Sex Ratios, Single Motherhood, and Gendered Structural Relations: Examining Female-Headed Families Across Racial-Ethnic Populations

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cindy Brooks Dollar, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Sex ratio research often ignores how structural inequalities influence sex ratio effects. Employing decomposition analysis and using standardized U.S. Census tract data from 1970 to 2000, this research investigates how adult sex ratio effects predict the proportion of single parenting women among White, Black, and Hispanic/Latino populations, examining both main and conditional effects of sex ratios on female-headed families. Analyses reveal that main sex ratio effects consistently predict the proportion of single mothers across all racial-ethnic groups, but the conditional effect of gender-distributed labor force participation differentially influences sex ratio effects across race-ethnicities. Specifically, relative labor force participation consistently weakens the sex ratio effects on female headship among Whites. However, the relative female employment alters sex ratio effects among Blacks only when examining the same area over time, and it does not alter sex ratio effects among Hispanic/Latino populations. Findings underscore the importance of understanding family as a sociopolitical phenomenon.

Additional Information

Sociological Focus, 50(4), 375-390
Language: English
Date: 2017
Motherhood, Sex ratios, Gender, Structural relations, Structural inequities, Race, Ethnicity

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