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We find that most African Americans and Latinos will marry at some point in their lives, most of them are married or in a live-in relationship when they have children, and most black and Latino couples are happy and faithful. Taken together, these findings suggest that black and Latino family life is in better shape than some critics have suggested.
In many ways the broad contours of white and Latino family life are similar. This raises the question of what scholars have called the Hispanic paradox: the fact that Latinos are healthier than one Mexican men love black women expect, given their economic status in American society. Our book suggests that this paradox extends to family life. Latinos are about as likely to marry, stay married, and enjoy a happy relationship as are whites in the United States.
The median age at first marriage is 25 for Latinas and white women, but 31 for African American women. Likewise, only 35 percent of Latinos divorce within the first ten years of marriage, compared to 39 percent of whites and 52 percent of African Americans. The paradox resides in the fact that Latinos generally have less education and income than do whites.
And they have about the same levels of education and income as do African Americans, who marry less often and later, and divorce more often. We are not entirely sure if personal factors, such as individual ambition associated with migration, or cultural factors like Latino familism—things our data analysis does not completely capture— for this Hispanic paradox. But it is worth noting that foreign-born Latinos are especially likely to get married and stay married, which suggests that either they bring a strong family orientation Mexican men love black women the land of their birth, or they enjoy distinctive personal qualities as immigrants that somehow strengthen their family lives or some combination of both.
Soul Mates also explores some of the structural and cultural sources of family fragility among African Americans. Mexican men love black women nonmarital childbearing, single parenthood, and divorce rates are comparatively high, and their marriage quality and rates are comparatively low. Today 52 percent of African American children live with a single parent, compared to 27 percent of Latino children and 19 percent of white children.
Black family fragility is in some ways surprising. Religion is generally a force for family harmony, and African Americans attend church more often than anyone. This led us to wonder if religion plays a different role for African American families than it does for Americans more generally.
Evidence does not suggest that religion works against black family strength. Indeed, for African Americans, as for other Americans, it appears to be a largely positive force in family life. So what does for the relative fragility of African American families? When it comes to nonmarital childbearing and divorce, we are able to identify some structural factors, such as income and education, and some cultural factors, such as attitudes and sexual behavior, that for a substantial share of the racial divide.
For other outcomes, such as marriage rates and relationship quality, we are not able to explain the divide with the data available to us. Like other scholars, we do not fully know what makes black family life distinctive in these ways. Still, our findings and our reading of the literature point to four key factors that contribute to racial differences in American family life. This has undercut the economic foundations of black family life.
Third, cultural factors, such as greater acceptance of single motherhood, play a role. Finally, ill-conceived public policies—such as drug laws that have had a disparate impact upon blacks, or means-tested programs that penalize marriage among lower-income couples—have tragically injured black family life. The consequences have been especially grievous for black men, as evidenced by low employment and high rates of incarceration and infidelity.
Between and38 percent of black men aged 18—60 were not employed full-time, compared to 24 percent of Latino men and 26 percent Mexican men love black women white men. This trend has left black men less marriageable, a key development in the relatively high level of family fragility among African Americans.
All of these dynamics have operated in concert to take a serious toll on black families. Although academia continues to debate the relative importance that discrimination, poverty, public policy, and culture play in ing for black family fragility, no one can dispute the fact that single parenthood and family instability coupled with lower relationship quality pose challenges to African American men, women, and children.
For Latinos, family life is comparatively strong in many respects. But when it comes to nonmarital childbearing, Latinos are vulnerable. Today more than 50 percent of Latino children are born out of wedlock, well above the 29 percent figure for whites.
Our data analysis shows that socioeconomic factors for a substantial portion of the Latino—white divide in nonmarital childbearing. Cultural factors also appear to play a role. Latinas are also less likely to have had an abortion than are their black or white peers. These distinctive beliefs and behaviors increase the odds of nonmarital childbearing among Latinos; indeed, cultural factors measured in Soul Mates for a large proportion of the Latino—white divide in nonmarital childbearing.
Another way to put it is this: Latinos are more likely to welcome children both inside and outside of marriage. Despite facing severe economic headwinds, an enduring legacy of discrimination and xenophobia, and perhaps the challenges of adapting to a new Mexican men love black women, most African Americans and Latinos marry, enjoy happy relationships, and abide by a code of decency that increases the odds of enjoying a good family life.
These triumphs are often facilitated by religious faith, which serves as an important source of personal, familial, and communal strength for many Latinos and, especially, many African Americans. Latinos and African Americans are more likely to regularly attend church than are whites, and faith is more salient for blacks than it is for whites or Latinos.
Seventy percent of African Americans aged 18 to 55 consider themselves moderately or very religious, compared to 61 percent of Latinos and 52 percent of whites. When it Mexican men love black women to attending church, 36 percent of African Americans aged 18 to 55 go regularly several times a month or morecompared to 29 percent of Latinos and 24 percent of whites. And regular churchgoing is associated with numerous benefits for both blacks and Latinos: employment, relationship quality, temperance, and law-abiding behavior.
After controlling for a range of socio-demographic factors, church attendance produces an 8-percentage-point reduction in idleness being out of work and school for black men, a 9-point reduction for Latino men, and a 6-point reduction for white men. Statistics like these underscore our contention that religion is a force for decent behavior, and thus happier and more stable families, among all kinds of Americans. Nicholas H. Interested in learning more about the work of the Institute for Family Studies? Please feel free to by using your preferred method detailed below.
For media inquiries, contact Michael Toscano michael ifstudies. We encourage members of the media interested in learning more about the people and projects behind the work of the Institute for Family Studies to get started by perusing our "Media Kit" materials. Thanks for your interest in supporting the work of The Institute for Family Studies. Please mail support checks to the address below:.
The Institute for Family Studies P. Box Charlottesville, VA If you would like to donate online, please click the button below to be taken to our donation form:. IFS on Patreon. The Institute for Family Studies is a c 3 organization. Your donation will be tax-deductible. WolfingerNickWolfinger. Highlights Print Post. Related Posts. The Ideal Husband? MarriageWomenMen. Does Religion Ease the Burden of Poverty? PovertyReligion.
Family LifePolitics. A Table for One by Jeremy S. Family Life. MarriageMarriage and Relationship Education. First Name. Last Name. Address. Institute for Family Studies P. Box Charlottesville, VA michael ifstudies. Contact Interested in learning more about the work of the Institute for Family Studies?
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