Young African-American Men and Women: Separate Paths?

By Stockard, Russell L., Jr.; Tucker, M. Belinda | National Urban League. The State of Black America, January 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Young African-American Men and Women: Separate Paths?


Stockard, Russell L., Jr., Tucker, M. Belinda, National Urban League. The State of Black America


Increasingly, the paths of African-American men and women appear to be diverging. When examining social indicators for the race as a whole over the last thirty years, significant progress is evident in areas such as educational attainment, entry into high-status professions, middle-class status, and life expectancy. Yet, when viewed separately by sex, there are glaring differences between the apparent trajectory for males and females in a number of domains, including population size, schooling, income, occupation, marital behavior, living arrangements, criminal justice involvement and risk for HIV/AIDS. The differential experience of black women and men relative to some of these topics has received enormous attention in the media. Recall the oft-cited statistic that one of every three black men in his 20s is either incarcerated, on parole, or on probation (Mauer and Huling, 1995). A finding as dramatic as this one is highly suggestive of differences in other areas, including those that portend greater vulnerability to imprisonment (i.e., dropping out of high school) and those that result from being incarcerated, such as declines in future job prospects and health. Given the brevity of this report, we cannot report here on every area of interest, but we have selected those deemed critical by most observers. Also, this report focuses on young adults rather than the experience of children.

Although some results from the 2000 Census have been released, information broken down simultaneously by sex, race, and age is still largely unavailable. Therefore, the data presented and discussed in this chapter come largely from independent sources and the March 2000 Current Population Survey (CPS) which is an annual survey of a representative sample of the U.S. population conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPS is not as accurate as data from the 2000 Census (which attempts to assess the entire national population), but is generally viewed as a good estimate of the areas of interest.

Sex Ratio

According to the March 2000 CPS, there are just over 5 million black males ages 15 through 34 in the U.S. and nearly 5.7 million black females. The corresponding figures for the young adult population-ages 18 through 34-are 4 million and 4.8 million. The black sex ratio (i.e., the number of males for every 100 females) is therefore 89 for the age group 15-34 and 83 for those ages 18-34. This translates into a young adult population that is 46 percent male and 54 percent female. [It should be noted that these figures do overstate the disparity between the number of males and females, since young males are more likely to be missed in Census enumerations. Even with statistical "corrections" for the undercount, however, the overall black sex ratio has been low for the last fifty years. see Tucker and Mitchell-Kernan (1995) for a review.] Some social scientists have suggested that when the sex ratio for a group falls even slightly below 100, it can have dramatic social consequences, including a devaluing of marriage, more divorce and separation and more singleparent families (Guttentag and Secord, 1983). Though evidence that declining sex ratios have caused the changes in family patterns that are characteristic of African Americans today is equivocal, some studies do show the shortage of males to be linked to marriage and childbearing behavior (Tucker and Mitchell-Kernan, 1995).

As important as the consequences of sex ratio imbalance is its cause. Differences in the total number of males compared to females are the result of higher male mortality across the entire life span (including the prenatal period) as well as an increasing invisibility of black men. Nationwide, Black men are making up an increasing proportion of the homeless population (as discussed below). These men are often missed in Census surveys. Finally, there are differences in the relative availability of men and women due to the differences in degrees of institutionalization (especially incarceration) of black men and women.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Young African-American Men and Women: Separate Paths?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.