Marrying out of RaceWhy are Black women marrying out of there race due to shortage of Black men

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here's something I wish I had added to my answer on your Q & A post:

This phenomenon is caused partly by a desire on the part of black women to have husbands who are at least their equals in terms of economic prospects.  They do not want to feel that they are having to "carry" their husbands.  They also do not want husbands who are much less educated and are, therefore, from a different social class.  People tend to want to marry those with similar experiences and expectations.

At the same time, black men (or any men, really) may not want to marry women who are much "higher" than they are in social and economic terms.  They may feel threatened because they would feel like they are not able to "wear the pants" in the relationship.  They may feel that marrying a woman with better prospects than they have would threaten their sense of masculinity.

So, I think that the phenomenon you're talking about has to do with economics and education and criminal justice, but also with attitudes about sex roles on the part of black men and women.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If black women are, in fact, following that trend I believe someone would have said something on the matter in terms of sociological or demographic trending. However, I do believe that what you are stating is a generalization and, as every generalization, it is not based entirely on quantitative facts.

Yet, the reason why people marry outside of their race has very little to do with a lack of males or females, but because of a common interest that goes beyond cultural or ethnic idiosyncrasies.

For example, I am Hispanic while my partner is British. However, none of us really thought about the differences in culture, but became friends because of our similarities. This is the way most people connect. Looking into the superficiality of culture, race, color, or ethnicity will jeopardize any chance to make a real connection.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rather than offering a personal opinion on this subject (about which I know little), I thought I'd do some research on the internet to see what has been said about it.  As it turns out, this topic has been the subject of a great deal of recent discussion, largely prompted by the author and book discussed in the link below. If you search for more information about this author and book, you will turn up many links that are relevant to your question. The writer, Ralph Richard Banks, has been very widely interviewed.


accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Is it not due to the fact that in our globalised world we all have a greater number of choices? Before, when people did not often leave their own culture and society and often lived their lives in a geographically limited area, there were obviously fewer options, and so they would naturally marry within their own culture. However, now, with increased travel and increased migration, even if we ourselves do not move or travel, we are often surrounded by a bewildering number of different cultures and nationalities, giving us all much more choice when it comes to selecting a marrige partner.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My guess is that there is not that large a percentage of black women marrying outside their race. Do you have statistical evidence to support this conclusion? Interracial marriages are not that uncommon in this day and age, but I think it applies to both sexes, not just black women. Quite frankly, my perception would have been more white women marrying black men. Even so, I do think that the previous stigma attached to interracial marriages is fast dissipating, and there are more of those marriages than before. I doubt it has anything to do with the black population.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with post 5.  I think we live in a modernized society which puts far less emphasis on specifics for "acceptable" mates.  We've mostly moved out of the era of arranged marriages, men and women alike are finally growing more and more equal when it comes to education and work opportunity, and therefore, marriage has naturally followed.  I think more and more, people are looking for life partnerships with others who 1) love them, 2) share their values, and 3) share a similar future plan.  Who is to say that race bars any of the above?

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
If we accept the premise that black men are unmarryable, we are overgeneralizing. But there is some empirical proof to the fact that black men, as a group, have a difficult time. There are statistics that show they have higher unemployment and higher prison rates. They are more likely to go to prison than college. Those are sobering statistics. If more women are marrying outside their race, there would seem to be a connection.
karimjessa | Student

I do not have an answer to the question, nor do I know if the phenomenon it is based on is true or not. I also cannot, and do not, wish to comment on whether, or why, interracial marriages are statistically more prevalent.

What I would like to say, if I may use this as a platform from which to express an opinion, is that interracial marriages are the best thing that could have happened to the human race, and should be encouraged as much as possible.

Reasons: Primarily because they create a better species. Children of mixed parents are more intelligent, healthier, more good-looking, more talented. (A whopping generalization if ever there was one.)

Interracial marriages promote better social relations. They yield better understanding between different ethnic, caste, religion, culture groups.

A lot of generalization, but the underlying idea will bw found to rest on sound premises.

krcavnar | Student

There has been a significant increase in interracial marriages in the past 40 years mixed unions. This trend is due to many possible things including a reduction in the stigmatism that has previously been attached to interracial relationships.  However, according to a Pew Research Center analysis published in the April 2011 edition of National Geographic it states that out of all races that black women are the least likely to intermarry.