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A man is a male human. The term man is usually reserved for an adult male, with the term boy being the usual term for a male child or adolescent.
However, the term man is also sometimes used to identify a male human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as " men's basketball ". The male fetus produces larger amounts of androgens and smaller amounts of estrogens than a female fetus. This difference in the relative amounts of these sex steroids is largely responsible for the physiological differences that distinguish men from women.
During puberty, hormones which stimulate androgen production result in the development of secondary sexual characteristics , thus exhibiting greater differences between the sexes. However, there are exceptions to the above for some transgender and intersex men. The Old English form had a default meaning of "adult male" which was the exclusive meaning of wer , though it could also signify a person of unspecified gender.
The closely related Old English pronoun man was used just as it is in Modern German to designate "one" e. According to Tacitus , the mythological progenitor of the Germanic tribes was called Mannus. The term manhood is used to describe the period in a human male's life after he has transitioned from boyhood , having passed through puberty , usually having attained male secondary sexual characteristics , and symbolises a male's coming of age.
The word man is used to mean any adult male. In English-speaking countries, many other words can also be used to mean an adult male such as guy , dude , buddy , bloke , fellow , chap and sometimes boy or lad. The term manhood is associated with masculinity and virility , which refer to male qualities and male gender roles. Humans exhibit sexual dimorphism in many characteristics, many of which have no direct link to reproductive ability, although most of these characteristics do have a role in sexual attraction.
Most expressions of sexual dimorphism in humans are found in height, weight, and body structure, though there are always examples that do not follow the overall pattern. For example, men tend to be taller than women, but there are many people of both sexes who are in the mid-height range for the species. Some examples of male secondary sexual characteristics in humans, those acquired as boys become men or even later in life, are:.
In mankind, the sex of an individual is generally determined at the time of fertilization by the genetic material carried in the sperm cell. If a sperm cell carrying an X chromosome fertilizes the egg , the offspring will typically be female XX ; if a sperm cell carrying a Y chromosome fertilizes the egg, the offspring will typically be male XY.
Persons whose anatomy or chromosomal makeup differ from this pattern are referred to as intersex. This is referred to as the XY sex-determination system and is typical of most mammals, but quite a few other sex-determination systems exist, including some that are non-genetic. The term primary sexual characteristics denotes the kind of gamete the gonad produces: The term secondary sexual characteristics denotes all other sexual distinctions that play indirect roles in uniting sperm and eggs.
Secondary sexual characteristics include everything from the specialized male and female features of the genital tract, to the brilliant plumage of male birds or facial hair of humans, to behavioral features such as courtship.
Biological factors are not sufficient determinants of whether a person considers themselves a man or is considered a man. Intersex individuals, who have physical or genetic features considered to be mixed or atypical for one sex or the other, may use other criteria in making a clear determination.
There are also transgender and transsexual men, who were assigned as female at birth, but identify as men; there are varying social, legal and individual definitions with regard to these issues. The male sex organs are part of the reproductive system, consisting of the penis , testicles , vas deferens , and the prostate gland. The male reproductive system's function is to produce semen which carries sperm and thus genetic information that can unite with an egg within a woman. Since sperm that enters a woman's uterus and then fallopian tubes goes on to fertilize an egg which develops into a fetus or child, the male reproductive system plays no necessary role during the gestation.
The concept of fatherhood and family exists in human societies. The study of male reproduction and associated organs is called andrology. In mammals, the hormones that influence sexual differentiation and development are androgens mainly testosterone , which stimulate later development of the ovary. In the sexually undifferentiated embryo , testosterone stimulates the development of the Wolffian ducts , the penis, and closure of the labioscrotal folds into the scrotum.
In general, men suffer from many of the same illnesses as women. In comparison to women, men suffer from slightly more illnesses. For males during puberty, testosterone, along with gonadotropins released by the pituitary gland , stimulates spermatogenesis , along with the full sexual distinction of a human male from a human female, while women are acted upon by estrogens and progesterone to produce their sexual differences from the human male.
Masculinity has its roots in genetics see gender. Sometimes gender scholars will use the phrase " hegemonic masculinity" to distinguish the most dominant form of masculinity from other variants. In the mid-twentieth century United States, for example, John Wayne might embody one form of masculinity, while Albert Einstein might be seen as masculine, but not in the same "hegemonic" fashion. Anthropology has shown that masculinity itself has social status , just like wealth, race and social class.
In western culture , for example, greater masculinity usually brings greater social status. Many English words such as virtue and virile from the Indo-European root vir meaning man reflect this. Masculinity is associated more commonly with adult men than with boys. A great deal is now known about the development of masculine characteristics. The process of sexual differentiation specific to the reproductive system of Homo sapiens produces a female by default. The SRY gene on the Y chromosome , however, interferes with the default process, causing a chain of events that, all things being equal, leads to testes formation, androgen production, and a range of both pre-natal and post-natal hormonal effects covered by the terms masculinization or virilization.
Because masculinization redirects biological processes from the default female route, it is more precisely called defeminization. There is an extensive debate about how children develop gender identities. In many cultures displaying characteristics not typical to one's gender may become a social problem for the individual. Among men, the exhibition of feminine behavior may be considered a sign of homosexuality, while the same is for a woman who exhibits masculine behavior.
Within sociology such labeling and conditioning is known as gender assumptions and is a part of socialization to better match a culture's mores. The corresponding social condemnation of excessive masculinity may be expressed in terms such as " machismo " or " testosterone poisoning. The relative importance of the roles of socialization and genetics in the development of masculinity continues to be debated. While social conditioning obviously plays a role, it can also be observed that certain aspects of the masculine identity exist in almost all human cultures.
The historical development of gender role is addressed by such fields as behavioral genetics , evolutionary psychology , human ecology and sociobiology. All human cultures seem to encourage the development of gender roles, through literature, costume and song. Some examples of this might include the epics of Homer , the King Arthur tales in English, the normative commentaries of Confucius or biographical studies of Muhammad.
More specialized treatments of masculinity may be found in works such as the Bhagavad Gita or bushido 's Hagakure. Well into prehistoric culture, men are believed to have assumed a variety of social and cultural roles which are likely similar across many groups of humans.
In hunter-gatherer societies, men were often if not exclusively responsible for all large game killed, the capture and raising of most or all domesticated animals, the building of permanent shelters, the defense of villages, and other tasks where the male physique and strong spatial-cognition were most useful.
Throughout history, the roles of men have changed greatly. As societies have moved away from agriculture as a primary source of jobs, the emphasis on male physical ability has waned. Traditional gender roles for working men typically involved jobs emphasizing moderate to hard manual labor see Blue-collar worker , often with no hope for increase in wage or position.
For poorer men among the working classes, the need to support their families, especially during periods of industrial change and economic decline, forced them to stay in dangerous jobs working long arduous hours, often without retirement. Many industrialized countries have seen a shift to jobs which are less physically demanding, with a general reduction in the percentage of manual labor needed in the work force see White-collar worker.
The male goal in these circumstances is often of pursuing a quality education and securing a dependable, often office-environment, source of income. The Men's Movement is in part a struggle for the recognition of equality of opportunity with women, and for equal rights irrespective of gender, even if special relations and conditions are willingly incurred under the form of partnership involved in marriage. The difficulties of obtaining this recognition are due to the habits and customs recent history has produced.
Through a combination of economic changes and the efforts of the feminist movement in recent decades, men in some societies now compete with women for jobs that traditionally excluded women.
Some larger corporations have instituted tracking systems to try to ensure that jobs are filled based on merit and not just on traditional gender selection. Assumptions and expectations based on sex roles both benefit and harm men in Western society as they do women, but in different ways in the workplace as well as on the topics of education, violence, health care, politics, and fatherhood - to name a few. Research has identified anti-male sexism in some areas which can result in what appear to be unfair advantages given to women.
The Parsons model was used to contrast and illustrate extreme positions on gender roles. Model A describes total separation of male and female roles, while Model B describes the complete dissolution of barriers between gender roles.
However, these extreme positions are rarely found in reality; actual behavior of individuals is usually somewhere between these poles. The most common 'model' followed in real life in the United States and Great Britain is the 'model of double burden'. Some positions and titles are reserved for men only.
Also the priesthood is exclusively male in the Catholic Church and also some other religious traditions. Men are often given priority for the position of monarch King in the case of a man of a country, as it usually passes to the eldest male child upon succession. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about adult human males. For humans in general, see Human.
For other uses, see Man disambiguation. For other uses, see Manhood disambiguation and Men disambiguation. Men's movement Mythopoetic men's movement Men's liberation movement Men's rights movement Fathers' rights movement Egalitarianism Intactivism. Topics Sex differences in humans Human male sexuality Gender equality Misandry Hegemonic masculinity. Gender studies Men's studies.
Genital mutilation Forced circumcision. Prison rape Male rape False accusation of rape. Homophobia Gay bashing Transphobia. Reproductive Rights Paternal rights and abortion No-fault divorce. Index of masculism topics Category: Airline sex discrimination policy controversy Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them! Secondary sexual characteristics and Sex differences in humans.
Trans man and Intersexuality. Male reproductive system human. The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject./p>
Topics Sex differences in humans Human male sexuality Gender equality Misandry Hegemonic masculinity. Gender studies Men's studies. Genital mutilation Forced circumcision.
Prison rape Male rape False accusation of rape. Homophobia Gay bashing Transphobia. Reproductive Rights Paternal rights and abortion No-fault divorce. Index of masculism topics Category: Airline sex discrimination policy controversy Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them! Sir Walter Raleigh and his son, A young boy from Dar es Salaam. Two El Salvador boys playing. Masculinism portal Human Rights portal. Muhammad and the People of the Book.
Harvard Law and Policy Review. Review and Herald Publishing Association. Retrieved May 5, Warren Farrell Robert Bly. Airline sex discrimination policy controversy Alimony Androcentrism Androcracy Antifeminism Arranged marriage Body shape Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!
History Household Nuclear family Extended family Conjugal family Immediate family Matrifocal family Blended family Dysfunctional family Polyfidelitous families Skipped generation families. Parent father mother Child son daughter Sibling brother sister. Grandparent Grandchild Aunt Uncle Niece and nephew. Great-grandparent Great-grandchild Grandnephew and grandniece Cousin. Spouse wife husband Parents-in-law Siblings-in-law Son-in-law Daughter-in-law.
Stepfather Stepmother Stepchild Stepsibling. Agape parental love Eros marital love Filial piety Storge familial love. Wedding anniversary Sociology of the family Museum of Motherhood. Development of the human body. Development Embryo Fetus Gestational age. Minor Age of majority. Retrieved from " https: Childhood Men Terms for males.
Part of a series on. Movements Men's movement Mythopoetic men's movement Men's liberation movement Men's rights movement Fathers' rights movement Egalitarianism Intactivism. By country Men's rights India. Lists and categories Index of masculism topics Category: See also Airline sex discrimination policy controversy Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Boys. Fitness is health, movement, motivation, determination, and beauty. A minute, second plank and completion of a hundred inch box jumps in 10 minutes Power song: Jennifer Aniston Working out with your woman: If you've got the right woman like I do, it's a phenomenal idea. While I believe most guys would say squats, the vast majority of woman can do them. I, on the other hand, find something very sexy about a woman who can perform correct bodyweight pull-ups.
I'm not too macho to move with the gals in Zumba class. Fitness is the greatest addiction there is. I want to make it as fun and as enjoyable as I can for my clients. We party during my workouts; it's the most fun while getting your butt kicked at the same time. Taking up a machine or gym space by texting and not actually working out Proudest fitness accomplishment: Anytime any of my clients hit their weight-loss goals from pushing themselves and giving me percent.
Flirtation expert Celebrity crush: Halle Berry Exercise women look sexiest doing: A perfect squat is the sexiest. Zumba Favorite chick flick: Working out should be 50 percent uncomfortable, 50 percent fun. Training with me will leave you sore, but it hurts so good.
Played Division 1 soccer and tennis Hidden talent: No one can beat me at Monopoly. In-N-Out Burger Celebrity crush: Eva Mendes Working out with your woman: Remember, a good workout at the gym leads to a good workout at home.
Stretching Favorite quality in a woman: Throughout my life, people have depended on my fitness abilities. In my school years, I played team sports. My teammates relied on me to catch the ball, protect the receiver, and to stay in shape during off-season.
After high school, I joined the United States Navy. During my service, it was my job to protect my country and my military brothers. Now I am a firefighter. Your life could one day depend on my physical ability to save you, so I take my fitness seriously.
Fitness isn't all about you. Just because you have been in a few bar fights doesn't mean you are tough. Through my years of martial arts experience, I have learned to never underestimate the small, homely-looking kid.
Surviving Hell Week Sweat: My wife is an elite athlete, and most of our first dates consisted of meeting her at the gym to train. Depends on the woman. Bad idea—she kicks my butt every time! Martial Arts Xtreme To learn more: Fitness is about balance between body, mind, and spirit. Be respectful to the other members. I achieved my International Federation of Bodybuilding pro card as an all-natural athlete i.
Voice impressions Celebrity crush: Scarlett Johansson Working out with your woman: Not a good idea, but great idea. It's a turn-on to be with your woman when she's pumping out those sets. Ambition Favorite chick flick: Nutrition is 60 percent of the battle to having a great body; once you are on a consistent nutritional diet, then you will be able to see results a lot faster.
Train hard and eat smart. Don't occupy a machine while using your phone. Get up and do work! There is not one single proud moment that I have, because every day I am working harder and harder to accomplish more.
At the end of the day, the goal is always to surpass myself in due time. Doing cartoon character voices Favorite post-workout snack: Chicken Caesar salad Exercise women look sexiest doing: Jogging Favorite quality in a woman: Dedication, and of course, curves Favorite chick flick: The Vow Relationship status: Cudjoe Fitness To learn more: The dumbbell and the diet don't get you in shape—your accountability to your word and belief in yourself do. Walk your talk, and the rest will follow.
Helping change lives and save lives on my season of The Biggest Loser Hidden talent: Poetry Favorite post-workout snack: Most people are doing this type of training completely wrong and don't know the science or the research behind it. Good idea if you make it more about quality time as a couple. Bad idea if she kicks your ass on the training floor in front of everyone.
There's something about seeing a girl who can do an unassisted bodyweight pull-up. Brett Hoebel To learn more: It brings down the energy of everyone around you and will get you absolutely nowhere doing it. We all think it's tough—that's the point. So quit blabbing, and start trying. The day I finished the Florida Ironman. There really are no words to describe the way you feel crossing the finish line.
Everything comes together in that one moment, and then you hear the announcer say, "Chris Marhefka, you are an Ironman," and you're overcome with emotion and happiness. Dog whisperer Most overhyped fitness craze: Zumba Working out with your woman: Working out with your girlfriend can be a great idea. It shows that you both take pride in being healthy. However, I don't think it should be an everyday thing. The gym is my escape when I want to zone out and not think about anything other than my workout, girlfriend included.
I love a girl with a great sense of humor. At the end of the day, having someone who can make you laugh is so important. I also like when girls don't take themselves too seriously. You need to able to relax and make fun of yourself every once in a while. In a relationship Twitter: In the absence of a challenge, there is comfort. In the presence of comfort, there is no change. People whose sole purpose at the gym is to socialize Proudest fitness accomplishment: Finishing the L.
Great Forrest Gump impersonation Celebrity crush: Olivia Wilde Working out with your woman: Yoga Favorite chick flick: Fools Rush In Relationship status: Le Mond Fitness Systems. It is imperative to continuously challenge the body and mind in order to avoid that dreaded weight-loss plateau.
I constantly change the tempo, timing, sequencing, and angles of movements so that the workout never gets predictable. I want my students to look and feel amazing, but my real goal is to help everyone I train realize their true potential. I believe that exercise is the most fundamental way of expressing your true self and taking ownership of who you really are.
Bullies and mean people who try to intimidate others. I hate gyms that are all about ego and attitude. Teaching women and men to take power back by owning their greatest gift—their bodies. When I see my clients change as a result of my teachings, I could not ask for anything better.
Ballet Favorite post-workout snack: Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Most overhyped fitness craze: Bar Method Relationship status: S tudio MDR To learn more: Only with challenge, comes change. Accomplished concert tubist and exceptional whistler Favorite post-workout snack: Muscle Milk in a bowl with Honey Bunches of Oats and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Good idea, because couples that train together stay together, but bad idea, because if she looks too good, I might get distracted.
Intellect Favorite chick flick: My favorite documentary is a true love story, "The 25,Mile Love Story. Taylor To learn more: Trainers' Favorite Post-Workout Snacks. If you don't leave challenged, body depleted, mentally and physically drained; then it's not working.
Go hard every time! Complainers Proudest fitness accomplishment: Opening up my own gym in June Power song: Music production Favorite post-workout snack: Jessica Alba Favorite quality in a woman: Chet Fortune To learn more: If you always put percent into everything you do, you will get percent out of it. When you train, you do not need fancy equipment to get to where you want to be; your body is the machine. You can achieve anything through the positive thinking of you and the ones you surround yourself with.
Ice-cold steeped hazelnut coffee mixed with chocolate whey protein Working out with your woman: But sometimes it can be a sensitive subject with some couples because one significant other is typically pushing the other one, and it can cause a dictator persona when in reality they are just trying to help. I absolutely love it when I see a woman doing bent-over dumbbell rows.
You have every muscle tight from arms, back, core, and glutes. I really enjoy P. Gerard Butler is the man! Adam Lassus To learn more: If you focus on only one area in fitness, then you will be neglecting the others, which will affect your overall health.
There is no one diet, one type of workout, or one formula that works for everyone. Find what you enjoy and what works for you, not what people tell you works and not what the latest fitness fad is. Helping one client lose 50 pounds and quit smoking Power song: I can touch my nose with my tongue. Most overhyped fitness craze: Bikram yoga Celebrity crush: Anna Faris Favorite quality in a woman: Brazilian Butt Lift Favorite chick flick: Going the Distance Relationship status: Ethan Marine To learn more: You want the results, got to put in the work and grind it out.
Hard work pays off. When people are done working out and don't put away the weight or equipment that they used, that really grinds my gears. My proudest is recovering from knee surgery faster than the doctors, physical therapists, and family members thought I would, and in time to compete at the biggest Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament, the IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Jessica Alba and Keira Knightley. There is a simple equation to fitness: Competing for the first time with my father at the Long Island Championships Power song: E-Z Rock Favorite post-workout snack: Mila Kunis Working out with your woman: It gives you something fun you can do with your girl.
Straight-leg deadslifts Relationship status: In a relationship Facebook: Have goals and make small, realistic adjustments that will help you accomplish them. Make more goals and don't be afraid to fail. Even if you come up short, you made an effort to achieve something great for yourself and have improved in the process. Remember that there is no competition.
You are where you are; now focus on being the better version of you! I loathe those people who find it okay to walk directly between two people who are in the middle of a workout, especially when there are clear and open paths around them.
First was when I was named co-captain of my college football team. To be elected leader by peers who respect your work ethic and drive is completely humbling. The second was becoming a Chicago Golden Gloves Boxing Champion after only a year of experience in the sport. I'm a pretty good salsa dancer! When done properly, a woman doing squats will make my top lip quiver and make me shed a single tear. If she can shake your hand, look you in the eye, smile, and give you all the reason to make you remember her, she is halfway home.
It just so happens that those who are most confident are the ones who care most about their health and well-being. It will humble any gentleman who doesn't take it regularly. Fitness is a never-ending battle; you'll never beat it. Dickson noted that women are encouraged to pursue education, secure employment, and be self-reliant in communities where there is a shortage of marriageable men, as in the Black community. Black women have traditionally worked in the labor force to help sustain their families, but over time, they have become even more independent and less likely to marry solely for financial support Hill, ; Jones, ; Taylor et al.
Available Black females outnumber Black males as a result of mortality, morbidity, and imprisonment among Black males and increased longevity for Black females Lane et al. The availability of mates in the marriage market affects the likelihood of marital formation and longevity Hopkins-Williams, Despite considerable attention to macro-level influences that impact Black unions, only a fraction of the variations in relationship patterns can be attributed to structural factors such as employment, education, sex ratio, and incarceration Cherlin, ; Wilson, We review these two relationship dynamics next.
Research suggests that slavery in the U. Enslaved Black men were customarily removed from their families and communities, and thus, their function in family life was often more biological than social or financial Boyd-Franklin, ; Franklin, ; Staples, Slavery conditions may have significantly undermined the formation of permanent unions and the leadership roles of Black men in their families Pinderhughes, Given the marginal roles relegated to Black men within their families and the history of strained gender relations that may be attributable to harsh slavery conditions, communication challenges and confusion about gender roles between Black men and women developed Franklin, ; Hatchett, ; Pinderhughes, This confusion in the gender roles between Black men and women can be traced to fluidity in gender roles between the two genders; gender roles were flexible out of economic necessity.
Relational challenges, negative orientations and attitudes, and difficult interactional styles between Black men and Black women were passed on to younger generations through socialization Boyd-Franklin, ; Browning, ; Johnson, Franklin offers an illustration of how conflicting sex roles may operate: In addition, the spirit of independence and a sense of personal rights among Black women, which developed out of the necessity for coping with persistent inequality, may strain couple relationships between Black men and Black women Hill, ; Johnson, In addition to gender relations, another micro-level factor to consider relates to interpersonal trust, which we address next.
Having considered macro-level and micro-level factors that impact Black relationships, we now turn our attention to the rationale for this study. Few investigations of relationships have adopted a within-group analysis approach and focused exclusively on Black men. There are gaps in the literature on Black men, particularly with regard to type of samples and kind of methodologies employed.
Much of the research in this area has employed quantitative methodology with larger samples, and has focused on the influential role of education, employment, intermarriage, and nonmarital childbearing on marital behavior.
Several qualitative studies have been conducted but have primarily used samples of women or couples e. No study of which we are aware has sought the perspective of married Black men to better understand why a disproportionate number of Black women are single. Although Black women may offer the best insight on these experiences, we interviewed Black men to capture their unique perspectives on the issues.
Therefore, we believe that the results of this study add to the literature. We felt that a qualitative inquiry could provide a richer understanding of these issues elucidated by Black men than had been obtained using survey measurements in quantitative studies. The purpose of ProSAAM was to examine the role of prayer and skill-based intervention in strengthening African American marital relationships.
The sample was recruited from metropolitan Atlanta and northeast Georgia through referrals and advertisements at churches, community centers, radio shows, print media, and local businesses frequented by Black couples and families for more details, visit http: Of the couples who participated in ProSAAM, husbands had completed their three-year follow-up assessment by December 1, , marking their completion of the larger ProSAAM study and were thus eligible for participation in the present study called Pathways to Marriage.
Fifty-two men consented to participate. The men were enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. A brief survey was administered to the participants to collect demographic information. The mean age for the study participants was 43 range 27— All men reported their race as Black; one man identified himself as a Cuban American while all the others self-identified as African American.
Black was used to describe the race of the sample in order to include ethnicities such as Cuban American and African American. All of the men were married. Most men fathered two biological children range 0 —7. Most men reported living in a home with two children range 0 — 3. This sample of Black men recalled being romantically involved including dating and marriage with their wives for 16 years on average range 3 — 41 years; one participant gave no response.
Seventy-three percent of the men had not been married previously. The average length of their current marriage was 14 years range 2 — The 52 men were interviewed in their homes or another setting of their choice e. The interviews were semi-structured, and were the primary method of data collection. Each interviewee was assured anonymity and strict confidentiality of the data collected.
Two married Black male interviewers conducted the interviews between January and April The men were asked about the meaning of marriage, marital socialization, their motivations for marrying and staying married, factors that helped to encourage and sustain marriage, barriers to or challenges in staying married, commitment attitudes, and their participation in ProSAAM Hurt, For these analyses, we examined the advice men provided regarding the disproportionate number of Black women who are single.
The two interviewers digitally recorded each interview, and the recordings were electronically submitted to a transcriber. Undergraduate research interns listened to the digital recordings and read the transcripts simultaneously to verify complete transcription since the transcriber was not a member of the research team Carlson, The interview transcripts were used for the data analyses.
The two interviewers underwent extensive training with the first author, learning interviewing techniques and the ethical collection and handling of interview data. The interviewers also listened to eligibility requirements for the men's participation. The men must have been 1 married, 2 self-identified their ethnicity as African American or been married to an African American spouse, 3 took part in ProSAAM, and 4 completed their 3-year follow-up interview.
The first author also reviewed study goals, the interview protocol, and the background for each question with the interviewers. When the interviewers sensed that the men could say more about their experiences and offer a more detailed account of their perspectives or experiences during the interviews, they frequently encouraged the interviewee to talk more specifically about the issue.
In such instances, the interviewer often relied on non-verbal cues and other observations of the manner in which the respondent answered the question. The interviewers were trained to ask questions in an open-ended way so that the participants would share their opinions and experiences more fully. The interviewers followed a consistent line of questioning and only probed where necessary. This style of interviewing permitted a more holistic understanding of what the participants thought and felt about the issue under study.
Nonetheless, in light of the more individualized nature of qualitative inquiry and the semi-structured method of interviewing, the interviewers adapted their line of questioning with the men, re-articulating questions or phrasing them differently to ensure the participants understood what was being asked.
Communication between the first author and the interviewers was maintained throughout the 4-month data collection process. The interviewers met semi-monthly in person with the research team and communicated weekly with the first author about their progress in the field. Through in-person meetings, emails, phone conversations, and documented reflections on the digital recorders, the interviewers reported important themes and impressions from their field observations.
The research team regularly checked the interview recordings to make certain that the interviewers were following the interview protocol in their lines of inquiry and were practicing effective interviewing techniques.
During the analysis phase, the authors shared the following demographic characteristics: This group included four Black women and one White woman. The team of authors analyzed the interview data in a collaborative way. Over a period of 18 months, the authors met for data retreats every 2 to 3 months in person.
The authors analyzed interview data that had been collected, transcribed, and archived. Next, data selection and condensation were carried out. Each author recorded her own self-reflections and interpretations in exploring the data for themes. In the spirit of member-checking, the two interviewers who gathered the data were asked to validate themes the authors identified in the data.
The interviewers were contacted via e-mail and asked to review a manuscript draft in which the results were detailed. Previous work has highlighted that member checking is best conducted when a finished product can be reviewed and interpretations are offered for themes and patterns Carlson, The interviewers reflected on the meetings they had with the husbands and agreed with the themes.
The 52 Black men cited various factors for the disproportionate occurrence of unmarried Black women; these factors were grouped into four themes: All participants quoted below have been given pseudonyms to protect their identities. Within each theme, the number of men who offered responses is detailed.
In some cases, participants provided more than one reason for the disproportionality in singlehood among Black women. As such, the number of responses may not necessarily equal the number of men expressed as percentage or sample size within each theme. Lastly, most perspectives shared by the men are included in the results; we only omitted two responses. Collectively, the authors regarded these two responses as outliers, and not reflective of primary themes in the data.
The husbands noted that many women are misguided in their approaches to attracting and keeping a mate. The men also discussed the negative effects of incarceration on relationships. Further, the respondents underscored how the strong independent nature among some Black women challenges relationship formation and maintenance. The men also described how a decline in labor market opportunities impacts relationships. These factors are discussed in detail next.
On the subject of setting standards too high or being a high maintenance woman, Steve also noted,. Victor, a year old who had been married for 5 years, agreed: They [are] not looking at their character; they [do not] care about looking at what they [are] made of [on] the inside. A lot of Black women, they run their mates off nagging. You got a lot of single women—no fathers and kids.
The reason they got no mates is cause they probably ran them off, yakking and wanting this and wanting that. Stop all that complaining and fussing and fighting and arguing. Other men observed controlling behavior among women.
For example, Kelvin, married for 22 years and 44 years of age, recommended this:. A second factor cited in the gender relations category is the impact of incarceration on relationship maintenance and formation. We present the data on this next. Forty-nine percent of the participants cited the effects of male incarceration on the availability of marriageable Black males.
Nolan, a year-old preacher who had been married for 24 years, drew on his experiences in prison ministry:. Drugs, stealing, most Black men trying to make a quick dollar to provide for their family and they just make mistakes doing that. Incarceration of men was viewed as a reason for the higher proportion of singlehood among Black women.
We now address a third factor cited in the gender relations category concerning the strong, independent stance that diminishes the likelihood of Black women partnering with a man. The men also described a lack of knowledge among Black women about how to share the responsibility for managing a household with a mate, having spent years without a partner or a model.
Lionel, 34 years old and married for 13 years, said,. They are some really peculiar creatures. You got women today, not only Black and women of color, but all women who are able to take care of, not only themselves, but a man and children. The men believed that this strong sense of independence is especially acute among some women who are economically self-sufficient. I would say otherwise. There was [a time when] the men [knew] how to be the man.
Allen, married for 5 years and 52 years of age, believes that the pattern of women not depending on men in the Black community was set in motion during the time of slavery:.
Now personally, I think that [it] started years ago when back in the day, you know… when the woman was the head of the household…she did all the work because the men were taken away or whatever. And the Black women are more advanced, so much that why would I depend on a man who wants to live this kind of lifestyle when I can get out and be something myself?
The strong independent stance of some Black women was regarded as a consideration. And for the women, we are not treating them like the queens that they are. Forty-three-year-old James, married for 15 years, agreed that many young Black men are missing male role models:. We promote doing things but not really coming together for the long haul. The husbands pointed to the influence of men not meeting their responsibilities to their families and their communities as a reason for the higher number of Black women not being married.
The respondents also identified interpersonal trust—as well as the lack of trust—between Black men and women; we discuss this fifth factor next. Harold, a 54 year old married for 30 years, said,. Isaiah, 53 years old and married for 19 years, described learning about relationships from others as well and internalizing difficult experiences as well. And to move on and say I can do this by myself.
Because maybe they seen their mother do it…. While interpersonal trust issues are a concern, so is the decline in labor market opportunities and the availability of marriageable men to partner with Black women.
Five men described the employment challenges that Black men face. It used to be that a man went out and made the bread and brought it home. He went out, he killed a hog or a deer or what not, brought it home. Two other men agreed that Black women have outpaced Black men in the workforce. In addition to a decline in labor market opportunities, the men discussed the role of marriage education and socialization.
More than one third of the men interviewed claimed that marriage as an institution is not being valued for its benefits, including the chance to journey through life with a partner and have someone to grow old with.
Moreover, as year-old Gene, who had been married for 19 years, pointed out, marriage training in families is not always positive:. Marriage… [There] is not a good class to teach you how to be a good husband or wife. The most you get you either going to get it from a friend, or a mother or father.
Most of them do not know how to be one [a good husband or wife]. A common theme expressed were the changes in marriage socialization in contemporary society, in which the relationship development of both men and women has been deeply affected.
Most men discussed concern about the lack of marriage socialization among women. For example, the men reported feeling ill-prepared for relationships; they spoke about receiving inadequate relationship training from their mothers.
Instead, their training entailed observing male-female relationships on the streets.
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