How have changes in marriage order and marriage timing affected 1968–1995 trends in United States Black/White intermarriage? Researchers usually follow a one-sex perspective on the effects of timing and marriage order on marital selection, arguing that delayed marriages and remarriages will be more heterogamous than early or first marriages. This paper shows that a one-sex perspective is oversimplified and that assortative marriage with respect to race depends on the interaction of both husband’s and wife’s characteristics. Marriages that match with respect to age or marriage order tend to also match with respect to race. First marriages and remarriages for both partners are more likely to be same-race marriages. Marriages that are intermarriages with respect to marriage order are more likely to also be intermarriages with respect to race. Marriages that are usual age combinations (husband and wife similar in age or husband slightly older) are also usual race combinations (husband and wife same race). Marriages that are unusual age combinations are more likely to be racial intermarriages. This paper also shows that trends in remarriage patterns do not account for the increasing trend in racial intermarriage and that trends in marriage timing have actually slowed increases in racial intermarriage.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 13, 2009
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