African American College Educated Women's Perceptions Of Marriage

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Sociology and Anthropology


Master of Arts

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The current study focuses on African American college educated women's perception of marriage, the importance they place on certain mate selection characteristics, and their decision to marry. For the purpose of this study, college educated women are undergraduate female students who have earned at least 90 college credits. A survey was distributed to 300 African American female students who attend the University (a Historically Black College/University on the east coast of the United States). Their perceptions of marriage were significantly different (p<.05). Among four mate selection characteristics, gender roles after marriage was ranked extremely important most often (n=281), followed by religiosity (n=263), financial security (n=219), and physical attractiveness (n=165). More than half (57%) of the women in this study reported that they would accept a hypothetical marriage proposal. There was a significantly weak relationship found between the importance of religion and the likelihood of accepting a hypothetical marriage proposal (crv=.159, p<.05,). The relationship between the likelihood of accepting the hypothetical marriage proposal and financial security (crv=.144 p>.05), gender roles after marriage (crv=.148 p>.05), and physical attraction (crv=.108 p>.05) was not significant. The relationship between the likelihood of accepting a hypothetical marriage proposal and the respondents' primary parenting agent and parental marital status was also explored.