Urban Institute researchers examine gender inequalities, racial segregation, and the mutually reinforcing disparities they cause in education, housing, employment, income, and health care.
Our experts analyze race and gender gaps in student test scores, measure unequal treatment toward minorities in the housing market, and study the persistent discrimination that feeds wealth and income gaps. We also probe the unique challenges of single mothers, noncustodial fathers, and hard-to-employ young men—and evaluate the public and private programs designed to help them.
Based on interviews with 283 youth in New York City, this is the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter. The report documents these youth’s experiences and characteristics to gain a better understanding of why they engage in survival sex, describes how the support networks and systems in their lives have both helped them and let them down, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of this vulnerable population.
This brief uses the Social Genome Model to assess the potential impact of various childhood and adolescent interventions on long-term outcomes for black men. In particular, we see that increasing parental emotional support and cognitive stimulation during early childhood and raising reading ability levels in mid-childhood have the greatest impact on later life educational attainment and income. The overall effects of successful interventions are modest for the entire population of black men but are somewhat larger for individuals that would be directly affected by the interventions. Our findings suggest that making substantial progress in improving the outcomes of black men will likely require many different interventions that reinforce one another throughout the life course.
Boys and young men of color are at risk for poor health and developmental outcomes from birth through young adulthood. Many risks flow from a lack of economic resources and residence in segregated neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage. This paper outlines these developmental challenges and identifies societal, institutional, and community changes that would increase resources, eliminate or reduce stress and trauma, and provide support for boys and families. It also identifies some knowledge gaps that must be filled in order to increase the effectiveness of programs directed toward this population.
Boys and young men of color are overrepresented in all aspects of the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, at considerable cost to those involved, their families, and their communities. This overrepresentation is most acute for African Americans, although other communities of color are also affected. This paper reviews systemic, institutional, and community policies and practices that greatly impact the life chances of boys and young men of color. Policy and practice changes that would reduce criminal justice engagement and that would reduce the harms caused to communities of color from criminal justice engagement are identified and suggestions are made for developing more evidence of effectiveness for initiatives in this area.
The environments in which children grow up profoundly shape their socio-emotional health and development and set the stage for future success. This essay provides a framework for understanding how various settings influence lives of boys and young men of color. Failure to take these environments into account treats the problems experienced by this group as entirely of their own making and ignores the role that external forces play in contributing to poor outcomes. This essay provides a context for future research and analysis, in hopes that it will examine the lives and circumstances of boys and young men of color using more complex and nuanced perspectives.