- Gender and Relationships
Predictors of Divorce Among Educated Black Women
Don't Marry Down!
I was looking at a study today entitled Divorce Among Educated Black Women from the Journal of the National Medical Association back in March 1975, and even back then the Black community was affected by high rates of divorce. At the very start of the article it mentions that Black women are getting divorced today in larger numbers than ever before. The statistics from 1975 were an unheeded warning of what is currently going on today. Even back in 1975, there was a trend that started to emerge upon Black couples. That's when was the effects of the disproportionate education rate, or rather the graduation rate of black females surpassing black males. A lot of people would say that's a good thing black woman being educated, that it’s good for the community, that's good for the children, that higher education of Black women is good for society as a whole, but all data is proving otherwise. What they knew back in 1975, and even studies prior to 1975 show marriage rate are declining as a direct result of Black female professionals marrying “down” to guys who were not on their education level. One interesting part of the study was that there was a profile of traits that increased the risk of divorce.
The first trait that was mentioned in the article or the study was that among Black women most likely to divorce their average weight was 129 pounds. Now this may likely be the most revealing of all the traits mentioned. The reason being is that 129 pounds is actually on the petite side, this is on the small size of most Black women. Even back in 1975, Black women have been on the slightly to very overweight and obese category. In 1975, the study showed that the women who are getting divorced are not the obese women, these are not the plus size women that are getting divorced. You have to wonder what does that say who was actually initiating these divorces. Is it the man that's initiating the divorce, or is it the woman that's initiating the divorce? Are men divorcing women who are seen by society as unattractive or are women getting divorced because they are attractive in society’s eyes?
The next trait that was mentioned in the article talks about the increased risk of divorce when an education disparity between the husband and the wife. Not just any disparity, but a disparity of the Black wife having more education than the Black husband. The 1975 study found that the education of the Black woman was more likely to result in divorce when she married someone with equal or less education than herself. When black women were marrying college educated men when they have less education they were more likely to stay married. When the Black woman has more education than the man the relationship, the marriage was more likely to end in divorce.
Another important trait that was mentioned was the relationship between the marriage status of the wife’s parents and risk of divorce. When the wife's parents were divorced or not married at all there was a greater likelihood that the black female with divorce. In 2016, 70% of black children are given birth to by unwed mothers. What effect will 7 out of 10 Black children being born out of wedlock do the the Black marriages in 2016 and beyond?
For a full text of the National Medical Association Article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2609440/pdf/jnma00480-0042.pdf