An exploratory investigation into the manifest and latent psycho-social sexually implicated motivations of black males toward white females

Date

1973

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

This thesis examines the attitudes of black men toward white women and the relationships of these attitudes to the social structure. The basis for the analysis of these attitudes is a structured questionnaire designed to investigate manifest as well as latent attitudes of black men. The literature in Sociology and Psychology, for the most part, that deals with 'race relations' in the United States is significantly void of attitudinal studies from the perspective of black people. Although there is a void in much of the scholarly literature concerning the interrelations of blacks and whites in this country the topic has been treated in much of the popular literature. There is the assertion in much of the popular literature that sexual attitudes pervade the American Social Structure and can be attributed to many of the institutional discriminatory practices in America. This thesis attempts to investigate those assertions by focusing on the attitudes of one of the major subjects that supposedly contributes to that assertion: The black man. The sociological relevance of this study is that sociologists are interested in all aspects of human interaction, including man's learning, responding and adapting to his environment. This inquiry attempts to look at some of the underlying factors contributing to or altering the adaptation of the black man to the environment in which he lives and affects. The initial hypotheses for examination is as follows: The manifest and latent psycho-social motivations of black men to white women are due to their self-concept and status-role in the American hierarchial stratification system. This is the initial hypotheses seeking to answer the following questions: (1) Does the American social structure directly influence, cause, or create predisposed sexually implicated motivations toward white women in 'almost all black men'? (2) Is there a direct relationship in the status position of the black men in the American stratification system and their sexually implicated motivations toward white women, and does this status directly influence self-concept? (3) Are the manifest and latent sexually implicated motivations of black males toward white females due to a self concept that portrays low male images based on the position of black males in the American social structure? (4) Does the relegation of black males to a lower social status as compared to white males in the U. S. predispose them to react in specific ways toward white women for status gains and recognition? (5) Are the motivations of black males toward white females attempts to 'get back' at the white males for the enslavement of and subsequent discriminating practices against black people? A search of the scholarly literature revealed a definite lack of materials that would enlighten this research, and the propositions in the popular literature prevailed as guidelines for this investigation. Because of the lack of materials, an exploratory approach was utilized. A structured questionnaire was designed using the Likert Scale of Summated Ratings for responses. The questionnaire was presented to 27 black males from various socio-economic backgrounds and diverse ages. The 50 item questionnaire was responded to in toto on all 50 questions. Exclusive of the 50 questions was socio-economic data, including age and marital status. A non-random sampling method was used in acquiring the sample. A disproportionate number of respondents were obtained from Texas Southern University's Law School because I felt I would get a diversity of age and income levels in such a sample. The Likert-type summated scale was itilized because of the variety of responses that this scale allows. Separate and selected questions were translated into measures of central tendency, utilizing frequency distribution charts. Cumulative summations were then applied for each group of questions and related through then* indicants as indicated by the specific hypotheses. Based on the Likert scale of responses, the acceptance and/or rejection of specified hypotheses was determined by measures of central tendency signifying agreement (acceptance) and disagreement (rejection). The data as analyzed supports the conclusions that the initial hypotheses is in part validated in that a high degree of correlation supports the assertion that the status-role of black males in the social structure motivates them toward white females in sexually related ways. However, the data does not support the assertions in the alternative hypotheses that these reasons are for status gains and recognitions, nor are they for any significant low self conception on the part of the black males, but more from a motivation to 'get back' at white males for the dehuminization of black males and their black females during slavery. The data does suggest that black males feel that if they were allowed the opportunity to move up the status hierarchy according to their own ability, they would be less desirous of white females. Even though at this time white females are still considered as 'ideal' women, black males do not to any significant degree measure black females by white standards. Even though the data supports this assertion of the 'ideal' white female there is a significantly high percentage of disagreement over agreement as to marrying a white female. A serendipity pattern in the data indicated that even though there has been significant changes in the social structure, black males are still ambivalent about their attitudes concerning the approaching or non-approaching of white females that could or could not lead to meaningful relationships.

Description

Keywords

African Americans, Interracial relationships

Citation