Study: spousal homicides in interracial marriages eight times more frequent than in racially homogeneous marriages

Last week, in an entry about a white woman and Fortune 100 employee in Atlanta who married a black man and was shot to death by him two weeks later, I asked, “Has anyone ever done a study of the mortality rate of white women who become involved with / marry black men?”

In response, a reader has sent a pdf of a paper, “Fatal Violence among Spouses in the United States, 1976-85,” by James A. Mercy and Linda E. Saltzman.

This is from the abstract:

In this paper we examine patterns and trends in homicides between marriage partners in the United States for 1976 through 1985 using data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplemental Homicide Reports (FBI-SHR). We identified 16,595 spouse homicides accounting for 8.8 per cent of all homicides reported to the FBI-SHR during this 10-year period…. The risk of victimization was greater for spouses in interracial than in intraracial marriages …

Here is an excerpt from the paper:

Of spouse homicides occurring from 1979 to 1981, 96.3 per cent occurred in intraracial marriages. Spouse homicides in marriages where the husband was Black and the wife was White constituted 1.4 per cent of the total … Spouse homicide incidence rates were 7.7 times higher in interracial marriages relative to intraracial marriages. [Italics added.] The patterns in this risk varied by race and sex. White husbands, White wives, and Black wives were at greater risk of being killed by a spouse in an interracial than an intraracial marriage, whereas Black husbands were at less risk (Table 3).

The above figures are from a three-year period 30 years ago. Are they generally representative? We need more data.

- end of initial entry -

James W. writes:

Those rates are essentially identical to the general black murder rate of eight times the national average, so the black spouse is only carting them along into the marriage.

LA replies:

That occurred to me too, but I don’t think it’s correct, because the study said that homicide rates were much higher in interracial marriages. It didn’t say that black men murder their black wives at 7.7 times the general spousal homicide rate, which would be the case if the black spousal murder rate were simply a function of the high black homicide rate which is eight times higher than the white homicide rate.

However, given that the black homicide rate is eight times higher than the white homicide rate, wouldn’t it follow that the black on black spousal homicide rate would be eight times higher than the general spousal homicide rate? So the picture is not clear yet.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 08, 2010 09:01 AM | Send

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