Talk:Human skin color

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Alternate theories on skin color origins[edit]

Hello, everyone,

I don't know how to access previous talk on this article, so forgive me if this is a repetition of previous discussion.

I've been researching evolution of eye, skin, and hair color in humans, and found that more theories than the one given here are around. The standard theory seems to be that diverse skin color evolved as a factor of UV radiation, the need to produce melanin to protect against skin cancer, and the need to produce enough Vitamin D. Two alternate theories I've read of propose sexual selection, rather than natural selection, as the mechanism.

Jared Diamond has noted that not all populations in the equatorial band are dark, pointing in particular to Southeast Asia and the Amazonian region. He also proposes that residents of the New Guinea highlands of the highlands of West Africa get no more UV radiation than residents of Switzerland (he is cited in a USA Today article, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/science/wonderquest/2001-08-15-skin-color.htm). Apparently, Luigi Cavalli-Sforza proposes sexual selection as well, and I also found an article by Peter Frost (http://cogweb.ucla.edu/ep/Frost_06.html) suggesting that sexual selection came into play in regions where the environment caused an imbalanced sex ratio--too few men or women.

I think it would be only fair to include these alternate theories in the article.

Cheers,

Raqathta (talk) 20:14, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

The 2014 book by Jablonski (praised by Diamond) will help you continue your research. Jablonski, Nina G. (10 January 2014). Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-28386-2. JSTOR 10.1525/j.ctt1pn64b. Lay summary (12 July 2015).  -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 21:28, 26 July 2015 (UTC)