evidence of class hypergamy. Within the Negro caste, color is one of several criteria of class status. In consequence there is a tendency for Negroes to desire a "light" marriage partner. 36 It seems, however, that in most marriages where skin color between the spouses is noticeably different, the male is darker, although his general social-class status within the Negro caste is higher than that of the lighter-skinned female partner. 37 Again, the woman trades her lighter skin for the high social status of the man, and the marriage is hypergamous from the viewpoint of class.
Obviously, the evidence reviewed in this chapter is very selective and anything but conclusive. The hypothesis of maximization of status is only very tentatively supported by the evidence. Should the hypothesis be proven invalid on further testing, however, the fact of the widespread occurrence of hypergenation would still remain and would still have to be accounted for.
This chapter suggests the widespread occurrence of hypergamy, or more broadly hypergenation, in stratified societies. Some structural conditions for and consequences of hypergenation are drawn. The hypothesis of maximization of status is advanced to account for the phenomenon. The cases of India, China, Japan, the United States, and western Europe are briefly reviewed and found to lend tentative support to the hypothesis. Miscegenation in Brazil, the United States, and South Africa is examined as a special case of hypergenation and also found, in general, to confirm the hypothesis.