African-American Women Just As Likely As White Men To Recieve Loans


Sociologist Sarah Harkness of University of Iowa formed a study which included hundreds of undergraduate students and alumni from West Coast universities, and hypothetically gave each participant $1,000 to give as loans to fictional loan applications. What she found was that cultural stereotypes were influenced by minor errors in loan applications, as well as unfavorable assumptions of intelligence levels and occupation permanence. According to the study, African-American women were equivalent to white males when it came to obtaining loans.

Harkness explains, “There was an assumption that the African-American woman was on her own raising a family and was therefore a motivated, hardworking and self-confident breadwinner.” African males and white women were least likely to recieve loans, as well as Latinos.

Race aside, Harkness contends that a thoughtful and well-crafted loan application helps a borrower’s chance at success. Though not always equally, typos and grammatical errors are what ultimately hurt a borrower’s chance at receiving loans.

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