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The 52 men were interviewed in their homes or another setting of their choice e. The interviews were semi-structured, and were the primary method of data collection.

Each interviewee was assured anonymity and strict confidentiality of the data collected. Two married Black male interviewers conducted the interviews between January and April The men were asked about the meaning of marriage, marital socialization, their motivations for marrying and staying married, factors that helped to encourage and sustain marriage, barriers to or challenges in staying married, commitment attitudes, and their participation in ProSAAM Hurt, For these analyses, we examined the advice men provided regarding the disproportionate number of Black women who are single.

The two interviewers digitally recorded each interview, and the recordings were electronically submitted to a transcriber. Undergraduate research interns listened to the digital recordings and read the transcripts simultaneously to verify complete transcription since the transcriber was not a member of the research team Carlson, The interview transcripts were used for the data analyses.

The two interviewers underwent extensive training with the first author, learning interviewing techniques and the ethical collection and handling of interview data.

The interviewers also listened to eligibility requirements for the men's participation. The men must have been 1 married, 2 self-identified their ethnicity as African American or been married to an African American spouse, 3 took part in ProSAAM, and 4 completed their 3-year follow-up interview.

The first author also reviewed study goals, the interview protocol, and the background for each question with the interviewers. When the interviewers sensed that the men could say more about their experiences and offer a more detailed account of their perspectives or experiences during the interviews, they frequently encouraged the interviewee to talk more specifically about the issue.

In such instances, the interviewer often relied on non-verbal cues and other observations of the manner in which the respondent answered the question. The interviewers were trained to ask questions in an open-ended way so that the participants would share their opinions and experiences more fully.

The interviewers followed a consistent line of questioning and only probed where necessary. This style of interviewing permitted a more holistic understanding of what the participants thought and felt about the issue under study. Nonetheless, in light of the more individualized nature of qualitative inquiry and the semi-structured method of interviewing, the interviewers adapted their line of questioning with the men, re-articulating questions or phrasing them differently to ensure the participants understood what was being asked.

Communication between the first author and the interviewers was maintained throughout the 4-month data collection process. The interviewers met semi-monthly in person with the research team and communicated weekly with the first author about their progress in the field.

Through in-person meetings, emails, phone conversations, and documented reflections on the digital recorders, the interviewers reported important themes and impressions from their field observations. The research team regularly checked the interview recordings to make certain that the interviewers were following the interview protocol in their lines of inquiry and were practicing effective interviewing techniques.

During the analysis phase, the authors shared the following demographic characteristics: This group included four Black women and one White woman. The team of authors analyzed the interview data in a collaborative way. Over a period of 18 months, the authors met for data retreats every 2 to 3 months in person. The authors analyzed interview data that had been collected, transcribed, and archived.

Next, data selection and condensation were carried out. Each author recorded her own self-reflections and interpretations in exploring the data for themes. In the spirit of member-checking, the two interviewers who gathered the data were asked to validate themes the authors identified in the data.

The interviewers were contacted via e-mail and asked to review a manuscript draft in which the results were detailed. Previous work has highlighted that member checking is best conducted when a finished product can be reviewed and interpretations are offered for themes and patterns Carlson, The interviewers reflected on the meetings they had with the husbands and agreed with the themes.

The 52 Black men cited various factors for the disproportionate occurrence of unmarried Black women; these factors were grouped into four themes: All participants quoted below have been given pseudonyms to protect their identities. Within each theme, the number of men who offered responses is detailed.

In some cases, participants provided more than one reason for the disproportionality in singlehood among Black women. As such, the number of responses may not necessarily equal the number of men expressed as percentage or sample size within each theme. Lastly, most perspectives shared by the men are included in the results; we only omitted two responses.

Collectively, the authors regarded these two responses as outliers, and not reflective of primary themes in the data. The husbands noted that many women are misguided in their approaches to attracting and keeping a mate.

The men also discussed the negative effects of incarceration on relationships. Further, the respondents underscored how the strong independent nature among some Black women challenges relationship formation and maintenance. The men also described how a decline in labor market opportunities impacts relationships. These factors are discussed in detail next. On the subject of setting standards too high or being a high maintenance woman, Steve also noted,.

Victor, a year old who had been married for 5 years, agreed: They [are] not looking at their character; they [do not] care about looking at what they [are] made of [on] the inside. A lot of Black women, they run their mates off nagging. You got a lot of single women—no fathers and kids. The reason they got no mates is cause they probably ran them off, yakking and wanting this and wanting that.

Stop all that complaining and fussing and fighting and arguing. Other men observed controlling behavior among women. For example, Kelvin, married for 22 years and 44 years of age, recommended this:. A second factor cited in the gender relations category is the impact of incarceration on relationship maintenance and formation. We present the data on this next. 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:. Drugs, stealing, most Black men trying to make a quick dollar to provide for their family and they just make mistakes doing that. Incarceration of men was viewed as a reason for the higher proportion of singlehood among Black women. We now address a third factor cited in the gender relations category concerning the strong, independent stance that diminishes the likelihood of Black women partnering with a man.

The men also described a lack of knowledge among Black women about how to share the responsibility for managing a household with a mate, having spent years without a partner or a model. Lionel, 34 years old and married for 13 years, said,. They are some really peculiar creatures. You got women today, not only Black and women of color, but all women who are able to take care of, not only themselves, but a man and children.

The men believed that this strong sense of independence is especially acute among some women who are economically self-sufficient. I would say otherwise. There was [a time when] the men [knew] how to be the man. Allen, married for 5 years and 52 years of age, believes that the pattern of women not depending on men in the Black community was set in motion during the time of slavery:.

Now personally, I think that [it] started years ago when back in the day, you know… when the woman was the head of the household…she did all the work because the men were taken away or whatever. And the Black women are more advanced, so much that why would I depend on a man who wants to live this kind of lifestyle when I can get out and be something myself? The strong independent stance of some Black women was regarded as a consideration. And for the women, we are not treating them like the queens that they are.

Forty-three-year-old James, married for 15 years, agreed that many young Black men are missing male role models:. We promote doing things but not really coming together for the long haul. The husbands pointed to the influence of men not meeting their responsibilities to their families and their communities as a reason for the higher number of Black women not being married.

The respondents also identified interpersonal trust—as well as the lack of trust—between Black men and women; we discuss this fifth factor next. Harold, a 54 year old married for 30 years, said,. Isaiah, 53 years old and married for 19 years, described learning about relationships from others as well and internalizing difficult experiences as well. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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: The first blogger is a beautiful woman who owns a head wrap line I have purchased three.

No need to discuss the shipping costs from America to the UK. She is a creative who graces Instagram with each artistic post. It was in one fateful post in which I saw her with her white bae. He is rugged and bearded. Not enough hand clap emojis to comment. And then there was another.

Literally another beautiful head wrap line owner, whose artistry is magnificent. But first, let me head wrap. This queen also has a white bae. I was left questioning why all my favourite black bloggers are dating white men? I have compiled a list of reasons why I think my favourite bloggers, a. Are woke white men more appreciative of black women than black men?

A common debate that has been going around has been regarding whether black men are just interested in one type of black woman: Could it be that woke white men are more inclined to appreciate darker-skinned women than black men? With the onslaught of societal pressure to conform to only one version of beauty perhaps black men, with their own pressure, are averse to women who represent beauty that is continually discredited.

Realistically, an answer to this question is only ever going to be anecdotal. How can one possibly answer whether black men are more or less appreciative of black women, without interviewing thousands of black men and women? What I do know is that, as black women, we have to convince ourselves that we are beautiful 10 times before we even leave the house.

We are constantly in a pattern of uplifting ourselves, boosting ourselves, complimenting ourselves and it can become exhausting. Black women with darker skin and kinky hair combat feelings of inadequacy from society and from within our own communities, due to the pervasiveness of colourism.

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Answers to match questions have been getting significantly less biased over time:. The interviewers were contacted via e-mail and asked to review a manuscript draft in which the results were detailed. She is a creative who graces Instagram with each artistic post. Racial and ethnic differences in the desire to marry. Written by Christian Rudder. The authors analyzed interview data that had been collected, transcribed, and archived. Further, the respondents underscored how the strong independent nature among some Black women challenges relationship formation and maintenance.

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