Mate Availability, Family Formation, and Family Structure Among Black Americans in Nonmetropolitan Louisiana 1970-19801 Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract This paper assesses the effects of the community sex ratio on black family formation and family structure in nonmetropolitan parishes in Louisiana. As predicted, the sex ratio is found to have strong positive effects on marriage prevalence for black women, the prevalence of husband and wife families for black families, and the percentage of black children residing in husband and wife families and strong negative effects on the nonmarital fertility ratio for black women. Thus, we conclude that the sex ratio hypothesis should be given greater prominence in discussions of changes in black family structure and that sex ratio effects should be taken into account when framing policies aimed at ameliorating social problems attendant to high relative incidence of nonmarital births and singleparent, femaleheaded families with young children (e.g., poverty). We also note that, while the literature overwhelmingly concentrates on black family structure in urban areas, changes in the black family are equally pronounced in nonmetropolitan areas suggesting that explanations emphasizing the dynamics of urban ghettos may be too narrow. 1990 Rural Sociological Society

published proceedings

  • Rural Sociology

author list (cited authors)

  • Fossett, M. A., & Kiecolt, K. J.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Fossett, Mark A||Kiecolt, K Jill

publication date

  • February 2010