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Soul Mates Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage among African Americans and Latinos

ISBN: 9780195394221 | 0195394224
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Pub. Date: 2/10/2015

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Drawing on broad national surveys and detailed interviews, W. Bradford Wilcox and Nicholas Wolfinger illuminate the largely positive influence that churches have on relationships and marriage among African Americans and Latinos.

Soul Mates shines a much needed spotlight on strong and happy minority couples. The authors reveal that both married and unmarried minority couples who attend church together are much more likely to enjoy happy relationships and to get and stay married, in comparison to similar couples who do not regularly attend church. In particular, they describe how churches serving these communities promote a ''code of decency'' encompassing hard work, temperance, and personal responsibility, as well as an ethic based on the Golden Rule, all of which strengthens minority relationships. But this book also shows that religion is no silver bullet when it comes to addressing the challenges facing African Americans and Latinos. Infidelity, domestic violence, and divorce-among other things-can be found among the ranks of black and Latino churchgoers. Religious faith and religious participation offer no guarantees of a happy family life. Indeed, this book provides the first systematic evidence that religiosity does not substantially affect the likelihood that African Americans and Latinos will engage in sex before marriage or have a child out of wedlock. The authors offer compelling evidence as to why this is the case, focusing on the unique economic and cultural challenges facing African Americans and Latinos in twenty-first century America.

Soul Mates offers a wealth of critical insight into the effect of religion on black and Latino relationships. It is also in invaluable source of concrete strategies for pastoral leaders in these communities.

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