Racial differences in marriage-market conditions accentuate, but do not explain completely, black-white differences in marriage rates (Lichter et al. 1991; Lloyd and South 1996). The black experience suggests changes that might also appear in the white population, but there is no reason to expect they will be exactly the same. The consequences of a female marriage squeeze cannot be predicted independently of the culture in which it occurs.
For each of the outcomes that have been associated with a marriage squeeze, at the societal or at the interpersonal level, there are many other contributing factors. Thus, a marriage squeeze contributes to declining fertility, but declining fertility also reflects industrialization, medical advances in birth technology, education of women, and the population explosion. A marriage squeeze is an important factor in the continuation of traditional families or in their destabilization, but it is only one of many demographic and social forces in operation.
See also: MATE SELECTION
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JEAN E. VEEVERS