Darker Skin Tone Increases Perceived Discrimination among Male but Not Female Caribbean Black Youth.

Research paper by Shervin S Assari, Cleopatra Howard CH Caldwell

Indexed on: 13 Dec '17Published on: 13 Dec '17Published in: Children (Basel, Switzerland)


Among most minority groups, males seem to report higher levels of exposure and vulnerability to racial discrimination. Although darker skin tone may increase exposure to racial discrimination, it is yet unknown whether skin tone similarly influences perceived discrimination among male and female Caribbean Black youth.The current cross-sectional study tests the role of gender on the effects of skin tone on perceived discrimination among Caribbean Black youth.Data came from the National Survey of American Life-Adolescent Supplement (NSAL-A), 2003-2004, which included 360 Caribbean Black youth (ages 13 to 17). Demographic factors (age and gender), socioeconomic status (SES; family income, income to needs ratio, and subjective SES), skin tone, and perceived everyday discrimination were measured. Linear regressions were used for data analysis.In the pooled sample, darker skin tone was associated with higher levels of perceived discrimination among Caribbean Black youth (b = 0.48; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 0.07-0.89). A significant interaction was found between gender and skin tone (b = 1.17; 95% CI = 0.49-1.86), suggesting a larger effect of skin tone on perceived discrimination for males than females. In stratified models, darker skin tone was associated with more perceived discrimination for males (b = 1.20; 95% CI = 0.69-0.72) but not females (b = 0.06; 95% CI = -0.42-0.55).Similar to the literature documenting male gender as a vulnerability factor to the effects of racial discrimination, we found that male but not female Caribbean Black youth with darker skin tones perceive more discrimination.