University of Pittsburgh’s New Dean Studies Black Dating Game
Pittsburgh One of the nation’s leading experts on the Black dating scene is now the University of Pittsburgh’s newest academic dean. Dr. Larry Davis, a professor and researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, will head Pitt’s School of Social Work beginning in August. Although he has published research on workplace relations and Black education, Davis is best known for his 1993 book, Black and Single: Meeting and Choosing a Partner Who’s Right for You. The book’s assertion that there aren’t enough Black professional men to date Black professional women struck a nerve outside academia, and newspapers and talk shows often quote Davis. Because of Davis’ research — not only on the dating scene, but also on other aspects of race, gender and class — his appointment to dean is an important advancement for the University of Pittsburgh. Davis said he’s glad that this serious problem is getting attention because nothing has changed since his book was published nearly a decade ago. “I’d rather have one study that made a difference than a hundred studies that were just, so what — nothing ever happens,” Davis says. “You have this impressive vita but no one ever benefits by it.” Davis, 55, said the troubles Black professionals face when dating has serious implications for Black families. Because of higher infant mortality and homicide rates among Black men, there are eight single Black men for every 10 single Black women. When one considers other factors, such as unemployment, incarceration and education statistics, there are only five Black men for every 10 Black women, Davis’ research shows. In addition, about twice as many Black women go to college as Black men, Davis says. “It has real implications for dating. It has real implications, as a consequence of that, for the family structure,” Davis says.
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