Why are Black women marrying out of their race due to shortage of Black men?Why are Black women marrying out of their race due to shortage of Black men?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Men and women of all races are marrying outside their race in growing numbers than in recent decades. Statistically, more African-American men are unemployed and incarcerated than African-American women, perhaps leaving a fewer number of "eligible" black men available. There is also a term known as the "marriage squeeze."

The "marriage squeeze" refers to the perception 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... More recently, as there are more educated and professional African American women than educated and professional African American men, women of African descent are dating and marrying Caucasian men in larger numbers

For more info, check out the links below:





pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a way, your question answers itself.  Some people argue that black women are marrying men from other races because there is a shortage of "marriagable" black men.  If such a shortage does exist, then black women would often be forced to choose between marrying outside their race and not getting married at all.  The question then is this: why is there a shortage of marriagable black men?

The major reason for this is that too many black men do not have the education and skills to hold a job that gives them good economic prospects.  This problem can also be caused by the fact that so many black men have criminal records.  The idea here is that a man is only "marriagable" if he has economic prospects that are at least as good as those of the woman.  Since black men are less likely than black women to be educated and more likely to have a criminal record, there are fewer "marriagable" black men for upwardly mobile black women.

So long as these circumstances exist, there will be many instances of black women marrying outside their race.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I want to add something to the very good previous posts. There is an element of resentment follows this trend IF/When it does happen. I clearly recall that in one of the popular talk shows this "marriage squeeze" was also said to be caused by the emotional rejection that most women feel when they see this trend taking place. So, what happens next is that men and women of the same race feel angry at each other for the social trend of interracial marriage. As a result, they continue the trends as if to show the opposite sex that both males and females have the same right to choose outside the race as the other. Concisely speaking, the marriage squeeze can lead to major social trends in interracial marriage because when it does happen the members of the opposite sex feel so rejected that they continue the trend to not feel socially isolated.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I would agree that this is part of social progress. It's not just African-American women who are marrying interracially. I see so many interracial couples every day. Once, these marriages would have been much more difficult and the couple would have experienced extreme prejudice. I think we are finally getting past that point. It's the same with the children from these interracial couples. Once, a caucasian woman holding a child who was not caucasion would have attracted attention. People would be wondering if she had adopted or if it was not her child. Now, most people don't give it a second thought. I think we will really start to see these kinds of prejudices disappearing even further with the next generation.
larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I also believe that miscengenous marriages are on the increase as we move away from a heterogeneous society. My son is married to a young lady from Japan, and my wife and I couldn't be happier. There have been many instances of people of European ancestry marrying people of Asian ancestry; but this does not seem to draw as much attention as black/white interracial marriages. I cannot help but wonder if the issue is one of perception more than anything else. A large number of black men are married to white women, Justice Clarence Thomas being just one example. So, my guess is the issue is not so much an increase in black women marrying white men as it is the perception that this is the case.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a woman married to a black man, I don't think there is a shortage of black men, per se.  I will say there is a shortage of good black men, and that's mostly because of the times we live in.  Unfortunately, a vast majority of black women have been taught to denigrate black men; seeing them as worthless, unfaithful individuals not worth their time.  Not only that, the dissolution of the black family has resulted in most men being removed from the house and the women raising their children - in some cases boys - to feel less than what they really are.

After all, how many times do you have to hear that you're useless before you begin to believe it?

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with post #3, interracial marriage is simply much more common as age old prejudices fade away with each new generation.  Once upon a time, and in certain regions of the country, an interracial couple would face serious and sometimes violent discrimination. Today, in most places, it hardly raises eyebrows.  We can call that social progress.

So I think it has much more to do with the social trend away from racism as opposed to any economic factors.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, miscengenous marriages are on the rise, and I believe that this is largely as a result of the globalisation of society where we are placed into contact with far more people from different cultures and traditions than before and have come to accept them rather than to treat them as an exotic "other." This means that we will see ever greater numbers of such marriages in the future.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
You could look at this as a positive development. There was a time when people could not choose who they were going to marry, if that person was of another race. While two people of the same race may have common backgrounds and values, they also might not. Maybe as a society we can move past the idea that people can only marry people of their same race.
yamanin | Student

Megan not so bright! As a sista as a Black women I have a lot to say to you.  First of all, you have been brainwashed by the Black man you are married to!If no other has been or ever will be supportive of the Black man it is the Black woman!  We stay with our men   of the many obstacles they face in this world.  Trust me you are not or never will be that supportive you don't have our experiences as a Black woman.  All of the above comments were dead on in many ways.  Not to mention that women want to be love period it does not matter who the race is.  Our boys feel less than they are because they have been abandoned by their fathers their Black fathers!  We have not been taught that our men are "worthless, unfaithful and not worth our time!" Our men have been heavily judged as worthless by the men of your race!  If being a descendant of Slaves does convey that message then I don't know what message will.  Many Black men love sending that pack of lies to White women and women of other cultures because they don't know the culture, they are not involved in the lives of any Black women or very few if at all.  They are isolated from the issues yet they are often raising Black children who will endure the same racial attacks as Black men and women.  You need to read history and much of the plight of Black women then shift your frame of thinking!