Some research on the influence of bias on social

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significant gender differences were not present for the skin tone variables and self-esteem. Some research on the influence of bias on social functioning has also been done. Udry, Bauman, & Chase (1969) found that for men married less than 6 years, possessing dark skin tone was associated with increased job mobility orientation. These men were more likely to be willing to relocate to another city or make other concessions to advance their careers. Ransford (1970) found a weak correlation between skin tone and powerlessness. Having dark skin contributed to feelings of powerlessness to effect change in the social structure. Finally,
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6 Holtzman (1973) found that medium brown respondents had the highest percentage scoring in the two upper points of two scales measuring competence and political efficacy. Concluding Remarks In this paper, I have briefly reviewed the literature concerning two possible mechanisms, preference/dislike and stereotyping, by which skin tone bias may be expressed. Also, studies investigating the connection between skin tone bias and two outcomes, resource attainment and psychological and social functioning, were explored. This review reveals several aspects of skin tone bias in need of further empirical research. The literature for resource attainment and psychological functioning indicates many effects of skin tone bias common to both men and women. A dominant theme of a stronger impact of skin tone bias for women compared to men, however, has also been evident (Bond & Cash, 1992; Keith & Herring, 1991; Hughes & Hertel, 1990; Drake & Cayton, 1945; Marks, 1943). Women have been shown to be more detrimentally affected by skin tone bias than men. Some theories regarding this gender difference have been constructed (Boyd-Franklin, 1991; Keith & Herring, 1991; Neal & Wilson, 1989; Drake & Cayton, 1945), but systematic investigation of these theories has been rare. Second, skin tone has been largely conceived as a status which stratifies individuals in the African American community and regulates the distribution of scarce resources. This theoretical approach has proved a useful tool for understanding skin tone bias at the societal level. It does not address, however, the phenomenological experience of skin tone bias for the individual. A strict status approach portrays the individual as buffeted by uncontrollable forces, without accounting for the possible coping styles, resulting from socialization messages and accumulated experience, which may affect vulnerability to skin tone bias. With few exceptions
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7 (Robinson & Ward, 1995; Bond & Cash, 1992), these mediating mechanisms have been overlooked. Finally, as was stated earlier, the skin tone literature generally finds that light-skinned Blacks benefit and dark-skinned African Americans suffer on several societal and psychological measures. Little attention has been given to the ways in which light skin may be a drawback and dark skin an asset. Observations by therapists hint at possible effects (Neal, & Wilson, 1989; Okazawa-Rey, et al., 1987), but empirical investigation is scarce. Research exploring this aspect would greatly enhance understanding of how skin tone bias affects African Americans.
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