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Title page for ETD etd-12012006-110825

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sims, Jennifer Patrice
URN etd-12012006-110825
Title "You Think You Cute!" Perceived Attractiveness, Inter-Group Conflict, And Their Effect On Black/White Biracial Identity Choices
Degree Master of Arts
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Holly J. McCammon Committee Chair
Karen E. Campbell Committee Member
  • biracial identity
  • attractiveness
Date of Defense 2006-10-23
Availability unrestricted
The 2000 Census was the first time in United States’ history that citizens could indicate more than one race to describe their racial identity. Who does so is due to a multi-factored, complex process. For Black/White biracial women, research has suggested that appearance plays a role in the development of the woman’s racial identity (Rockquemore, 2002; Root, 1992). Attractive Black/White biracial women supposedly choose non-Black identities due to negative treatment from Black women; the latter of whom are accused of having animosity against biracial women due to their supposed greater appeal to Black men.

My aim in this project was to explore this phenomenon. Using data from the Pubic Use Data Set of the National Survey on Adolescent Health, I examined whether perceived physical attractiveness affected the odds of Black/White biracial individuals choosing a Biracial identity and whether such a process was limited to women only.

Results from multinomial logistic regression suggest that perceived physical attractiveness is not a statistically significant factor in choosing a Biracial identity for women or men. Limitations of this study which may explain why my hypotheses were not supported are discussed in the conclusion along with suggestions for future research on biracial identity.

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