April 4, 2013

Many more differences between light-skinned and dark-skinned blacks

Earlier we saw that light-skins are smarter by about 8 IQ points. Let's see what other differences there are. I'm lumping the lighter half of the skin tones together, and the darker half of the tones together.

Years of education -- no difference (13 years each on average).

Average income -- about $23,100 for light-skins vs. about $17,800 for dark-skins. Since their education levels are the same, it must be the greater smarts of the light-skins that earns them more money.

Political views -- liberals are 44% of light-skins but only 29% of dark-skins, moderates are 40% vs. 46%, and conservatives are 17% yet 25%. (Numbers rounded, don't spazz.)

Tough-on-crime views -- 63% of light-skins vs. 76% of dark-skins think the government isn't doing enough to halt the rising crime rate (it's not rising, but you what what they mean).

Afraid to walk their neighborhood at night -- 47% of light-skins vs. 36% of dark-skins. Unfortunately I can't control for urban / suburban / rural setting because they didn't ask that question in 2012.

So light-skins are more liberal, softer on crime, yet still more afraid to walk their streets at night, which probably aren't as dangerous given that they are higher-income. Maybe they're more fearful of the same threats that dark-skins face, or maybe they feel like they'll be singled out more as targets by the mostly black criminals in their area, among whom lighter skin is seen as a signal of weakness.

Gun ownership -- 24% of light-skins vs. 16% of dark-skins (by household). Not related to hunting, as 0% of light-skins hunt vs. 4% of dark-skins. We already saw that light-skins are more afraid of their neighborhood, so this is for self-defense against their darker-skinned neighbors.

Church attendance -- rare attenders are 34% of light-skins vs. 23% of dark-skins, occasional attenders are 35% and 34%, while frequent attenders are 32% yet 43%. *

Sure of God's existence -- 76% of light-skins but 85% of dark-skins.

Bible is the word of God -- 53% of light-skins but 64% of dark-skins. Those who think it's a book of fables are 14% of light-skins but only 6% of dark-skins.

Homosexual sex is always wrong -- 57% of light-skins vs. 64% of dark-skins.

Let gays marry -- 46% of light-skins and 42% of dark-skins agree. However, more dark-skins take a negative stand -- 45% of them disagree vs. only 33% of light-skins.

Reproductive success -- light-skinned women average about 2.0 children vs. 2.7 for dark-skinned women. Childless women make up 24% of light-skinned women, but only 14% of dark-skinned women.

Promiscuity -- equal numbers for those who had 0 partners in the past year, and for 1 partner in the past year. Dark-skins more likely to have 2, but light-skins are more likely to have 3+ partners -- 14% vs. 8% for dark-skins.

...Obviously a lot more could be looked at and reported, but I'm going to cut it here for length. This may wind up being an ongoing investigation. Overall it looks like light-skinned blacks are between whites and dark-skinned blacks on just about any trait. I didn't see where whites stood on these traits, to see whether light-skins are closer to whites than to dark-skins, which was the case for IQ. Maybe that'll be the next entry. Too bad the GSS didn't ask if you drive a Prius, shop at Whole Foods, or sport an ironic moustache.

* Rare = never, less than once a year, once a year. Occasional = several times a year, once a month, 2 to 3 times per month. Frequent = nearly every week, every week, more than once a week.

GSS variables used: race, ratetone, educ, realinc, polviews, natcrime, fear, owngun, hunt, attend, god, bible, homosex, marhomo, childs, partners


  1. I wonder how many of these light skinned blacks are biracial, given the American trend of mixed race folks identifying as black?

    If a large fraction are, might that affect our view of the differences - i.e. they're less surprising if they reflect assortive mating between psychologically white-like blacks and black-like whites, or they're due to mom being white rather than some skin tone genes which we expect to have become relatively uncorrelated to ancestry a while back.

  2. Well all blacks are "bi-racial" in the sense of being mixed African-European. By looking at skin tone, we can see which ones probably have more vs. less Euro ancestry.

    It doesn't look like they're measuring those with one black and one white parent, though. There are 101 in the light-skinned group, and 170 in the dark-skinned group. What we call bi-racials would be way less than 37% of self-identifying blacks.

  3. Pardon my English, I do not write well yet, but you should talk to Brazilians in America, who have light skin and its relationship with blacks. I am Brazilian and I live in the south, suffer constant racism on the part of black people and I've had to defend myself on the streets and in my own house that is constantly invaded. They call me white, but whites call me Olive mestizo. Latinos hate black people!



You MUST enter a nickname with the "Name/URL" option if you're not signed in. We can't follow who is saying what if everyone is "Anonymous."