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African-Americans, most of whose ancestors were brought to North America as slaves before the 20th century, dropped from second to third place, from 12.1% to 12.3%. Their ancestors emigrated from such places as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, as well as other Central and South American nations. Substantial populations of Japanese and Chinese immigrants have been in the U. The size of the various nonwhite minority groups has been increasing in the last 30 years, both in terms of real numbers and as a percentage of the total U. Fifty-two million American married couples are paralleled by 2.8 million unmarried households and close to 8 million single-parent families.

Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the U. The last decade of the 20th century marked a major shift in the ethnic balance of the U. Between 19, white Americans whose ancestors came from Europe dropped from 80.1% to 75.1%. Another group experiencing rapid growth in recent decades is Asian-Americans; there are now more than three million residents of Asian heritage. Finally, there are smaller groups of immigrants from virtually every nation, with growing numbers of Muslims in recent decades. Infant-mortality rates and life-expectancy rates vary widely, depending on socioeconomic status and residence in urban, suburban, or rural settings.

D., Health and Physical Education Department, Fashion Institute of Technology of the State University of New York, 27th Street and 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA; 212-217-4240; [email protected] The unique feature of sexuality in the United States is that we have far more information and data on American sexual attitudes, values, and behaviors than is available for any other country. Stories about Clintons sexual experiences with a number of women routinely surfaced throughout his presidential term.


Four major trends for the future have been detailed in There is also great diversity in religious affiliation in the United States (Marciano 1987; see Section 2A). Hispanics moved from third place at 9.0% in 1990 to second place in 2002 at 12.5% (see Section 2B, Religious, Ethnic, and Gender Factors Affecting Sexuality, Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Perspectives, U. Hispanics represent the fastest-growing minority group in the U. There are also more than two million Native Americans Eskimos, Aleuts, and those mistakenly at one time called Indianswhose ancestors have occupied North America for thousands of years, and whose residence within the boundaries of what is now the U. In summarizing aspects of sexuality in America, it is helpful to keep in mind that the United States of the 21st century will look profoundly different from the nation described in this chapter.


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