In America black men married to white women account for 70% of all black-and-white marriages. Among married black men in 2010, one in 12 had a white wife.
Things that increase the chances that a black man will marry outside his race (mostly, but not always, to a white woman):
- military service
- university education
- living in a part of the country with few blacks, like New England
The racial and sexual stereotypes in America make it seem like the best possible match: white women are seen as the most beautiful while black men are seen as the most manly.
That picture, though, is more the creation of fear than fact. White men have long feared that black men would take “their” women, given the chance. So much so that they imagine that black men have larger penises – and make sure to keep black men at the bottom of society.
According to OkCupid, an American online dating website with over a half million users, black men have the second worse reply rate to their messages – only Asian Indian men have worse luck.
But for black women with a university degree, the loss of black men with the same or better education to white women is considerable and not imagined.
America is racist enough where such matches are not going to be simply a matter of love and “preferences”. Other things too seem to draw black men to white women:
- stereotypes about white women: black men have the same sort of stereotypes about out-group women that most men do: out-group women become a blank slate onto which men can project their fantasies. The anti-black racism of society strengthens these stereotypes. White women are often seen as:
- Easier to get along with – more easy-going, more accepting, less demanding, less insecure, less pig-headed, less concerned about money, less using, less disagreeable. As some would put it, they are ”easier to control”. Here the Sapphire stereotype works against black women.
- Easier to get into bed – always a virtue with out-group women, never a virtue with in-group ones.
- More willing to please their man – Sounds like more male fantasy projection, though, oddly enough, black men do give white women a better chance of marrying up in terms of money.
- internalized racism - or what some call self-hatred. The “white is right” brainwashing in America leads black men to overvalue white women and undervalue black women. Examples:
- white ideas of beauty - most certainly do affect many black men, whitening their idea of female beauty.
- status symbol – Successful black men do go for white women to a shocking degree. It is not just a media stereotype. Keep in mind, though, that they live in a much whiter world than most blacks.
As far as I can tell, “Easier to get along with” seems to be the main reason given, though internalized racism and whitened ideas of beauty are bound to be a big part of it too.