A 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.