Racial/Ethnic Hierarchies in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Mate Markets

Kara Joyner , Bowling Green State University
Kelly Balistreri, Bowling Green State University
Grace Kao, Yale University

We use recent data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to provide a comprehensive picture of racial/ethnic hierarchies in mate markets by focusing on two general outcomes pertaining to coresidential unions (i.e., cohabiting unions and marriages). First, we assess the extent to which whites are partnered with blacks, Hispanics, and Asians versus whites in same-sex male, same-sex female, and different-sex unions. Alternatively, we consider the extent to which blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are partnered with whites versus someone of the same-race in these different union types. Second, we examine the age gap between partners within different union types, contrasting unions that involve two whites with those involving a white and a black, Hispanic, or Asian partner. We assume that unions involving large age gaps, with the white partner being older than the minority partner, signal an exchange of youth for race/ethnicity.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity