n Institute of African Studies Research Review - The lighter side of marriage : skin bleaching in post-colonial Ghana




Skin color plays a significant role in the lives of Ghanaian women. Many Ghanaian women's feelings about beauty, attractiveness and the marriage market are associated with skin complexion. Using sixty Ghanaian students and thirty market trading women, this study investigated skin color (i.e. its lightness-darkness) as a function of social capital in the marriage market. A Skin Color Assessment Procedure was administered to all participants. This study showed that although participants were satisfied with their skin color, they believed that Ghanaian men found lighter- skinned women more attractive. This project expands existing scientific and scholarly literature concerning skin bleaching by presenting the implications of skin bleaching from a psychological perspective.


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