A W for him and an L for me — well, theoretically. But I was serious about you. Secondly, if it is true, what book of stupidity did you read that you thought inviting a woman to your house on a first date was appropriate? As a woman who prefers Black men, I find that this one—upmanship mentality to be crippling AF.
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And to move on and say I can do this by myself. Because maybe they seen their mother do it…. While interpersonal trust issues are a concern, so is the decline in labor market opportunities and the availability of marriageable men to partner with Black women. Five men described the employment challenges that Black men face. It used to be that a man went out and made the bread and brought it home.
He went out, he killed a hog or a deer or what not, brought it home. Two other men agreed that Black women have outpaced Black men in the workforce. In addition to a decline in labor market opportunities, the men discussed the role of marriage education and socialization. More than one third of the men interviewed claimed that marriage as an institution is not being valued for its benefits, including the chance to journey through life with a partner and have someone to grow old with.
Moreover, as year-old Gene, who had been married for 19 years, pointed out, marriage training in families is not always positive:. Marriage… [There] is not a good class to teach you how to be a good husband or wife. The most you get you either going to get it from a friend, or a mother or father. Most of them do not know how to be one [a good husband or wife].
A common theme expressed were the changes in marriage socialization in contemporary society, in which the relationship development of both men and women has been deeply affected. Most men discussed concern about the lack of marriage socialization among women. For example, the men reported feeling ill-prepared for relationships; they spoke about receiving inadequate relationship training from their mothers. Instead, their training entailed observing male-female relationships on the streets.
As year-old Justin, married for 25 years, said,. In sum, responses from the men highlight variations in marriage education and socialization between Black men and Black women. Indeed, marriage education and socialization for men and women is a critical factor and may figure into the disproportionate number of Black women remaining single. In addition to marriage education and socialization, the men reflected on the significance of individual development. They are focused on having a good time and enjoying the company of different women. According to these husbands, many Black men do desire marriage, but at the right time.
Again, they recommended that women remain patient, assuring them that many men will choose to marry, in their own time. While waiting to partner with a mate, the men advised Black women to focus on their own development and spiritual growth. Darrin proposed that women consider their desired qualities in a mate. The men recommended that women remain in prayer on the matter. Sixty-one-year-old Owen drew on his own personal experience and 22 years of marriage, recommending that dating couples attend religious services and activities together: Yeah, you know, because you be in the presence of God, you know, do what God want us to do… The way my wife did me.
They are gay lesbians. Drawing on qualitative data from interviews of 52 married Black men, this study explored why Black women are disproportionately single. Black women are less likely to marry or remarry than Black men or their female peers of other racial groups American Fact Finder, ; Banks, ; Taylor et al. The men, rather passionately, shared their opinions about the subject, reflecting on their personal experiences and observations of relationships in their families and communities.
The tone of some comments was emotionally-charged as has been noted in prior work Marbley, Study findings are notable and contribute to the literature on Black relationships in significant ways. Drawing on insights from the data, a contributing factor to relational challenges between Black adults concerns the manner in which some Black women pursue men for relationships Collins, ; Franklin, ; Hatchett, ; Hill, ; Pinderhughes, This may, in part, reflect a change in gender roles where it is more acceptable for women to pursue relationships. Other results point to how, from the perspective of these Black men, some strong, independent, self-reliant attitudes and behaviors may unintentionally undermine the formation and maintenance of long-term committed relationships such as marriage.
Some women recognize the benefits of marriage but describe themselves as being happily single and sharply focused on investing in oneself, motherhood, and careers Collins, The evidence is mixed, however, on whether increased participation of women in the labor force explains a decline in marriage e. Though Black women have traditionally worked in the labor force to help sustain their families, over time women have become more self-reliant and less likely to marry solely for financial support Jones, ; White, Other findings related to gender relations draw attention to troubling conditions among Black men that challenge the probability of marriage.
Regardless of the social inequalities they face, Collins asserted that Black men still must be held accountable for how they treat women, children, and each other. A number of the Black men interviewed for this study focused on the role of individual factors.
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More than one-third of the men reported the need for marriage education and socialization, and how its absence may contribute to an increased proportion of Black women not marrying e. Moreover, according to social exchange theory, adults will only marry to the extent that they value marriage as offering more rewards than costs Hopkins-Williams, Broken and fractured relational bonds are a critical factor to consider, especially in communities where there is a prevalence of single-parent households as in the Black community.
According to Holman and Li , marriage readiness is socially constructed and, in part, dependent on whether an individual has achieved specific developmental milestones such as educational achievement and job security.
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They also discussed other work citing the significance of positive childhood experiences in preparing adults for marriage, including quality parent-child relationships and family relationships. The consequences of same-sex partnering on declining numbers of mates available to partner in the marriage market has also been highlighted in earlier work Staples, This consideration in mate selection may increase the imbalanced sex ratio in the Black community.
There were a few limitations to this study. First, the results may not reflect the opinions of Black men residing in different regions of the United States, Black men from different ethnic groups, Black men with different relationship preferences, or Black men of different religious backgrounds.
Second, the sample was nonrandom. Third, the sample represents a group of highly committed married men, whose attitudes and values may be considered pro-marriage. Although the data were collected in northeast Georgia and metropolitan Atlanta, a part of the Bible Belt, we cannot assume that all research participants were highly religious. In the final section, we outline several conclusions and future directions for study. Indeed, concerns about this imbalance have received considerable attention in the popular media. Moreover, although there has been significant attention to Black relationships in the research literature, no known empirical study has investigated this issue directly with a sample of married Black men.
These results validate key considerations that challenge relationship formation and maintenance between Black men and women, which have been identified in prior work. This study extends the findings of previous research by presenting the results of qualitative interviews of 52 married Black men about these issues. Their reactions showed compassion and deep concern about the complexity of the issues facing Black women and men when forming long-term intimate relationships.
Reflections on their personal experiences on relationships and the social conditions needed for developing long-term relationships with Black women have provided a richer understanding of the issues under study. Future studies could test these qualitative findings quantitatively using a more representative sample to determine the generalizability of the results. Other inquires might employ samples of single Black women or men who might be amenable to marriage to comment on the issues under study South, This would help to advance the field in important ways.
Future research projects exploring the singlehood of Black women could include samples of couples in order to explore the viewpoints of both partners in the dyad. Equally important, scholars could work with policymakers and legislators to address structural social inequities e. This research was supported by a grant awarded to the first author from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research.
The authors appreciate comments from Ms. Vernetta Johnson, along with Drs. Editorial assistance from Hazel Hunley was helpful. The first author wishes to thank Dr. Steven Beach for permission to recruit men for this study from the Program for Strong African American Marriages sample. The authors are indebted to the 52 married Black men who openly shared their life experiences with the interviewers.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Author manuscript; available in PMC Jun Hurt , Stacey E. McElroy , Kameron J. Sheats , Antoinette M. Landor , and Chalandra M. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
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Correspondence should be addressed to Tera R. Jordan continues to publish using her maiden name Tera R. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Pers Relatsh. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article.
Black, singlehood, marriage patterns, women, qualitative. Boyd-Franklin and Franklin wrote: Background The Mundane Environmental Stress Model served as a conceptual guide to help elucidate the processes by which structural factors may impact intimate relationships. Gender Relations Research suggests that slavery in the U.
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Study Purpose Few investigations of relationships have adopted a within-group analysis approach and focused exclusively on Black men. Sample A brief survey was administered to the participants to collect demographic information.
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Procedures The 52 men were interviewed in their homes or another setting of their choice e. Results The 52 Black men cited various factors for the disproportionate occurrence of unmarried Black women; these factors were grouped into four themes: For example, Kelvin, married for 22 years and 44 years of age, recommended this: Incarceration Forty-nine percent of the participants cited the effects of male incarceration on the availability of marriageable Black males.
Nolan, a year-old preacher who had been married for 24 years, drew on his experiences in prison ministry: Forty-three-year-old James, married for 15 years, agreed that many young Black men are missing male role models: Marriage Education and Socialization More than one third of the men interviewed claimed that marriage as an institution is not being valued for its benefits, including the chance to journey through life with a partner and have someone to grow old with.
Moreover, as year-old Gene, who had been married for 19 years, pointed out, marriage training in families is not always positive: Discussion Drawing on qualitative data from interviews of 52 married Black men, this study explored why Black women are disproportionately single. Acknowledgments This research was supported by a grant awarded to the first author from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research.
Contributor Information Tera R. Journal of Black Studies. Allen W, James A. Comparative perspectives on Black family life: Uncommon explorations of a common subject. Journal of Comparative Studies. Sex by age Black or African American alone universe: Code of the street: Decency, violence, and the moral life of the inner city. A multigenerational developmental perspective. Allyn and Bacon; Qualitative analysis on stage: Making the Research process more public. Is marriage for White people?: How the African American marriage decline affects everyone. Journal of Marriage and Family.
Enhancing the cultural sensitivity of marital enrichment through spirituality: The divergence of Black and White marriage patterns. American Journal of Sociology. The consequences of marriage for African Americans. Institute for American Values; The making and breaking of affectional bonds. Love, sex, and masculinity on sociocultural context: HIV concerns and condom use among African American men in heterosexual relationships. Racism, secret-keeping, and African-American families.
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Harvard University Press; Clark D, Haldane D. Intervention and research in marriage. Clayton O, Moore J. The effects of crime and imprisonment on family formation. Black fathers in contemporary American society: Strengths, weaknesses, and strategies for change. Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment.
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