Human skin pigmentation: Further studies of its evolution, biological consequences, and social meaning

Recent research on the topic explored the effects of skin pigmentation on human health and social well-being, and upcoming projects will focus on these aims. The first project is biomedical and will involve study of the relationship between skin pigmentation, sun (UVB) exposure, vitamin D levels, and the progression of infectious diseases. The second project is biosocial and will involve study of the prevalence and motivations for skin bleaching among younger, darkly pigmented South Africans, with the goal of better understanding the motivations of young adults in South Africa for lightening their skin. Both projects will be conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Cape Town and other institutions.

Project leader(s):
  • Nina Jablonski (Penn State)