Averil Clarke: “On Love and Inequality… Gendered Meanings of Romance Deprivation”

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 by Ferentz Lafargue Tagged: , , ,

Courtesy of Yale University

Please join Milano-GPIA in welcoming Averil Clarke from Yale University to deliver the next Brown Bag Seminar.  Clarke’s presentation is guaranteed to be a brilliant, informative, and provocative.

Speaker:     Averil Clarke, Assistant Professor, Yale University

When:        Wednesday April 28th, 12:10 – 1:30 pm

Where:      The New School: Room 510 at 66 west 12th street (between 5th and 6th avenues)

Title:     “On Love and Inequality: The Racial Causes, Class Consequences, and Gendered Meanings of Romance Deprivation”

Averil Clarke’s study compares the romantic, sexual, and reproductive experiences of college-educated black women to those of less educated black women and white and Hispanic women with college degrees.  Using quantitative data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NCHS 1995) and qualitative data from interviews with 58 college educated black women of reproductive age, it finds that African American women, when compared with women of other races, are deprived in romantic love.

Furthermore, this context of romantic deprivation undergirds and potentially explains social group differences in sexual and reproductive behavior in ways that challenge traditional inequality scholars  claims about the educational and financial cost-benefit analyses women make when deciding to postpone, forego, or begin childbearing.  In specific, the study s conclusions maintain that racial inequalities in marriage and black women s overall romantic deprivation lead to lower levels of coitus and contraceptive use and increased unplanned pregnancy and induced abortion.  The study s findings support the broader theoretical argument that deprivations, desires, and activities in love arena are more than causes or consequences of women s educational and productive sector outcomes.  Rather, they can themselves be constitutive of social inequality.

Brief Bio:
Averil Y. Clarke (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2002) is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Yale University. There she does research and teaches courses in race and ethnicity and marriage and the family. She is completing a book manuscript entitled, Child Sacrifice: The Social Infertility of College-Educated Black Women. The book describes the findings from her study of why these women have fewer children than less educated blacks and than white and Hispanic women with a college education. It uses data from interviews with black women and analyses of national data comparing the sexual and reproductive behavior of black, white, and Hispanic women to argue that college educated black women have few opportunities to marry and that they resist nonmarital childbearing because of a cultural meaning system that interprets and negatively evaluates black women s sexuality and the reproductive activity of poor women. Clarke is also beginning a new research project exploring the AIDS/HIV risk and preventative behaviors of religious individuals as well as religious organizations  beliefs, programming, and education activities in the areas of sexuality and sexual health.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: