Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   General Questions (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=3)
-   -   We don't play that half sister crap (blacks and siblings) (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=43546)

Markxxx 10-25-2000 12:32 AM

Every single black (or African Amercian) I have talked to comes up with this same answer.

If there are two siblings and they both have the same mother but two different fathers then they are considered to be brothers or sisters in full (see above example "We don't play that half sister crap, same mama full sister)

BUT

If they two siblings have the same father and two different mothers they are considered half sisters and brothers to each other.

When did this come about. Obviously biologically they are half brothers / sisters but culturally (sp?) they are not considered so

Opus1 10-25-2000 01:07 AM

It probably has to do with who's raising the children. If two half-siblings share the same mother, they are almost certainly being raised in the same home. If it's the same dad, they may know each other barely or not at all. I'm closer to my half-sister that I share with my mom than my two half-sisters that I share with my dad.

Why this peculiar phenomenon among blacks? Most likely the higher rates of out-of-wedlock births and deadbeat fathers which makes half-siblings and matrilineal lineages more common than among whites.

kanicbird 10-25-2000 05:07 AM

A sad commentary on the 'modern' American family.

labdude 10-25-2000 07:49 AM

I know some white people who do this, so it's not just black people.

pldennison 10-25-2000 08:09 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Opus1
Most likely the higher rates of out-of-wedlock births and deadbeat fathers which makes half-siblings and matrilineal lineages more common than among whites.
Do you have any citations that this is in fact the case?

Kent Clark 10-25-2000 08:49 AM

My wife's family (not black, but Asian) flattens out all the distinctions between cousins, and also between step and full siblings (there are no half-siblings in the family.) I think it's just a cultural, extended family thing.

BiblioCat 10-25-2000 09:32 AM

I have heard of this, but never thought it was a cultural or racial thing. I thought it was an older (and archaic) designation (that kids with the same mom but different dads are not "halfs", but kids with the same dad and different moms are "half-siblings").
I think a long time ago, that was the "official" designation.

Just FTR, in my immediate family (white), my hubby and I each had a child when we married, and have one child together, so the 2 older ones are "step-sisters" and their little brother is a "half-brother", but we have never used words other than "sister" and "brother". The girls started it when we got married, saying "Now we're sisters!"

Diceman 10-25-2000 10:19 AM

Quote:

Do you have any citations that this is in fact the case?
It's common knowledge, Phil. Study after study presents this kind of data. IIRC even Jesse Jackson has admitted that the black American family is in a pretty sorry state these days.

douglips 10-25-2000 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by pldennison
Quote:

Originally posted by Opus1
Most likely the higher rates of out-of-wedlock births and deadbeat fathers which makes half-siblings and matrilineal lineages more common than among whites.
Do you have any citations that this is in fact the case?

I submit the following without comment, from the first hit of a google search for 'unwed births racial':
From Children's Advocacy Institute's CALIFORNIA CHILDREN'S BUDGET 2000-01:
Code:

                  All Women      White    African-American  Hispanic
      1970-74      18.0%        11.1%        59.0%          29.6%
      1980-84      29.6%        21.3%        71.2%          36.7%
      1990-94      40.5%        32.4%        79.9%          40.2%

              Table 2-D. U.S. Premarital First Birth Rates53

and the reference for this table is given as:
Quote:

49 . U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Trends in Premarital Childbearing 1930 to 1994 (Current
Population Reports P23-197, Washington, D.C.; October 1999) Table 1, column 3, at 2 (hereinafter "Premarital
Trends, 1930 to 1994
").
...
53 . [i]Premarital Trends, 1930 to 1994, supra note 49[/sup], Table 1 at 2.

douglips 10-25-2000 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by pldennison
Quote:

Originally posted by Opus1
Most likely the higher rates of out-of-wedlock births and deadbeat fathers which makes half-siblings and matrilineal lineages more common than among whites.
Do you have any citations that this is in fact the case?

From the first hit of a google search for 'unwed births racial':
From Children's Advocacy Institute's CALIFORNIA CHILDREN'S BUDGET 2000-01:
Code:

                  All Women      White    African-American  Hispanic
      1970-74      18.0%        11.1%        59.0%          29.6%
      1980-84      29.6%        21.3%        71.2%          36.7%
      1990-94      40.5%        32.4%        79.9%          40.2%

              Table 2-D. U.S. Premarital First Birth Rates53

and the reference for this table is given as:
Quote:

49 . U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Trends in Premarital Childbearing 1930 to 1994 (Current
Population Reports P23-197, Washington, D.C.; October 1999) Table 1, column 3, at 2 (hereinafter "Premarital
Trends, 1930 to 1994
").
...
53 . [i]Premarital Trends, 1930 to 1994, supra note 49[/sup], Table 1 at 2.
In addition:
Quote:

The national data presented above generally applies to California, with major adjustments consisting of
a larger Hispanic and immigrant population (discussed below), and a harsher impact from California's
higher rent and other living costs, discussed above. Recently gathered unwed birth rates for California
indicate the extent and gravity of this critical cause of extreme child poverty:
Code:

                                      1996                1997
                                U.S.    California  U.S.  California
      All Races                  32.4      31.4    32.4      32.8
      White (non-Hispanic)        21.5      22.6    21.5      21.6
      African American            69.8      60.5    69.1      62.3
      Hispanic                    40.7      37.6    40.9      40.5

                TABLE 2-E. Unwed Birth Rates: 1996-199760

The reference is given as
Quote:

58 . See Stephanie Ventura, Robert Anderson, Joyce Martin, Betty Smith, Births and Deaths: Preliminary Data for
1997
, National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 47, No. 4, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National
Center for Health Statistics, October 7, 1998, Table 6 at 15 (hereinafter "Births and Deaths: 1997").
...
60 . Births and Deaths: 1997, supra note 58, Table 6 at 15.
I did not see any reason why there is a racial disparity, I'd suspect that poverty being unevenly distributed has something to do with it.

douglips 10-25-2000 10:36 AM

Sorry about the double post. I meant to hit preview and hit submit apparently. No wonder preview didn't work.

Anyway, I wasn't finished in the first post - please forgive me.

Badtz Maru 10-25-2000 10:47 AM

I've never heard about this before, but I do know that hispanics have some big differences in how they describe relations, but I can't remember the details - just that people who anglos would call cousins are considered aunts or uncles in some cases, or something like that.

pldennison 10-25-2000 11:03 AM

Thank you for the cite, douglips. I assumed that if it was, in fact, "common knowledge," someone could provide one. This is, after all, the Straight Dope, and bad information has been passed on as "common knowledge" more than once, after all.

AWB 10-25-2000 11:14 AM

My family is unique, or at least I've never heard of a similar circumstance.

I (T) am the product of my parents' second marriage (each) as are my youngest two siblings (M & S; sister and brother). My mother's daughter from her first marriage grew up with us; my father's daughter and son from his first marriage grew up with his ex-wife. Now here's the wierd part: my parents' ex-es married each other and had a daughter!

So, I have a half-sister from my mom's first marriage (K), a half-sister and half-brother from my dad's first marriage (L & P), and a "quarter-sister" (A; really no relation at all) from my parents' ex's marriage. My quarter-sister A and I have the same half-siblings, but for slightly different reasons.

This all occurred in the 1950's. The "honorable" thing to do back then was to adopt the children from previous marriages. So my dad adopted my mom's daughter, and her ex adopted my dad oldest children. Presumably, the dads also surrendered their parental rights to their oldest children.

So K is both my half-sister genetically and my real sister legally. On first introduction, I might refer to L & P as half-sister and half-brother, but I'm comfortable enough to call them sister and brother. A, my quarter-sister, I call sister more often than not too.

And now that we all have kids, it's a whole lot easier to call them cousins than to get into the whole half-, whole-, and quarter- business.

And finally, we're white, in opposition to the original topic.

Freyr 10-25-2000 11:57 AM

Markxxx wrote:

When did this come about. Obviously biologically they are half brothers / sisters but culturally (sp?) they are not considered so


What you're describing is known as matrilineal descent; tracing your family line thru the mother.

Here in the States, we consider offspring of a marriage to be equally part of each family of the respective parents. However, in many cultures, especially those outside of the West, descent is often traced on only one line, either the mother's or father's.

In many matrilineal societies, the biological father of the children doesn't even live with the mother or at best is a distance influence on the children. The father-figure in those societies is often filled by the brother of the mother.

Why this appears to be particular to black families, I don't know. Has anyone done a search on blacks and matrilineal descent?

3waygeek 10-25-2000 12:05 PM

Badtz Maru wrote:
Quote:

I do know that hispanics have some big differences in how they describe relations, but I can't remember the details - just that people who anglos would call cousins are considered aunts or uncles in some cases, or something like that.
My brother's wife is Hispanic, and they have a on, to whom I'm an uncle (obviously). However, her nieces and nephews (my nephew's first cousins) also refer to me as their uncle, and to my dad as their grandfather.

Kat 10-25-2000 11:10 PM

[hijack]
Somewhat semi-related question: I've been wondering, what do I call my brother's SO's daughter? I've been using "my brother's girlfriend's daughter", but that's kinda long. And if/when she (the SO) talks him into marriage, is it acceptable to call her my niece?

notamona 02-21-2013 02:35 PM

to douglips
 
Look at the many different colors of black people. Many white slave owners & white men some secretly to this day had/have many children out of wedlock. White folks got more babies out here then a lil bit. My brother for example. Finally got in touch with his white father. His father sent my brother a picture of him and a letter saying that he's married with children and to never contact him again to respect his marriage. Really? At the time my Bro was like 28, now he's a 35 yr old single father of two awesome girls age 15 & 12, a college graduate, and been at the same job fir 21 yrs now. Oh how is father is missing out on a great blended half sibling family. Black families unfortunately are a living prodigy of their white forefathers.

hajario 02-21-2013 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by notamona (Post 16031318)
Look at the many different colors of black people. Many white slave owners & white men some secretly to this day had/have many children out of wedlock. White folks got more babies out here then a lil bit. My brother for example. Finally got in touch with his white father. His father sent my brother a picture of him and a letter saying that he's married with children and to never contact him again to respect his marriage. Really? At the time my Bro was like 28, now he's a 35 yr old single father of two awesome girls age 15 & 12, a college graduate, and been at the same job fir 21 yrs now. Oh how is father is missing out on a great blended half sibling family. Black families unfortunately are a living prodigy of their white forefathers.

This thread was started over twelve years ago. Most of the people who posted to it have moved on long ago.

ETA: Insert hurr dee hurr zombie joke here.

Colibri 02-21-2013 02:49 PM

This thread is probably better suited to IMHO, but since it's so old I'm going to close it. Those interested in continuing this discussion may start a new thread in IMHO.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.