The skin color is quite variable around the world. A new study has revealed that skin color is a significant factor for male immigrants obtaining employment in the US. The study findings suggest that among men, darker skin color negatively influenced their likelihood of employment, even after accounting for the effects of race and other demographic and education related variables. This negative effect of darker skin color was particularly salient for Asian male immigrants.
The researchers said, "The findings were important because the racial composition of the American population is increasingly expanding beyond black and white. Today, immigrants from Asia and Latin America account for the majority of new immigrants to the US, and people of Asian and Latin American descent are also the fastest growing populations in the US."
The study revealed that for female immigrants, the lightness or darkness of their skin did not matter in terms of securing employment after controlling for the effect of race. While, black and Asian women were found to be disadvantaged compared to white female immigrants, Latin American women were not.
Co-researcher Andrea Gomez Cervantes from the University of Kansas said, "Our findings suggest that the color lines are gendered, and that race alone is no longer enough to understand the current stratification system. It is probable that meanings of femininity and masculinity are intertwined with those of skin color. 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 researchers relied on the data from the 2003 adult sample of the New Immigrant Survey to look at interactions of skin color and race as well as skin color and gender on legal immigrants' employment probabilities.
The study will be presented at the ongoing 110th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Chicago.