Skin color cited in Mexican inequality

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A U.S. study says skin color leads to profound social inequality in Mexico despite state-promoted ideology denying the existence of such prejudice.

The study from the University of Texas at Austin found individuals with darker skin tones have less education, have lower status jobs, are more likely to live in poverty, and are less likely to be affluent, a university release said Wednesday.


The study by Andres Villarreal, an associate professor of sociology, was published in the October issue of the American Sociological Review.

The study showed a high level of agreement among respondents of a nationally representative survey of more than 2,000 participants about who belongs to three basic skin color categories: blanco/guero, or white; moreno claro, or light brown; and moreno oscuro or dark brown.

Respondents who are light brown have 29.5 percent lower odds of having a college education compared with those who are white. Those who are dark brown have 57.6 percent lower odds.

Respondents in the lowest occupational categories, such as domestic workers, manual workers, drivers, and security guards, were much more likely to be in the dark-brown category and less likely to be in the white category than were respondents in the highest status occupations such as office supervisors, professional workers and employers, the study found.


"These differences in socioeconomic outcomes are, of course, insufficient to demonstrate the persistence of discriminatory practices against individuals based on the color of their skin," Villarreal said.

"However, the fact that differences in occupational status across skin color categories cannot be fully explained by other factors suggests that Mexicans with darker skin tones may in fact face discrimination in the labor market."

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