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From Crotch-Grabbing to Demography

Ann Friedman declares that the video for Ciara’s “Like a Boy” contains “the most successful execution of a move I’ll call ‘subversive crotchgrab in menswear’ that I’ve seen in popular music since Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’ video.”

Unfortunately for Ciara, though, a healthy share of the responsibility for the behavior she deplores seems to have deeper structural roots in the high rate of incarceration and low life expectancy of African-American men combined with the persistence of substantial social pressures against inter-racial dating. Note that “nationwide the Census Bureau calculates that among single non-Hispanic whites in their 20’s, there are 120 men for every 100 women. The comparable figures are 153 Hispanic men, 132 Asian men and 92 black men for every 100 single women in their 20’s of the same race or ethnicity.” Insofar as people date intra-racially, that means African-Americans are facing a very different climate from whites, Asians, or Latinos.

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