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Marriage squeeze

A term has arisen to describe the social phenomenon of the so-called "marriage squeeze" for African American females. The "marriage squeeze" refers to the perception that the most "eligible" and "desirable" African American men are marrying non-African American women at a higher rate, leaving African American women who wish to marry African American men with fewer partnering options. According to Newsweek, 43% of African American women between the ages of 30 and 34 have never been married.

Religion and interracial marriage

Historically, many American religions disapproved of interracial marriage. Religious tradition and church attendance are consistent predictors for attitudes towards interracial marriages. Biblical literalists are less likely to support interracial marriage to Asians and Latinos. Whites who attend multiracial congregations or engage in devotional religious practices are more likely to support interracial marriages. Region also moderates the relationship between religion and interracial dating. Children with a religious upbringing in non-Western states, particularly the South, were less likely to have interracially dated than those without religious upbringings. Religious attitudes combined with Christian nationalism increased opposition to intermarriage more than either attribute measured independently.

According to a Baylor University study "people with no religious affiliation were not statistically more likely to be in intermarriages than evangelical or mainline Protestants or people from other religions" with one exception, Catholics. Catholics were twice as likely to be in an interracial marriage than the general population. It is speculated that the reason for this is twofold: the increasing diversity of the Catholic population (which has seen a huge influx of immigrants, Catholicism has sizable to significant number of adherents from many nationalities worldwide) and the fact that Catholics typically base their choice of parish on geography rather than on its ethnic or racial makeup which creates more opportunities for interracial mixing. Jews were also more likely to date interracially than Protestants.

Some religions actively teach against interracial marriages. For example, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recommends against interracial marriages, but does not prohibit it. On the other hand, the Baha’i faith promotes interracial marriage as a prerequisite to achieving world peace.

Even into the twentieth century, marriage between subcultures of Judaism was rare. Eastern European Jews were the most analyzed subgroup due to having the largest presence in the U.S. During 1908-1912, only 2.27% of Jews in New York City were part of an intermarriage. This figure only rose to 3.6% by 1919. Despite enjoying new freedom in America after escaping the oppression of the Old World, some Jews were still hesitant about interfaith marriage. One of the greatest factors that swayed Jews away from intermarriage was a fear of assimilation and loss of identity. Although the beginnings of a melting pot culture appeared to encourage diversity, it was also seen as a threat to the Jewish culture and religion. However there was also fear of persecution due to racial tensions and frequent discrimination.

Not all Jews were hesitant about assimilating into American culture. Some early Jewish authors such as Mary Antin were strong proponents of abandoning their Jewish heritage and encouraged interfaith marriage. It was suggested as a way to make immigration easier and reflect positively on the Jews in a time of prevailing discrimination. They believed that intermarriage was beneficial to both the Jewish community and America as a whole.

While intermarriage was relatively common among ethnic groups like the German and Italians, the practice of endogamy was still the domineering practice among the newer ethnic groups. It has been found that rates in Jewish intermarriage increase from the initial immigrant wave with each subsequent generation.

Immigrants and interracial marriage

Racial endogamy is significantly stronger among recent immigrants. This result holds for all racial groups, with the strongest endogamy found among immigrants of African descent. Gender differences in interracial marriage change significantly when the non-white partner is an immigrant. For instance, female immigrants of Chinese descent are more likely to marry U.S.-born Caucasians than are their male counterparts.

Interracial marriage versus cohabitation

In the United States, rates of interracial cohabitation are significantly higher than those of marriage. Although only 7% of married African American men have European American wives, 12.5% of cohabitating African American men have European American partners. 25% of married Asian American women have European spouses, but 45% of cohabitating Asian American women are with European American men—higher than the percentage cohabiting with Asian men (less than 43%).

Of cohabiting Asian men, slightly over 37% of Asian men have white female partners and over 10% married to white women. These numbers suggest that the prevalence of intimate interracial contact is around double that of what is represented by marriage data.

wikipedia.org

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