Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Interracial Divorce. A New Study.

Hat tip to Andrew over on his blog "Mr. Laurelton Queens" for pointing out a new study entitled "Broken Boundaries or Broken Marriages?". Andrew references Evia's discussion of this study and her rather comical attempt at discrediting it. It is that attempt that I am going to discuss and how it relates to a certain habit exhibited by her and her fellow IR bloggers along with discussing some key points of the study.

Basically, the recent study by Vincent Kang Fu and Nicholas H. Wolfinger, both of the University of Utah, contradicts a previous study posted in a journal from the National Council on Family Relations by concluding that interracial marriages between black women and white men are more prone divorce than all other marriages involving white men. Evia's reaction to this is as followed:

Anyway back to the study sent to my private emailbox. Another red light
about the linked-to study above was that the women in the study married in
the 1980s and 1990s, were in their upper teens (TEENAGERS!) and early 20s and
typically only had high school diplomas and "some" college.


The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) research that I
posted first in October 2009 studied couples who were more educated
and more mature in age. Those black women were women like us. The study
referred to the similar education level with their white husbands and the
vetting that went into selecting each other. This is a far cry from the way the
very young select their mates.

The typical bw-ir candidate these days is NOT a teenager and not
even in her early 20s.
The type of bw who I aim my blog at or who
reads my blog is not the type of bw in the study who is a married teenager
or early 20-something with a low education level. LOL! The typical bw who
reads my blog is a college grad and many have 2nd degrees and/or are the
graduates of professional schools, i.e. law, medicine, or have professional
licenses, i.e. cpa, pharmacy.

I would EXPECT for American women who marry when they're teens or early
twenties with high school diplomas or "some" college to not be able to meet the
challenges of marriage. So I'm not surprised if those relationships had a high
failure rate. Successful marriages are helped tremendously
by maturity. So those research findings did NOT contradict what
I've said here. I would venture to guess that those women also had lower
incomes, fewer options of all types, lower social exposure,
lower social standing, etc. than many bw who read my blog or are interested in
dating and marrying out these days.

Now here is the problem. The "NCFR research" is actually research by Bratter and King that was posted in an NCFR journal. Fu and Wolfinger reference the Bratter and King study and compares it to their own study. Fu and Wolfinger note that they themselves "use data from the 1995 and 2002 waves of the National Survey of Family Growth to investigate divorce differentials between endogamous and intermarried couples". Likewise, they note where Bratter and King acquired their date for their research. Can any guess where they acquired their date from? FROM THE 2002 NATIONAL SURVEY OF FAMILY GROWTH.

In other words, all of those surveyed in the "NCFR research" were surveyed in Fu and Wolfinger's research. The difference is that Fu and Wolfinger's research likewise included the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. This is noted on page 22 of the paper:

"Bratter and King (2008) use the 2002 NSFG, half of the data that we use".

So the question is where did Evia get the idea that the study that she likes had more mature, better educated and more financially able women being surveyed? All of the women from the study she likes participated in the study she doesn't like and the study she doesn't like additionally includes women from a version of the very same survey done seven year earlier. So where did Evia get this notion from? Quite simply, SHE MADE IT UP. She does something that she and the rest of her IR/black female empowerment cohorts routinely do. They simply imagine up things and present them as facts and damn anyone who asks them to provide evidence.

Now the interesting part of study is that it aims to show whether the generally higher rate of divorce for interracial marriages is due to intermarriage in and of itself or more so due to the acquisition of spouses with high divorce propensities. The research explains that black marriages have high divorce rates and the research leans toward the reasoning being that both black men and women have high divorce propensities. Basically, black people in general bring personal characteristics to marriage that increase the likelihood of divorce. The hypothesis is that if divorce rates for intermarried couples reflect a predicted mix of the divorce rates for the two constituient origin groups, then the divorce rate is not due to marriages being interracial. This is the finding of the research with regard to black/white marriages. Marriages between whites and blacks dissolve at higher rates than endogamous white marriages because the intermarriage contains a black spouse and not because they are intermarriages.

With regard to women, the research shows that Hispanic women have the lowest divorce propensity, followed by white women and then black women, who have the highest divorce propensity. Whether married to white or black men, black women have a high likelihood for divorce. Black men also have a high divorce propensity as well as Hispanic men, yet Hispanic marriages have the lowest rate of divorce of all marriages. Seems that Hispanic women's low divorce propensity is able to overshadow the high divorce propensity of Hispanic men.

Fu and Wolfinger also show the inadequacy of Bratter and King's research along with others. They state that:

These studies and others share a conventional approach for assessing the
effect of intermarriage on divorce: they directly compare the divorce rates of
interracial and same-race couples, ascertaining, for example, whether divorce
rates of Black wife/White husband couples differ from those of Black/Black and
White/White couples.

THIS APPROACH IS INADEQUATE because it does not uniquely identify the
effect of racial intermarriage on divorce. In the above example, Black
wife/White husband couples differ from endogamous White couples in two respects:
(I) the presence of a Black wife and (ii) the crossing of a racial
boundary. Either could be responsible for the higher divorce rate.
In order to uniquely identify the effect of intermarriage, a statistical model
must control for first-order racial differences in divorce propensities.
Only then can the effect of crossing a racial boundary be identified.