In such instances, the interviewer often relied on non-verbal cues and other observations of the manner in which the respondent answered the question. Societal social definitions of Black men seemed to influence both male and female sense of self and purpose. Very few studies of relationships include the opinions and voices of men, particularly Black men. We felt that a qualitative inquiry could provide a richer understanding of these issues elucidated by Black men than had been obtained using survey measurements in quantitative studies. Women reported that pregnancy was more of a reality and a concern in their daily lives.
From this perspective, obtaining the opinions of married men is particularly important since men traditionally initiate marriage proposals. I knew the woman I was talking to probably never would have been having this conversation with a white person. The women described broken relationships that were characterized by lack of communication, trust, and respect. I hate any kind of exclusive or discriminatory thinking when it comes to race and sex, even when it works in my favor. Furthermore, many of the women recounted stories that pointed to the internalization of these stereotypes by the Black men they were dating. Much of the research in this area has employed quantitative methodology with larger samples, and has focused on the influential role of education, employment, intermarriage, and nonmarital childbearing on marital behavior. We focused on the opinions of these men for three reasons. Given the marginal roles relegated to Black men within their families and the history of strained gender relations that may be attributable to harsh slavery conditions, communication challenges and confusion about gender roles between Black men and women developed Franklin, ; Hatchett, ; Pinderhughes, Three overarching themes arose from the data that provide important contextual information regarding the impact of male mate availability on increased HIV risk among Black female young adults: Particularly among men, as incomes rise and jobs become more secure, the probability of marriage increases Gibson-Davis et al. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore reasons that Black women are disproportionately single; we explore those reasons using the perspectives of 52 married Black men. Men are driven primarily by physical attraction when choosing a partner, while with women, other factors can play just as vital a role. Trust only lasts a couple months or years, but a relationship? You poked a hole in that sucker condom. Among Black men, scholars have noted a decline in well-paying jobs, and consequentially, a rise in unemployment and underemployment Browning, ; Marks et al. Despite considerable attention to macro-level influences that impact Black unions, only a fraction of the variations in relationship patterns can be attributed to structural factors such as employment, education, sex ratio, and incarceration Cherlin, ; Wilson, Interventions at both the micro and macro level are needed to aim to repair the broken relationships at the individual, familial and community level in the African American community. In addition, the spirit of independence and a sense of personal rights among Black women, which developed out of the necessity for coping with persistent inequality, may strain couple relationships between Black men and Black women Hill, ; Johnson, Can I just tell you something? Except where noted, responses were essentially unanimous concerning data themes outlined below. For example, the men reported feeling ill-prepared for relationships; they spoke about receiving inadequate relationship training from their mothers. 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: In the spirit of member-checking, the two interviewers who gathered the data were asked to validate themes the authors identified in the data. 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. Most men discussed concern about the lack of marriage socialization among women. All participants quoted below have been given pseudonyms to protect their identities. Sample A brief survey was administered to the participants to collect demographic information.
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