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The Effect of Skin-Tone and Racism on Perceptions of Attractiveness
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by Lauren A. McDermott and Terry F. Pettijohn II - Mercyhurst College
Caucasian college student participants (N=70) viewed and rated the attractiveness of facial photographs of male and female Caucasians and African-Americans with lightened, darkened, or original skin-tone. Participants also completed a measure of racism. Although African-American models with lightened skin-tone and Caucasian models with darkened skin-tone were predicted to be rated the most attractive, results revealed the manipulated skin-tone of the photographs did not significantly alter their attractiveness ratings. As predicted, the Caucasian models overall were rated as significantly more attractive than the African-American models and a significant negative relationship was found between racism scores and attractiveness ratings of the African-American photographs. Implications for skintone discrimination are discussed.