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The Real Gender Gap: Family Breakdown and Black Males


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February 1, 2018

The Real Gender Gap: Family Breakdown and Black Males

By Antonio R. Chaves

Over 50 years have passed since then Secretary of Labor Daniel Moynihan was raked over the coals for raising awareness on the alarming rise of illegitimacy in black communities. Now that the percentage of single mothers has almost tripled, even leading members of the NAACP regard the breakdown of the family as the single largest barrier to black achievement. Nevertheless, how much of the general public knows the extent of the black gender gap?

According to the Moynihan Report, black females usually outperformed their male counterparts in school and almost always greatly outnumbered black men in white-collar jobs. Data from Maryland’s 2016 PARCC exam concurs with Moynihan’s observations (Fig. 1). Based on these scores the gender gap in blacks is 69%. This far exceeds the 47% difference between black girls and their white counterparts.

Moynihan characterized this as a “matriarchal society” where men were devalued for their inability to provide for the family. He speculated that since men are poorly suited to this “reversal of roles,” some black males react with “aggression… self-hatred, or crime.”         :snip: 

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