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One of the issues that affect most couples today is the inability of their male partners to be free and open enough to share out their challenges, disappointments, or failures in life, an action which often affect their intimacy. Physical and emotional closeness that intimate partners share in a relationship is referred to as intimacy. In this broad sense, intimacy in a relationship can take many forms, such as emotional intimacy, cognitive intimacy, sexual intimacy, and spiritual intimacy. The sharing of feelings between partners defines emotional intimacy through self-disclosure. In contrast, sexual intimacy is defined by the physical exchange of one’s body in various forms, such as physical contact and sexual activities (de Boise & Hea, 2017). Cognitive intimacy is defined by partners exchanging thoughts and opinions, while spiritual intimacy is defined by partners exchanging thoughts and feelings about morality, existentialism, and faith. For this analysis, intimacy is characterized as a person’s degree of closeness with a partner and includes at least one of four aspects: spiritual, sexual, cognitive, and emotional.

Literature Review

External factors such as media sources, family and friends, societal norms, and personal factors such as behaviors, values and beliefs influence our perceptions of intimacy. According to the lenses of social learning theory, which notes that people learn by watching others, an accumulation of the factors mentioned above influences how black men research, model, and experience intimacy in their relationships.

Family Systems

According to a study conducted by Montes (2013), black emerging adult men receive the majority of their sex and relationship education from older family members such as grandfathers, husbands, relatives, uncles, and brothers. The interactions of these young adults with their elder family members affected their views on sex and relationships. The researchers have found that having emotionally unsupportive parents or a hostile family atmosphere during adolescence affects relationship behaviors later in adulthood. Witnessing their fathers engaging in unethical actions such as domestic violence has affected black men’s views on sex, relationships, and respect for women and serving as role models for them to engage in sexually licentious behaviors (Montes, 2013). Men whose families offered a supportive environment and set a good example of a healthy relationship, on the other hand, grew up with good values on loving and treating their intimate partners, according to the researchers.

White and Peretz (2010) found a sense of distrust between women and black men in a study of black family dynamics, which hampered black men’s ability to express emotions in intimate relationships. Most black Diaspora cultures had few examples of well-established and functioning family relationships that could be used to teach and influence emerging black adults’ attitudes toward sex, women, and relationships. Many black men and women’s failure to grow up in well-established and functional relationship models produced mistrust between them, preventing the growth and ability to maintain emotional intimacy within intimate relationships among black men.

Relationship scripts

Several studies have shown that Black women and men have different understandings of relationship scripts and how these scripts influence their desire for intimacy. In their survey, Reeser and Gottzén (2018) claim that black couples’ intimate relationship scripts have been controlled by overconsumption of black sexual content. As a result, three intimate relationship scripts have emerged among black men and women: 1) Women are in charge of expressing feelings in relationships; 2) Men are in charge of relationships; and 3) Infidelity is natural (Reeser & Gottzén, 2018). These scripts, especially those that depict women as being responsible for expressing emotions, reflect the disparity in emotional intimacy between black and white people. While the Black women in this study desired more emotionally intimate relationships from their male counterparts, they said they had trouble overcoming the widely accepted intimate relationship script that emphasized their need to exhibit emotional intimacy compared to black men. As a result, women can use sex to trade for emotional intimacy from their partners to experience some degree of emotional intimacy from men.

White and Peretz (2010) also found a conflictual Black men’s relationship script in which emotional intimacy was the primary target and physical intimacy was the secondary goal of their dating activities, according to a report. Men argued that establishing sexual intimacy too soon might obstruct their ability to build emotional intimacy with their partners. As a result, to reconcile their conflicting desires for sexual and emotional intimacy in their dating, men turned to casual partners for sexual intimacy and formal partners for emotional intimacy (White & Peretz, 2010).

Media influences

De Boise (2016) discovered that media had a greater effect on personal relationships than family or parental influences for 80% of the college students in his sample population. The media has a big influence on how young people express, develop, and investigate their identities. Furthermore, media messages, stereotypes, and anti-black narratives profoundly influence how black people connect and interact (De Boise, 2016). Despite attempts by television shows such as Blackish and The Cosby Show to present black relationships in a more positive light, the author argues that hip-hop culture has undermined the stability of black relationships through negative perceptions and images.

Hip hop music isn’t what it used to be two decades ago. Hip hop has strayed from its original purpose of communicating black people’s social, political, and cultural issues, according to De Boise (2016), and is now being used to encourage sex, violence, and drugs. Today’s hip-hop artists make music with a lot of explicit material to promote socially unacceptable behaviors in society, such as sex among teenagers (De Boise, 2016). According to the author, most hip-hop music includes lyrics that glorify black men’s sexual superiority over women and sexual objectification of women, further entrenching gender differences.

Given the circumstances, the media portrays Blacks as hypersexual creatures who cannot identify, enjoy, or appreciate intimacy. As a result, physical, spiritual, or mental intimacy is rarely depicted in Black partners in films or television shows (Wallace, 2007). According to our understanding of intimacy, the media presents Black couples as exclusively engaged in sex and sexual intimacy. Noncommittal sex, on the other hand, does not exclude a person from experiencing the other three aspects of intimacy listed above.

According to De Boise (2016), black relationships are conferred from a dearth-focused perspective, in which Black people are not seen as worthy of possessing the necessary resources to maintain intimacy. Family and cultural signals, social gender norms, as well as media and technology all block access to such resources. Noncommittal relationship interactions among Black surfacing adults can also be due to their developmental procedures. However, this fact does not eliminate the need for different types of intimacy in their romantic lives. The authors believed that to master healthy, effective relationships, Black men and women would develop their understanding of intimacy.


The following literature reviews provide a detailed overview that can be used to study male masculinity and the ability to portray emotion in an intimate relationship in the context of black men since research on male masculinity, and the ability to portray emotion in an intimate relationship has previously been interpreted in contrast to whiteness. This research may be used as a foundation for detailed explanations of why there is a significant decline in relationship stability among Black populations in the United States of America, especially among adults. It can also provide context and justification for the rise in domestic violence and divorce among African-American populations in the United States.


De Boise, S. (2016).

Men, masculinity, music and emotions

. Springer.

de Boise, S., & Hearn, J. (2017). Are men getting more emotional? Critical sociological perspectives on men, masculinities and emotions.

The Sociological Review



(4), 779-796.

Montes, V. (2013). The role of emotions in the construction of masculinity: Guatemalan migrant men, transnational migration, and family relations.

Gender & Society



(4), 469-490.

Reeser, T. W., & Gottzén, L. (2018). Masculinity and affect: New possibilities, new agendas.

Wallace, D. M. (2007). It’sa MAN thang”: Black male gender role socialization and the performance of masculinity in love relationships.

The Journal of Pan African Studies



(7), 11-22.

White, A. M., & Peretz, T. (2010). Emotions and redefining black masculinity: Movement narratives of two profeminist organizers.

Men and Masculinities



(4), 403-424

What is Research Methodology? Research methodology is the specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information about a topic. In a research paper, the methodology section allows the reader to critically evaluate a study’s overall validity and reliability.

The methods section of a research proposal contains details about how you will conduct your research. It includes your study design – the methodology and methods that you plan to use – as well as your work plan – the activities that you plan to undertake to complete your project.

In a one page word document, answer the following prompts:


type of research

you did

How you

collected your data

How you

analyzed your data

Any tools or materials you used in the research

Your rationale for choosing these methods

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