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We hear so much about college-educated, money-making sistas being unable to get a man. It’s like black women are more likely to share a latte with First Lady Michelle Obama in the middle of Times Square than they are to catch a decent black man in their own hometown, if you let the stat monkeys tell it.

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But Angela Stanley, a researcher at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, says in the New York Times that challenges black women face in finding a suitable partner are more complex than the numbers suggest. For example, those numbers that say 70 percent of black women don’t marry just do not add up:

A look at recent census data will tell you that the 70 percent we keep hearing about has been misconstrued. According to 2009 data from the Census Bureau, 70.5 percent of black women in the United States had never been married — but those were women between the ages of 25 and 29. Black women marry later, but they do marry. By age 55 and above, those numbers showed, only 13 percent of black women had never been married. In fact, people who have never married in their lifetimes are in the clear minority, regardless of race.

With all the attention on black women, I had assumed that black men must be marrying in droves; otherwise they would be the focus of similar scrutiny. Not the case. Census numbers show that 73.1 percent of black men between the ages of 25 and 29 have never been married. That is actually higher than the numbers associated with black women.

Moreover, Stanley says black women are open to dating outside of their race. But many men are not so open to dating them:

Many black women are open to dating interracially. But that might be more difficult than it appears. A much talked-about report from the popular online dating Web found that black women received fewer responses than any other group, even though they sent the most messages.

They also found that white men and women have a stronger preference than any other group to date and marry within their own race. Similarly, a 2008 study from the University of California, Irvine, found that women of color were more likely to include white men in their dating pools while white men were more likely to exclude black women.

Check out the rest of the story at the New York Times.

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