the other, some non-black men are culturally conditioned a) to unconsciously rule out or not consider the possibility of sexual relationships with black women or even b) to consciously view black women as sexually unattractive. 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. 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. 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.

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.

Read more about this topic:  Marriage Squeeze

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