Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Colorism, African Americans-Psychology, Mate selection-Psychological aspects, Racism, Stereotypes (Social psychology), Interracial dating, Black, Men, Women, Dating, Internalized racism, Internalized oppression, Heterosexual relationships, Mate selection, Stereotyping, Intraracial relationships


The main objective of this study was to determine if internalized racism, which can be seen as self-stereotyping, colorism and low self-esteem, affects the mate selection process of African Americans who are pursing heterosexual relationships. A qualitative interview guide, that contained demographic questions and 23 open ended questions plus a set of picture questions, was administered to 15 African American men and women from the North and the South. Participants were interviewed to assess their responses about heterosexual mate selection within the African American community. The questionnaire contained culturally sensitive information to determine if internalized racism affects participants mate selection process. The findings of the study showed areas in which internalized racism does affect the mate selection process. The possible effects of internalized racism were admittedly conscious in some ways and unconscious in others. Additionally, there was evidence that colorism is still evident in the African American community.




iii, 118 pages : color illustrations. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 97-101)