University of Kansas Study Finds Darker Skin Negatively Affects Employment Prospects

ASAA new study by researchers at the University of Kansas finds that skin color is a significant factor in the employment prospects of male immigrants to the United States. The data showed that even after accounting for the effects of race and other demographic and education variables, darker skin lessened the likelihood that immigrant men would find jobs.

The study found that for women immigrants, the lightness or darkness of their skin was not a factor in whether they could gain employment.

Andrea Gomez Cervantes, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Kansas and a co-author of the study, said that “the masculinity and threatening images attached to darker skin may have a negative impact for men, while those negative images are not applied to women, leading to different outcomes for men and women of color.”

The research, “Gendered Color Lines: The Effects of Skin Color in Immigrants’ Employment” was presented on August 25 at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Chicago.


Comments (6)

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  1. Michael says:

    For those who are totally oblivious to American, Central& Latin American, European, Middle Eastern(e.g., Western Asia), Africa, and Asian racism(i.e., White supremacy) the more melanin one has, they have a higher probability of encountering racism on numerous levels. From a US and Central/Latin American context, the more ‘indigenous’ (i.e., darker) one appears, they are so inclined to be one the receiving end of continued disparate treatment from their respective coethnic group due to years of miseducation along with the larger society.

    Moving forward, it would interesting in knowing how Ms. Gomez Cervantes self-identifies herself considering that she has the appearance of being ‘non-indigenous'(i.e., not possessing a dark complexion). If Ms. Gomez Cervantes did not mention that role that White racism plays within the context of her document, in my view, she is merely maintaining the status quo.

  2. The Reverend Dr. Donald Ray Jenkins says:

    This study is old news. Darker-skinned people have always faced discrimination when it comes to dating, employment, and basic social and civil rights.

  3. Brian Walter says:

    Does the study address whether black employers also discriminate by darkness of skin color?

  4. Kevin says:

    What is defined as darkness? I have solid medium brown melanin flowing from my upper to lower extremities. Does this study pertains to me?

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