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February 23, 2003

The Black Gender Gap

Newsweek has an interesting piece up on the growing black gender gap-as women go to college and enter professional fields at higher rates than men. Shocking statistic, 47% of black women between 30-34 have never been married (compared to 10% of white women).

Well, if you assume the axiom of sameness this is something that might blow you away, but women in West Africa do the farming and operate stalls in markets as free agents. They've been doing this for generations [1]. As James Q. Wilson has noted, many African-American "social ills" have their cognate, and likely precusors, in the West African cultural matrix.

Of course, I'm not trying to say that the situation should make anyone happy or complacent, but the independence and self-reliant economic productivity of black women has a long history. This is a not just the out-growth of modernity (and as one train of thought hinted in the article, the result of discrimination against black men in white America).

[1] The intensive plow-based farming that requires a large quotient of upper body strength that dominates in much of riverine Asia tends to require men of course, going a long way to explaining the dominance of the male gender on the village level in India or China. In these societies it is plausible that women don't have the physical durability to maximize yield in dense plots and keep up a level of subsistence.

Posted by razib at 04:11 AM




I wonder whether the gender gap contributes to the obesity problem among black women. If large numbers of black women do not have realistic chances of attracting mates, many may figure that maintaining their weight isn't worth the effort.

Posted by: RR at February 23, 2003 08:24 AM


razib wrote:

"The intensive plow-based farming that requires a large quotient of upper body strength that dominates in much of riverine Asia tends to require men of course, going a long way to explaining the dominance of the male gender on the village level in India or China."

Perhaps, but if this was the case, wouldn't we see more sexual dimorphism among Asians as compared to West Africans?

Posted by: RR at February 23, 2003 09:36 AM


One in five cosmetic products are bought by blacks, presumably women. Black women aren't giving up, they're doing their best with an unenviable situation. I agree with David that the white men would be more attracted to black women if they were thinner and shed some of their ghetto styles and attitudes.

Posted by: duende at February 23, 2003 12:22 PM


"Perhaps, but if this was the case, wouldn't we see more sexual dimorphism among Asians as compared to West Africans?"
-now we wander into the realm of Just So stories. but it seems plausible that in east asia-where the sex ratio tilts a bit toward males physiologically (according to rushton) and women have less say in their partners because they are less independent, male physique in a gawdy sense is less important. men don't have to be supermen to farm in any case-the agriculturalists aren't supermen, in fact, they are smaller than hunter-gatherers quite often, just larger than their female.

Posted by: razib at February 23, 2003 01:19 PM


razib,

Oh, alright.

duende,

Black women didn't always have ghetto attitudes or extra pounds. Additionally, black men have even worse attitudes, but still manage to date non-blacks in significantly larger numbers than black women.

Condolezza Rice, Anita Hill and Mae C. Jemison are all intelligent, well educated, thin black women with nary a ghetto 'tude among them. Why are they single?

Note: Is Condolezza a ghetto name? I've searched a number of name databases and have not come across it. I think her parents made it up.

Posted by: RR at February 23, 2003 03:03 PM


RR,
A lot of black women would never consider dating white men. Anyway, I don't think that black women will ever marry out as successfully as black men but I don't think that the disparity need be as large as it is. In Britain there is a gender gap between blacks who marry out, but it is not as great. I think that most white men and black women never imagine themselves in such a couple, so perception is a problem. But still, I don't think it would take a major push for white men and black women to find each other attractive.

I suspect that Condi Rice is a rabid careerist, and according to David Brock, Anita Hill is a radical feminist. The other woman, I have no clue.

Posted by: duende at February 23, 2003 03:17 PM


[off topic -- continuation of meta discussion on this blog in the comments section of a previous entry.]

Zizka wrote that she doesn't think anyone on this site is an old fashioned American racist. I agree. But I also agree with her that entries on race are not quite up to the high level of other entries. There's a strong whiff of American political ideology, which is absent otherwise.

I have two criticisms, which you all are free to toss in the trash. (Ans I am not trying to dis the site, only offer constructive suggestions)

1) The perspectives on race in this site are far far too American. In other countries (UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Egypt) what is considered 'conventional wisdom' in the US is completely inapplicable.

Black women unattractive to white men-- yes in the US, and in more Americanized parts of Canada. Much less true on other parts of Canada, or in the UK. Not true in Egypt.

OR: Asian -- in the US excludes south asians. In the UK, excludes Chinese. In South Africa, Indians are blacks (though not Africans). It would be helpful if your terminology were not so American.

These are just two examples. There are many others. If you guys have the opportunity to recruit a member who is not American for your blog-collective, grab it.

2) The site's 'race-realism' posts focuss too much on a agenda set by others, and that agenda is not a disinterested one.

Rather than spending so much time on blacks and their intellectual inferiority (am I wrong -- correct me), I would enjoy a long discussion as to whether Jews are genetically predisposed to be clannish or pushy. Or whether Scots-irish descended from Ulster planters (incl. southern american whites) are genetically more prone to be xenophobes and hate outside groups.

And most of all (and this would neuter any accusations of racism against this site), the (genetically rooted?) inability of South Asians to be effective leaders or managers. The physical frailty and effeminancy of male Bengalis. Even, razib, your much discussed Tiny-Tamil-Penis (TTP) syndrome.

Let's talk about the genetic basis for these things, and only afterwards hit the more controversial, and in my view ideologically and politicaly driven, ideas on West African intellectual inferiority.

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at February 23, 2003 03:31 PM


Note: Is Condolezza a ghetto name? I've searched a number of name databases and have not come across it. I think her parents made it up.

Her father did make it up...he said it was from "con dolcezza" (he played violin and piano IIRC).

Posted by: Brian at February 23, 2003 04:06 PM


"In South Africa, Indians are blacks (though not Africans). It would be helpful if your terminology were not so American."

The last time I was in apartheid S. Africa (86), Indians were classified as Indians (sometimes referred to as Koolies by racist white S. Africans). From my experience, there was a large minority of Indians who were just as racist as some Afrikaners in regards to Blacks. I found that many female Indians had a hatred towards Malay and Coloured (not black) women. I got the feeling that they saw them as competition.

Posted by: the alpha male at February 23, 2003 04:07 PM


Ikram,

The site's 'race-realism' posts focuss too much on a agenda set by others, and that agenda is not a disinterested one.

Speaking for myself, at least, I strongly disagree. I am far more interested in looking at humanity in an objectively proper manner than my boring personal politics (which have precious little need to rely on race-realism anyway). I do have, what I feel to be, a profound Darwinist agenda to look at evolution in the most honest way possible, and that means a total rejection of unscientific and biased elements of thinking (that includes "religious" thinking, and emotion-driven doubts and double-standards for humans and animals). I notice that animals are divided into geographical sub-species and that these differ in temperment, ability, and behavior. Common sense has me begin with the assumption that humans should not differ in these regards to animals. Personally, I am most interested in East Asians, Europeans, and Sub-Saharan Africans, (with Ashkenazi Jews, Australoids, and Polynesians, and native-americans in second place) because they seem to differ the most substantially and across the broadest amount of important traits: Physically, mentally, behaviorally, developmentally, etc.

Posted by: Jason M. at February 23, 2003 05:25 PM


Ikram -

Since most of us are Americans, it's pretty much inevitable that the views expressed here are going to be american-centric. Hopefully, that will change. Where are you from? How does what we talk about relate to your own experiences there?

Posted by: jimbo at February 23, 2003 05:55 PM


A lot of black men manage to date outside their race because of their physical attributes..women always find a hard body attractive..men on the other hand prefer delicate toned females that most black women are not..Also a lot of black females are labelled traitors if they betray their brothers.

I dont believe south asians are incapable of being leaders and there are atleast a lot of Indians who are in top managerial positions in the US..CEO of United Airlines, didnt Vinod Dham head the team that designed the pentium chip, a few senators ... all this in spite of an obvious color barrier.. not to blame racism or anything but people will use any means necessary to keep someone else from rising above them...a temporary use of racism included..

razib, I thought you were from Pakistan but now I veer towards bangladesh since I remember reading you spoke bengali ..?????

Posted by: Pawan at February 23, 2003 06:47 PM


duende,

The black out-marriage rate in the U.K. raises interesting questions. The rate is significantly higher for both black men and black women as compared to the U.S., but the ratio still seems to be about 2 to 1 (including people co-habitating). Do you have any idea as to why the out-marriage rate for blacks in the UK is higher than the rate for blacks in the US?

There are many black women who will not date white men, but do these women constitute a majority among black women? How many of these women are in positions to date white men? How many of these women exclude white men from their dating pool as a defense mechanism to avoid being rejected themselves?

There are many career-oriented women who still manage to get hitched. Did Condi become career-obsessed in reaction to the grim marriage statistics? Anita Hill was not always a radical feminist. She did work for Thomas during a Republican administration, after all.


Pawan,

I have no doubt that muscles count, but I've seen fat black guys (like Stanley Crouch) with white women. Please define "delicate toned".

I imagine white men never discourage white women from dating black men. None of those women are labeled sluts or n*gger lovers. NOPE! No pressure on white women. Is it your contention that black men somehow, given the gender gap in education and their virtual non-existence in family affairs, cow "strong black women" into endogamy? This seems highly questionable to me

Posted by: RR at February 23, 2003 07:53 PM


Razib,

I cannot think of another reason to explain why we do not see as many BF/WM couples as WF/BM couples.. why wont black women prefer a man who earns more (on average) and is less likely to end up in prison ? I'd have to say because she is taught not to do so.. ..also when dating across races wmoen tend to go for the physically endowed type..asian women dating whites, white women dating blacks.. As for white women being free to date blacks..only the independent white woman is free to do that. and independent black women are also free to date outside their race..a smaller % of black women are independent as compared to white women...that could be another reason.
A sizzling 38 yr old co-worker of mine who's now dating a black guy told me that black men are more direct. In today's PC environment where anything can be construed as sexual harrassment black men tend to be less concerned than white men. Controlled aggression is always a turn on for women.
I meant delicate, toned ..the petite kind ..which the average black woman is not..

Posted by: Pawan at February 23, 2003 08:41 PM


Pawan:
"...sizzling 38 yr old co-worker..."

If she's so sizzling then why's she single at 38yo- lemme guess, how many kids does she have, Pawan?

-honestly, I'm not trying to be insulting, just putting 2+2 together.

Posted by: -R at February 23, 2003 08:54 PM


Zizka is a guy, but that's fine.

As I understand it, this board has a heavy influence of American racial politics, which has been messy since 1619 (and not just since affirmative action and bilingual education showed up), as mediated in many cases by middle class immigration from the subcontinent and the experience of the immigrants and their children. This is not bad in itself but I do see a negative trend. For me this is a pity because I've found a lot of interesting stuff here, for example the pre-pub article in Chinggis Qan's descent, which happens to be relevant to my serious work and which I would probably not have found otherwise.

Earlier I made a separation between the heredibility of IQ (open question, but likely) and racial realism (a non-sequiter[sp.?]). I think that there's a third separation, between racial realism and the various ethnic (and hereditary class) divisions there are in the world. There are various "inferior races" scattered all over the place, but if you look at them they have nothing at all racially in common. In the most striking case, Japan has a pariah group which is racially and linguistically identical to the Japanese, but which is despised for obscure reasons.

Another example is the Irish, which were despised in the British Isles, and here too when they first came over, but who have flourished here in every field.

I also mistrust psychologists' ability to control for social and cultural factors, since most of them seem socially and culturally tone deaf.

One factor in American life that is not usually considered by racialists (I didn't say the racist word) is that in 1965 black Americans in the south still did not have either the rights of citizens or the access to education which (even non-English-speaking) immigrant groups enjoyed immediately upon arrival. And even in the north, opportunity was relatively restricted by a variety of formal and informal factors.

Posted by: zizka at February 23, 2003 09:02 PM


she divorced her white husband about 2 years ago and has a 10 yr old daughter...is that significant ?
I'd say she's single by choice...she has her own house, drives a nice car, ..she can cherry pick her partners which she does

Posted by: Pawan at February 23, 2003 09:57 PM


Black women are ugly, just a few are atractive. And for that reason it is that there are not many relationships between white man and black women.

This is my UnPC view

Posted by: J. Ascaño at February 24, 2003 02:59 AM


Ikram,

I would enjoy a long discussion as to whether Jews are genetically predisposed to be clannish or pushy.

Hi guys, been busy. We have discussed Jewish genetic diseases a lot on this blog. I purposed refrain from bringing the tribe into the discussion--unless absolutely necessary--for fear of being acused of clannishness and pushiness. :)
Jews are, with some justification, accused of being obsessed with themselves, and I welcome the chance to discuss other issues.

That said, I think that you can analyze your questions relatively dispassionately, and this is the place to do it.

Regarding Jewish clannishness, we can dispose of that pretty quickly. Over 50% of the Jews who marry nowadays (and I think Jews have a pretty high marriage participation rate, even if the age of marriage is late-ish), marry non-Jews. To the eternal dismay of Ortho rabbis...but that's a quite convincing refutation of Jewish clannishness.

Pushiness? Oh, hell yes. You don't need a study for that.

But....the mid-Western Jews I've known are all so darned polite and soft-spoken. And I just had a conversation with a NY Irish-American in which we were both trying to get a word in edgewise....so what is it??

BTW, blacks in the south in 1965 had full voting rights.

Posted by: at February 24, 2003 06:38 AM


(Previous comment was by whom? Razib?)

Well - I wouldn't dispose of Jewish clanishness so quickly.

First : It would make sense (from a layman's perspective) for a persecuted outsider minority to develop a strong in-group preference.

Second: Even with a high intermarriage rate, there is some concept of 'jew' left in the USA. Compare this with German-Americans, who also have a high intermarriage rate but do not retain a sense of separate identity.

Part of the refusal of Jewish-americans to fully assimilate may be cultural, but in this blog, culture is the last place, not the first place, you look.

One of the problems is the reluctance of scholars to investigate slurs against Jews for any factual elements. That's why I say the race agenda of this blog is set by outsiders with ideological motives. Blogs do not produce real original content, only cite outsiders. If the only outsiders doing work in the area are Rushton-esque, your blog will have an ideological bias even if you yourselves do not.

(As for voting rights and blacks in America -- probably not the right forum to discuss it.)

(On South Africa: Steve Biko's BCM in ZA in the 70's used black to include indian. Some scholarly work on ZA still uses that terminology. In aparthied days, it was a useful set or terms. Possibly less useful now.)

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at February 24, 2003 08:36 AM


I think Condi's good looking. Out of my age-range.

Anyway, she is a careerist.

Sorry if the posts on race aren't up to standards. I thought they were decent. Are you also counting posts on genetics that have to do with race?

Sorry I haven't been blogging as much. I'm in thesis revision hell and I'm prepping for a couple job interviews.

Posted by: David at February 24, 2003 10:44 AM


i always sign my posts. i'm working a lot recently, so i haven't been able to get involved in this covers. too much.

Posted by: razib at February 24, 2003 12:08 PM


ok, reading the post, i assume it was diane or mebee joel (who hasn't posted on this blog yet)-who are the two jews with accounts.

part of the reason we talk about blacks is that obviously there is a lot of media coverage of them from the race angle, and less from jews on the ethnic angle. but there was a whole thread on jews a little while ago....

Posted by: razib at February 24, 2003 12:11 PM


Yeah, that post about Jews, clannishness, etc., was by me.

Ikram, why would you not dismiss the clannishness thing?

German-Americans from the early/mid-19th century until the WWI period (when there was intense anti-German prejudice) were very self-identified as German, in the US. Even until WWII; there were Bunds, etc.

Seems to me that as soon as Jews are treated as equals, their Jewish ID becomes much more inclusive or even degrades completely.

But I think I'm missing the point....maybe?

Posted by: Diana at February 24, 2003 12:19 PM


RR,
Why I think that there are more WM/BF marriages/cohabitations in the U.K.:

1. There are far fewer blacks in the UK than the U.S. There just aren't that many black mates to choose from, so they look farther afield.

2. England has a pseudo-Hellenic cultural veneration of the beautiful boy, which educated British blacks seem to share. I think this makes white men and boys far more attractive to black women than in America, where beautiful boy worship seems confined to teeny boppers and gays.

3. Class was traditionally the big issue in England, not race. Blacks seem to assimilate quite well into the various class structures depending on their education levels.

Interestingly, on British TV one sees FAR more WM/BF couples than BM/WF pairs. That may just be the chicken and the egg. I couldn't really say. Though the black women nearly always look half-white.

Posted by: duende at February 24, 2003 01:19 PM


Ikram - you said culture is the last place we should look, here, and I tend to agree. However, my personal experience suggests it should be the first place for me to look. I have a fetish for cute jewish girls, perhaps it's a mis-preconception(which doesn't make it an insignificant factor in mate selection), but it's the culture that is part of the attraction for me. Take the pushiness and snobbiness and cultural identity away and it wouldn't be the same for me. Another cultural influence shows up in my feelings for some of the hot-bodied black girls I have known. There is one girl, in my program and in the same year as me(so the intellectual gap is basically non-existent), who has got a great petite little body and perky little tits. However, her grooming, though impeccable, is not attractive whatsoever to me. I don't like the hair, mostly. So to sum it up, turn a moderately attractive jewish girl into a WASP, and she's not as attractive, but turn that black girl into a WASP and I'd be all over it in a second. Keeping the body exactly the same.

Of course, you can go to infinite recursion saying I'm genetically programmed to like snobbishness or dislike black hair, but let's keep it real and in bounds here.

Posted by: Grady at February 24, 2003 02:34 PM


Ikram writes,

"I wouldn't dispose of Jewish clanishness so quickly. First : It would make sense (from a layman's perspective) for a persecuted outsider minority to develop a strong in-group preference.
Second: Even with a high intermarriage rate, there is some concept of 'jew' left in the USA. Compare this with German-Americans, who also have a high intermarriage rate but do not retain a sense of separate identity."

Maybe I'm the odd man out here, but what's wrong with "retaining a sense of separate identity," whether it be for Jewish-Americans, German-Americans, or any other Americans?

Ikram: "Part of the refusal of Jewish-americans to fully assimilate may be cultural, ... "

Jews aren't fully assimilated? Growing up in Queens, NYC, I knew almost nothing but Jews -- and they always looked pretty assimilated to me. I don't see how they could get more assimilated without actually changing into some other group -- and even that wouldn't make them more "assimilated," any more than the other group would become more "assimilated" by changing into Jews.

Posted by: Unadorned at February 24, 2003 03:34 PM


How about some discussion about something that's also important? Why (and how) are black men doing so badly here, and according to many, everywhere?

Posted by: Rob at February 24, 2003 05:59 PM


They also used Barbara Ehrenreich's term "professional-managerial" class

Posted by: Rob at February 24, 2003 06:04 PM


How about some discussion about something that's also important? Why (and how) are black men doing so badly here, and according to many, everywhere?


Posted by Rob at February 24, 2003 05:59 PM
----
That's a million dollar question don't you think ?
There might be genetic reasons for the dire situation we (i am one) find ourselves in. But to what degree ? I don't think that's settled. I think historical/cultural circumstances have played a very serious role in our predicament though.

An aside : i read steve sailer's recent article about fostering in west-africa in which he described some parenting patterns. Those patterns are assumed to have been in place almost forever.I've wondered though, just how much of what we think as traditional african culture is truly that. How much of the cultural patterns that we see are the result of the utter dislocation and degenerescence of society caused by the centuries of war,famine, slavery and anarchy that followed the fall of the sahelian states ?
I know this will not be popular in this forum but the impact of widespread, pandemic slavery can't be underestimated. And i''m not really focusing on the number of people who were taken, but more on the climate of complete instability that this must have created everywhere in black africa. Once the coastal states got into the whole slave trading business, they engaged in *constant war* because they had to get more and more merchandise .
Who knows, maybe a lot of the african in the diaspora came from cultures that were already ground up . I hope to learn more about this.
BTW : this is not victimology. The africans themselves had a large hand in creating this mess and i fully understand that.

Posted by: ogunsiron at February 25, 2003 01:25 AM


og, you don't have to be so polite about it. hell-i don't care if some expresses pinko victimological beliefs-so long as they are civil about it (a big if).

slave-trading seems to have been common in africa from the time of the muslim empires onward when west africa truly became part of the world-wide trade-network via the sahara caravans. before that, who knows? it might behoove us to look at societies where slavery has had a smaller impact-perhaps deep into the interior of central africa?

of course, slavery & dislocation are part of the human experience-slavs for instance were a widely traded commodity-al-andalus, muslim spain, had a large community, and they were common-place in the turkish polity....

Posted by: razib at February 25, 2003 03:00 AM


Diana here:

I think Rob is right. The question is: why do black men do so badly in the US?

Is there something about the economic/family system that just doesn't mix well with the black male psychology? Duende? wanna tackle this?

Let's look at what black men excel at. They dominate in sports. They invented jazz, which depends on improvisation to a degree unknown in other forms of music. And they are also terrific at endeavours that require slashing verbal aggression and a certain kind of verbal hustle. They make great politicians and salesmen.

They seem to stink at the routine, the regimented and the get-along-go-along managerial jobs that so dominate the white-collar world.

What can we conclude from this?

Posted by: Diana at February 25, 2003 07:55 AM


Thanks Diana, that's exactly the sort of thinking I was looking for, and I think the country needs. Surely there are educational environments where black boys do fairly well. Somewhere? Sometime?
Maybe since black males are both black and males they have a twofold disadvantage in educational system (higher ed officially discriminates against men, and since most teachers are women who cut their educational teeth on feminist pedagogy, I find it unimaginable that they are biased against girls.)
Do black boys respond better to black women as teachers? White men? are there any studies? Does anyone care?
Since this site consists of race realists, surely we can agree that if blacks or whites, or anyone else responds better to one educational method or another, that might be the best way to teach them. Though blacks may respond better to the teaching methods used for lower IQ whites.
Since blacks are a bit more masculine(at least it seems so to most) wouldn't black boys do best in more masculine environments, like military schools, where they can't manipulate women?
I guess I just think that black women have done such a poor job raising black boys, that something else needs to be tried.

Posted by: Rob at February 25, 2003 08:45 AM


Unadorred, Diana, I think the Jew-thing is becoming a distraction from the main point of my argument about (and against) the tenor of this blog. (And really, I'm not braod-minded enough to pursue it much further). The stupid South Asian thing will also only distract.

Let's put the unassimability, or otherwise, of Jews, and the poor leadership, or otherwise, of Indians, aside for the moment. Let me offer a parable (and, if you heathens have read your new testament, you know that it's not the same as an allegory.)

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at February 25, 2003 10:08 AM