Ebony and Ivory?:Interracial Dating Intentions and Behaviors of Disadvantaged African American Women in Kentucky
Findings suggest a shrinking social distance between racial groups, broadening the MMPI for African American women; yet, the low levels of interracial relationships are likely driven by preferences towarsd men. Marriage is often preceded by dating; thus, it behavior caucasian dating interracial towards important to examine interracial dating intentions and behaviors, and the complicating factor of class distinctions.
Pairing intentions and behaviors datng important, as prior research would suggest that intentions are more prevalent than actual behaviors Bonilla-Silva, Additionally, with marriage rates in general declining and cohabitation and other living arrangements on the rise U. Census Bureau, ; U. Census Bureau,the behavilr of research on non-matrimonial interracial romantic relationships is problematic. Often, research suggests the gendered pattern of African American and white interracial marriage with lower levels of intermarriage among African American women and white men indicates bias on the part of black women, but little recent research has empirically examined this issue of interracial dating intentions and behaviors, especially from the perspective of the African American woman Childs, This study does, and is guided by William Julius Wilson's concept of the Male Marriageable Pool Index MMPI.
The MMPI is the sex ratio, or the number of eligible males per females, within a same race and age group. The current study is unique in the inclusion of items inspired by the MMPI which measure African American women's perceptions about the availability of partners who are African American, white, and Hispanic. From a MMPI framework, African American women's assessment of the availability of same-race partners may influence their interracial dating intentions and behaviors.
This novel study is significant in that it explores the relationship intentions and behaviors of a uniquely behavior caucasian dating interracial towards and often-overlooked group, shifts the focus from marriage to romantic relationships, and challenges the traditional view that the biases of African American women drive their aversion to interracial relationships. Interracial marriage was not made legal until June 12, in the Supreme Court decision in the case of Loving v. Even the most recent U.
Census Bureaudata estimates a decline in the percentage of married African American women between It behavior caucasian dating interracial towards not just marriage, though, as research has demonstrated that college-educated African American women experience lower levels of marriage, but also lower levels caucasina romantic partnership and voluntary sexual activity compared to white or Hispanic women Clarke, The picture behavior caucasian dating interracial towards is one in which relatively privileged African American women are deprived of marriage opportunities, but also of romantic love altogether when compared to other racial groups Clarke, This is not simply a numbers game; critiquing those who might use indices like the MMPI exclusively as an explanation of low marriage rates among gehavior African American women, Clarke notes:.
The current study is guided by the work of William Julius Wilson, who conceptualized the Male Marriageable Pool Index MMPI Wilson, This study does not test the MMPI concept, but rather, uses it as an interpretive and theoretical framework. Wilson noted that male joblessness, mortality, and incarceration in the African American community reduced the number of eligible or marriageable African American men Wilson, Wilson calculated MMPI values for different age and racial groups, since individuals generally tend to marry someone of the same race who is around the same age Wilson, He noted that these bbehavior were kenya adult dating across racial groups such that African American women had a considerably smaller pool of potential partners when compared to white women Wilson, Beliefs regarding partner availability are important in shaping intentions and behavior from a MMPI framework.
Specifically, African American women who perceive that it is difficult to find an eligible African American man or that it is easier to find an eligible white or Hispanic man may be more likely to intend to date interracially. Likewise, African American women who have these perceptions about the limited availability of same-race partners and the greater availability of partners outside their race may be more likely to engage in interracial relationships.
This study includes items inspired by the MMPI to measure perceptions about the availability of African American, white, and Hispanic male partners. Moreover, this study examines the association between the items measuring perceptions about partner availability and interracial relationship intentions and behaviors of disadvantaged African American women in Kentucky. Interracial relationship intentions are likely a strong predictor of dating someone of another race Ajzen, This is due in part to high rates of death, mass incarceration, and disproportionately high unemployment among African American men that dramatically reduce the number of eligible same-race mates Alexander, ; Bennett et al.
The result is a smaller marriageable pool of African American men for African American women. On the other hand, African American women's preferences are not the only ones involved in mate selection — the potential partners' preferences are also a factor. Potential partners may exclude African American women from the dating pool based on their race.
Since both of these groups are marginalized racial minorities in the U. As such, it is important to examine African American women's perceptions about the availability of Hispanic men as they may be towwrds with a greater likelihood of both intending to date a Hispanic towzrds and engaging in a relationship with a Hispanic man.