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These two aspects of skin tone bias preferencedislike

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These two aspects of skin tone bias, preference/dislike and stereotypes, are key elements in a process leading to different socio-economic and psychological outcomes for Black people in the United States. These outcomes span a wide variety of phenomena, including mate selection (Bond & Cash, 1992; Porter, 1991; Hughes & Hertel, 1990; Udry et al., 1969; Freeman et al., 1966; Drake & Cayton, 1945) and racial identity (Hughes & Hertel, 1990; Edwards, 1973; Ransford, 1970; Freeman et al., 1966). My focus will be on resource attainment (i.e., income, education, and occupational status or prestige) and psychological/social functioning. Outcomes of Skin Tone Bias Resource Attainment Successively, larger populations have been sampled to describe the influence of skin tone bias on resource attainment. Using a sample of 312 Black male heads of household in the Los Angeles area, Ransford (1970) found that for men with less than a high school education or some
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3 college, skin tone did not significantly influence the distribution in three income categories (below or at poverty, low and middle income). The distribution of men graduating from high school without any college experience, however, was significantly influenced by skin tone, such that light respondents were overrepresented in the highest income category. He also found that for individuals with less than a high school education or some college, skin tone significantly influenced the distribution of those in blue- or white-collar jobs or unemployed. Dark African Americans were almost three times more likely to be unemployed than their lighter counterparts. Utilizing a larger, more representative sample of 2809 African Americans in 15 American cities, Edwards (1973) found that a greater proportion of light African Americans possessed a high income (above $9000). Also, a greater percentage of light Blacks attended college, had white-collar occupations, and were from families having highly-educated parents. These findings are difficult to interpret, however, because Edwards did not conduct statistical tests of difference between skin tone groups. Finally, two research groups utilized the 1979-80 National Survey of Black Americans (Jackson, Tucker, & Gurin, 1987) in their studies. Hughes & Hertel (1990) found that skin tone has significant relationships with education, occupational prestige, personal income, and family income, even when gender, age, and parental socio-economic status are controlled. For each resource indicator, light African Americans were higher. Keith & Herring (1991) elaborated upon Hughes & Hertel’s work by examining the exact nature of the differences between skin tone groups. They found that each increment of interviewer skin tone rating corresponds to about _ an additional year of education. On average a very light Black person attained more than 2 additional years of education than very dark African Americans. Very light individuals were the most likely to be employed as professionals and technical workers, while very dark people
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4 were most likely to be laborers. The family incomes of very light African Americans was more than 50% greater than those of very dark Blacks. Very light respondents’ personal incomes were almost 65% higher than that for very dark respondents. Finally, Keith & Herring found gender
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