Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Notes on the marriage market and black women- solutions and trends

One recent Facebook page [weddings and courtships] claimed/asked: 

In cities for every 100 unmarried black women there are often only 50 unmarried working black men. What should they do?

The question asked is misleading, and seems like one of those "Essence Magazine" scaremongering "drama" queries that have been around for years. Too often such seem to make black women out to be some sort of hapless victims or basket cases, or insinuate men as triflin' "cads". Right off the bat one can see certain fallacies in the question.

1) The category "unmarried women" in the question is meaningless unless there are clear age ranges defined. "Unmarried women" can include everything from 17-year old teeny boppers to ailing 80-year old widows. What are the parameters? At both the low end or high end of the range, marriages do not happen often these days, and the same holds for white women, who on the average, do not get married until into their mid to late 20s, and who at the other end of the scale - ages 50 to 80 - are not getting married in any great numbers either. Without age specifics it makes little sense to talk about "unmarried women."

2) Previous marital status and presence of children are another factor in addition to age. Divorced women on the average, are less likely to remarry than single, never marrieds. Divorces and out-of-wedlock births are a bit higher among African-Americans than whites at the present time. A blanket category such as "unmarried women" that does not account for divorcees or women with children is again meaningless as a starting point for any credible analysis.

3) The recent black marriage patterns actually are a DECLINE from BETTER patterns in the past. IN fact, at one time in US history, blacks posted BETTER marriage rates than whites. Every US Census between 1890 and 1940 shows blacks posting HIGHER marriage rates than whites. Indeed, even under slavery, which caused heartbreaking disruptions in many cases to black family life, most black children were raised in two parent households (Thomas Sowell, 1981, 2004, 2005). This pattern undermines the distorted claims of both white liberals and conservatives who try to make blacks out as some sort of basket cases unable to sustain marriage life. What should be kept in mind is that today's' current dismal black pattern is a relatively recent phenomenon dating from the 1960s.

4) Whites as "role models" of marriage are unimpressive with an over 50% out-of-wedlock rate for under 30 white women with no college- 29% white out-of-wedlock overall..

White divorce rates, gay marriage and abortions hardly position them as "role models" of perfection. While lower than blacks, white divorce rates at the present time approach 50%. In addition, whites are pushing into areas that threaten to destroy traditional marriage- such as greater white support of "gay" marriage compared to blacks. As far as out-of-wedlock births today's white rate is almost 30%, hardly impressive. As far as abortions, white women have the highest abortion rates in the world- in white Russia for example 2 out of every 3 babies are aborted- hardly "role model" ground to boast about (Loveless and Holman 2006). Black out-of-wedlock patterns were better in the past than some white groups. Prior to the 1960s, they were never perfect but were much better (below 20%) that today's dismal rates, and much better than ultra-white Sweden in the late 20th century for example, which posted a 50% out of wedlock rate in some years. It should be also noted that historically, Europeans have had higher rates of unmarried women than women from other cultures, as any credible anthropology book addressing the topic will show. So large groups of "unmarried women" are nothing new among whites historically.

Nor are various white groups impressive on the out-of-wedlock front once the data is examined. The white Irish for example posted rates around 50% in some eras as they urbanized in the United States (Sowell. "Ethnic America. 1981). Supposedly virtuous white "Nordic"  Europeans are also unimpressive. In the 1850s, in Sweden's biggest city, Stockholm, for example, the illegitimacy rate was close to 50%. As Burns and Scott (1994) show, by the mid 19th century when reliable cross-national figures are widely available, it was found than in illegitimacy, (Stockholm (with a 46% rate in the 1850s) was second only to Vienna (49%) among European capitals. Indeed this trend was a continuation since the early 1800s. Nor was this solely a pattern for mid century 1800s. In ultra-white Sweden at the start of the 20th century, barely half of Swedish women married and around one-sixth of children were born out of wedlock. Nor was this solely an urban Stockholm phenomenon. High illegitimacy rates and declining marriage rates were also found in rural areas as well (A companion to nineteenth-century Europe, 1789-1914, By Stefan Berger, Wiley 2006.)

By contrast, as late as 1950 the US black illegitimacy rate stood at 17%, well below that of the touted white "role models" such as the Swedes above, and for 50 years, black marriage rates were higher than that of US whites (Sowell 2004- Black Rednecks, White Liberals), and better than the Swedish pattern over several decades. The black illegitimacy rate in 1965 was STILL lower than the 28% posted by US whites in 2000. Closer into the 20th century, white Nordic "role models" are no paragons of virtue: By the year 2000, out of wedlock births in Nordic Sweden had reached 53% of all births- a steep rise from a mere 10% illegitimacy rate in mid century.  ([i]A population history of the United States By Herbert S. Klein, Cambridge University Press.  2004. p. 216)[/i] Nor are supposedly more virtuous white people of other "Nordic" nations any better. In the early 1980s illegitimacy rates were on the order of 45% in Iceland and Sweden and 40% in Denmark. (Report on Immigrant populations and demographic development in the member states of the Council of Europe. Rinus Penninx, Council of Europe. 1984.)

Other data on reputed northern "role models" as regards "shacking up" or co-habitation again show an unimpressive pattern. In Nordic Sweden only 20% of the cohabitation couples married within 3 years of starting to live together. In France the numbers were slightly better- only 30% of the "shack ups" lasted 5 years or more. Marriages that followed cohabitation showed a HIGHER rate of divorce than on pre-shack marriages in both Sweden and France. (Marriage, divorce, remarriage By Andrew J. Cherlin 1992). Nor is Sweden unique- other supposedly more "pure" white people are hardly any better. In Norway, as in Sweden the phenomenon of MULTIPLE or SERIAL COHABITATION has emerged, with women bouncing from one "shack up" situation to another. The "official" statistic may show both a male and a female present in a household, but this is a weak indicator of family stability when women are moving from man to man, or vice versa like gypsies. In Norway for example, about 80% of those who ended cohabitation entered a SECOND cohabitation within 4 years compared to "only" 60% of Swedish women. (Data from: World changes in divorce patterns.  William Josiah Goode, Yale Univ Press, 1993).

Not surprisingly,  Sweden is a leader in "gay" marriage, with agitation for such unions in place as early as 1953. As early as 1973, Sweden dubbed homosexual cohabitation a "fully acceptable lifeform" according to a declaration by Sweden's parliament. (Gay marriage, by W. Wskridge, Darren Spedale, Oxford 2010)

5) The "crisis" in unmarried black women, just like with unmarried white women, affects the bottom 80% of the population most. Those women who are most attractive- in terms of youth and/or looks, and less "baggage" seldom have serious problems. Women like music superstar Beyonce, or athletic superstar Marion Jones, both tall, good-looking women, are not having many problems. Men are lining up. Tall, dark-skinned athletic Serena Williams has plenty of male admirers who follow her every curve on the tennis court. And she doesn't have to wait for American males, and does not need American males. Both her and her sister Venus have been linked to admiring European men. The women having trouble in the marriage or dating market (primarily) are those who are hindered by age, number of children and previous marital status, and yes, looks (including weight). Let's be blunt- a chunky 30-something/40-something single mother or divorcee with a string of kids is not going to fare well on the marriage market, or even dating market for the most desirable men, whether you be black or white. Most white men are not hurriedly beating down any doors to get to white females fitting the above description.

In short, the simplistic "there aren't any eligible men" meme often presented in the media and popular discourse is misleading and distorted. There is much more to the "marriage gap" than  alleged "shortages" of black men. That there are less of such men than among say whites is true, but that does not necessarily mean statistical "shortages" are the primary factor in the marriage gap. There are many other important reasons black women are not getting married. Ten for example, are listed below.

These above factors need to be clearly accounted for when the issue is discussed. Now for some observations on solutions from a male perspective.

a) Solution A: Some women need to "look outside the box" as far as age, height and other specifications of "perfection." A ten-year age difference between a man and a woman was nothing unusual among whites in the historical past for example. Today, consideration of such a difference is often greeted with horror or sneering. But it's time to be practical. Why keep paying attention to a (hypothetical) "Tyrone" who ain't employed, with a string of babies from 4 different women, versus "Tyrone" who is 10-12 years older, but more stable financially and emotionally? Then there are height requirements. On the dating sites they are rife, but what they do is rule out large numbers of good men. Specifying some "ideal" height- say 5'10 or above rules out about 40% of eligible males. It makes little sense to reject 40% of the market opportunities based on height then complain that there are "no good men." Come off that hypocrisy. If you are serious about getting married, why are you eliminating 40% of the market before even getting started? The same holds for white women by the way. Height is deemed a shallow requirement by female author Tracy McMillan in her book, Why You're Not Married Yet. (See below) 

b) Solution B: Some women need to reduce irresponsible behavior that is hurting the "black brand." What hurts many good, decent women out there is a pool of promiscuous sisters willing to spread their legs for a variety of comers. Why should male potentials raise their game in terms of stability, education, work patterns, etc term when they can "hit" all they need from the pool of promiscuous coochies? Promiscuity is "lowering the brand" - hurting all black women. Where is the proof? Easy- the amount of out-of-wedlock births and abortions. Promiscuity is a vicious cycle. It deprives good women of male potentials, and it creates more women with baggage, which in turn lowers their desirability as marriage partners. The same thing goes for white women. It's a vicious cycle that politically correct "Essence Magazine" style queries do not want to touch in any depth.

c) Solution C: Some women need to reduce attitudinal negatives. Beyonce's smash hit "single girls" frames a narrative of "strong, independent women" making their own money, sleeping around with who they want to sleep with and who don't need a man. Fine for some, but negative for others seeking meaningful, stable long-term relationships. Bluntly put, if you are making good money, sleeping around and going out drinking with the girls, and "don't need a man", why should a man commit to anything other than short term good times? If he wants sex you're available, and since you are so independent, you should not be seeking in in-depth emotional support and that sort of fluffy stuff from him. Just bend over, get it on and go back to making yo money. Sounds like a good deal to some men. The "I can play like a man" attitude sounds trendy, bold and independent but while it will get you laid, many women find it is a dead end as far as marriage is concerned. If you can play it hard like a man, then pay the price, like a man. In other words, by downgrading their femininity, some women are producing the exact opposite of what they want. Again, if you want to roll like many men- short term sex and good times, then why should a man move towards long-term? Hell, you one of the boys already.

Other attitudinal negatives from being demanding, bitchy, shallow, selfish etc etc are profoundly human, and are reflected plentifully among white females. The point of mentioning them is that some women really need to evaluate their motivations, character and work and reduce those negatives that make them less than desirable marriage partners. Men are all too happy to go to bed with a woman, but when evaluating a person they have to live with 24/7 in a marriage, they are not looking for a bitchy complainer, who is always battling, criticizing  and contradicting. Nor are they looking for someone whose primary motivation is selfish - what they can extract or exact from a man- whether it be social status, money, a particular lifestyle or "cute kids." They know the exactress in a marriage will quickly take them to court when that selfishness is at the core of the relationship. Then begins the draining, soul-sapping divorce process with repercussions that might last for decades. Who needs that hassle? So again, why should men commit to someone who is already showing such negatives? Negative female behavior hindering women from getting the man they want is bluntly addressed by a female author, Tracy McMillan in her book "Why You're Not Married Yet." Naturally such behaviors need addressing by men as to themselves too.

d) Solution D: Some women should support venues where decent men are likely to be found and/or cultivated- whether it be church, mosque, synagogue, or community organization. It makes little sense to be hanging out at some noisy club drinking and spending money then complain "men are jerks" when you attract males who are in those venues looking for something other than long term stability. There are black women out there starting support groups, church clubs, community service groups etc. This needs to multiply and the women need to draw men into such circles, while boycotting or reducing resources and time spent on competing venues. Unless black women start short-shrifting venues that do not promote or cultivate the right kind of man, they are playing a losing hand. A related factor is to start paying less attention to the media- and spending less on the media with its illusory, unrealistic images of female beauty, or illusory "Sex and the City" glamor.

e) Solution E: Continue to support and encourage stable black men, and men with definite potential, even if with lower levels of income or education, and less trendiness. Such a pattern is more prevalent among blacks, but is not unusual. Among the white Irish for example, women often held more stable jobs as domestics, nurses or schoolteachers compared to men. The Irish of course entered urban economies when jobs were plentiful and did not have to endure the level of discrimination blacks endured, and indeed, the Irish themselves were/are frequent discriminators against blacks as credible histories show.  Nevertheless the example above is used to show that blacks are not some sort of unique basket cases as far as better female job stability.

Support of "strivers" - black men doing what it takes to hold things together, and making a genuine effort- is critically needed. In some cases such men are shunned by black women who expect models of patience that will cater to their needs- the prime value of men being what they can do for me- men useful only in so far as they cater to or fulfill the female ego. Others seek those more trendy, gaudy and affluent- a tendency seen among better off white women by some observers (i.e. the "Sex and the City" white females who exhibit almost a gay male sensibility in their evaluation of men- with the trendy, and "brokeback hunky" receiving favor, resources and attention.) In other words, the aforementioned white females gravitated towards the trendy "emerging metrosexual" or "fabulous" "hunk". Save as a punch-line in the meme, the more traditional, ordinary blue-collar or even white-collar guy need not apply.

Female preference for the trendy and the chic need not follow the gay meme but is seen in fascination with "bad boys" who flash "bling" or exhibit a similar flashiness and gaudiness. Again, in comparison, the ordinary black male "striver" is not likely to be as "chic" or fashionable", and will likely pay the price in less female attention and favor. Black women should be aware of these forces and seriously evaluate who they are indeed giving their attention and favor to. It is contradictory to claim there are "few good men" but then lavish sexual favors on trendy types who are playing the field or "bad boys" who can flash  flamboyant behavior. This phenomenon is often commented on in the white "Game"/Mens Rights/PUA (pick up Artist) community- the inconsistency of women- who SAY one thing, but reward another.

f) Solution F: Avoid the trap of looking for "quick fix" solutions or overarching "cosmic" solutions. It will take a package of incremental responses, operating over a long cycle, in several venues, internal to the black community to make positive change, There are no panaceas, and there are no "galactic" solutions that will "comprehensively" address all problems in one neat formula. There are difficult issues to be worked through like the mismatch between high earning/higher educated black women and men not at that level, or the large number of black men incarcerated. There are no easy answers or cosmic formulas.

In one discussion I had, someone argued that unless there was a massive program of government spending and social justice guaranteeing an income to all, nothing would change. This is an example of an unrealistic "cosmic" solution that will make little difference on the ground. Have massive welfare subsidies, or plea bargaining leading to less prison time for example lowered out-of-wedlock rates, or boosted family stability? The data says no, yet one often encounters an almost mystical faith in the cosmic goodness of more government spending  to "solve" the problems above. If anything, the data suggests that government itself, with is subsidies that sometimes make men superfluous, is part of the problem. There are other parts, including racism, but note the point. The package of incremental responses should focus on the positive- adding to the stock of caring, giving, mutual respect and goodwill, versus the negativity or hateful messages in some of the mainstream media towards men and masculinity.

g) Solution G: Pursue men of other races using a careful flexibility. Contrary to the advice given by some, such as Stanford Law professor Ralph Richard Banks' Is Marriage for White People? who advocates interracial "options" as a primary response, I would rank that option, in and of itself as secondary. It is a valid option that should be expanded, and worked concurrently with the items above, but I don't rank it as being the number one alternative at the present time, given demographic realities, white female competition and the preferences of black women themselves. Aside from white opposition based on race, or white/Asian/Hispanic female competition, a central problem is that many black women may be unimpressed by the "alternative race" potentials out there. Why bother if the alternative is a 300-pound heavy-breathing, unemployed White, Asian or Hispanic dude? Or a skinny redneck who got 2 kids from 2 different women and perpetually "between jobs"? However there are more alternatives if sought out diligently, thinking beyond the box.

There are certainly some decent 40-something white guys that would love a firm, toned 20/30-something black woman, compared to say- the sagging white female alternatives they may be running into. I have seen them. As usual though, those black women in the top 20% with youth, looks, nice figures, lack of too much baggage etc, seldom have problems. Even without her celebrity, women like tall, youthful, smooth-skinned, toned Serena Williams seldom lack for male attention, including that of European men. Women less blessed physically will have to work harder of course to pursue "outside" alternatives. They should not limit themselves however, and should mobilize every asset available to work for their advantage. Again, in pursuit of "outside" men, as with ALL men, there needs to be less self-centeredness  across the board- the all too prevalent "men as extras in my movie" syndrome. There also needs to be a consideration of alternatives outside the box, including older men of a different race or credible foreign men.

h) Solution H: Boost confidence by recognizing and acting on the power that is in the hands of black women. Black women essentially have a lock on the black male market. Generally, other ethnicities do not have a big demand for black men. Sure, tens of thousands of white females would die for those in the top 5% -like handsome, affluent Kobe Bryant, or affluent entertainers with some celebrity. But outside of this tiny  top 1-2%, Tyree in the mail room or the regular black stiff will not be getting much interracial traffic, and few non-black women are beating down their doors. Dating sites and marriage statistics prove this, no matter how many "Mandingo" fantasies are spun in the media, or how many white fatties appear on "Maury" to find out which black buffoons be dey baby daddy.

Some pin their faith in a "progressive" media to change this over time, but Hollywood itself is hypocritical about interracial relationships- which is why even top black male actors like Will Smith are so often cast with "Hispanic" appearing actresses - heaven forbid he hook up with a regular white gal. And heaven forbid that interracial relationships be shown as normal or pleasurable. Too often the Hollywood plots "spin" a subtle negative taint on interracial relationships- like making the white female lead a slut or airhead, portraying the sex as dirty or uncomfortable (remember messy sex on a desk in 'Jungle Fever'-what was the "message" on that, eh?) or pumping up some sort of "freak" factor where the black male is concerned (remember the movie Black and White?) Scaremongering either by white right wingers or hysterical women talking bout good men being "stolen" is simply bogus in the face of this blunt reality.
To repeat: aside from a limited number in the top 1-2% of celebrity, status or wealth, or a minority based on deep shared links such as religion, etc), or some college educated types, there is little OVERALL market demand for black men outside of black women. Black women essentially have the overall market (say about 85% or more) sown up in the foreseeable future.

Black women control the market and thus have the power to create change, but they can only do this by sticking together and insisting on higher standards for themselves and for men. The old sense of shame and responsibility has to be restored so that the promiscuous do not draw off good potentials, nor foster a loose, least-common-denominator atmosphere, or class of women with "baggage" that reduces their marriage desirability. Higher standards of personal behavior are needed. Blunt criticism and self-criticism needs to be stepped up, and attitudes adjusted, "politically incorrect" as it may be. Churches, civic/community organizations and positive groups need to be supported with the bulk of time, money and attention, while countervailing forces - from "coochie" behavior to venues that promote promiscuity deemphasized. Once black women start exercising their power, and demanding higher standards (of themselves included), then better potentials will both be available or will be open for cultivation. There will not and does not have to be 100% success once improvements are underway. If at the low end there are those who reject the need for higher standards, fine. Or if at the higher end the allegedly more "sophisticated" sneer at such standards, fine too. Screw them both. The focus must be on the majority in the middle- the strivers who want better outcomes.

The above items do not address what needs to be done from a MALE point of view for it addressed the Facebook query which focused on females. More on the other side in another post.

One of the best statements of why some women are having trouble getting married is by Terry McMillan's "Why You Are Not Married Yet." She boils it down into 10 things:

1. Bitchiness- always wanting to fight, battle, criticize- always angry.

2. Shallowness- holding out for minor must haves of "perfection" like height, despite talking a good game about "character."

3. Promiscuity- if you are giving it up freely why should anyone commit? And promiscuity increases baggage (kids, abortions, etc)

4. Self delusion and lying to yourself.

5. Selfishness and self-centeredness. Your primary concern is you and what you can get or what neets your needs.

6. Self-doubt and self-hate- feeling you're not good enough.

7. A messy personal life.

8. Crazy love intensity- where you are trying too much.

9. Trying to act like a man rather than using feminine power.

10. Lack of spirituality- a lack of spiritual anchors.

Joint products of "racial evolution"...


Racial discrimination is alive and kicking in employment, housing and credit markets

Sowell 3- new data shows backward tropical evolution? Wealth and Poverty- An International Perspective in Trump era

Sowell 2- Wealth, Poverty and Politics- International Perspective - Trump era to bring these issues into sharper focus?

Sowell- Liberal intellectuals and hard questions about race differences- Trump era may force them to focus?

Trump properties discriminated against black tenants lawsuit finds

Stealing credibility- Dinesh D'souza has prison epiphany- after hanging with the homies- Hallelujah Hilary!

Shame on you, and your guilt too- A review of Shelby Steele's 'Shame'

Go with the flow 3- more DNA and cranial studies show ancient African migration to, or African presence in ancient Europe

Go with the flow 2- African gene flow into Europe in various eras

How Obama plays on white guilt- Hilary capitalizes

Hands off the Confederate flag

Despite much more wealth than blacks, whites collect about the same rate of welfare and are treated more generously

African "boat people" ushering in European demographic decline

The forgotten Holocaust- King Leopold's "Congo Free State" - 10 million victims



























Bogus "biodiversity" theories of Kanazawa, Ruston, Lynn debunked

JP Rushton, Michael Levin, Richard Lynn debunked. Weaknesses of Jared Diamond's approach. 

In the Blood- debunking "HBD" and Neo-Nazi appropriation of ancient Egypt

early Europeans and middle Easterners looked like Africans. Peoples returning or "backflowing" to Africa would already be looking like Africans

 Ancient Egypt: one of the world's most advanced civilizations- created by tropical peoples

Playing the "Greek defence" -debunking claims of Greeks as paragons of virtue or exemplars of goodness

Quotations from mainstream academic research on the Nile Valley peoples

Assorted data debunking


Evolution, brain size, and the national IQ of peoples ... - Jelte Wicherts 2010

Why national IQs do not support evolutionary theories of intelligence - WIcherts, Borsboom and Dolan 2010
Personality and Individual Differences 48 (2010) 91-96
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Are intelligence tests measurement invariant over time? by JM Wicherts - ?2004
 --Dolan, Wicherts et al 2004. Investigating the nature of the Flynn effect. Intelligence 32 (2004) 509-537

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Race and other misadventures: essays in honor of Ashley Montagu... By Larry T. Reynolds, Leonard Lieberman


Race and intelligence: separating science from myth. By Jefferson M. Fish. Routledge 2002. See Templeton's detailed article referenced above also inside the book


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Oubre, A (2011) Race Genes and Ability: Rethinking Ethnic Differences, vol 1 and 2. BTI Press
For summary see: http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/05-02-18/
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--S OY Keita, R A Kittles, et al. "Conceptualizing human variation," Nature Genetics 36, S17 - S20 (2004)

--S.O.Y. Keita and Rick Kittles. (1997) *The Persistence ofRacial Thinking and the Myth of Racial Divergence. AJPA, 99:3
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Alan Templeton. "The Genetic and Evolutionary significnce oF Human Races." pp 31-56. IN: J. FiSh (2002) Race and Intelligence: Separating scinnce from myth.

 J. FiSh (2002) Race and Intelligence: Separating science from myth.


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Oubre, A (2011) Race Genes and Ability: Rethinking Ethnic Differences, vol 1 and 2. BTI Press

Krimsky, S, Sloan.K (2011) Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture

Wicherts and Johnson, 2009. Group differences in the heritability of items and test scores

--Joseph Graves, 2006. What We Know and What We Don’t Know: Human Genetic Variation and the Social Construction of Race

J. Kahn (2013) How a Drug Becomes "Ethnic" - Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, v4:1

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