Well, I would concur that color prints can't reproduce a flesh tone as light as B&W can, for the simple reason that the color saturation would go away. If you don't get some minimum amount of dye formed, the skin color will become "washed out." Whereas we don't see this, visually, when looking at real people.Here I am guessing the newer study of color reveals a preference for higher correlation to reality (in the mid-to-near-highlights), than in black and white which several authors have said should be "lighter". It makes sense to me that people would need "color" to be more accurate.
I think there's a bit of leeway talking about flesh tone reproduction in B&W. First, I don't know how to really measure flesh tones, expressed as B&W density, on a person. Well, I really sort of know how, but the translation to film density has some dependence on the film's spectral response, as well as the lighting used. So it could run overly light or overly dark, depending on conditions. In other words, I dont' know that one can precisely specify what an "exact" density match means.
So yes, color has less leeway for interpretation.