posts 16 - 30 of 36
SesameStreet444
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by poptarts on October 13, 2021 22:20

The environment that these kids grow up in and absorb information from ends up allowing them to create, believe, and understand these ideas of racial preference. From parents to teachers to babysitters, the information that children absorb from adults sticks with them and influences a lot of the way they see things. For example, if you tell your child that they shouldn’t play with a certain person because they might hurt them, your kid will probably end up avoiding the person and when confronted say something along the lines of “my parent told me to stay away from you because you’ll hurt me.” Kids are insanely good at picking up on small things, so even the slightest amount of hesitation will alert them something is off and the adult they’re with probably doesn’t like something that just happened, and they’ll most likely remember it. If this is done in a way that involves race, it will most definitely affect how they see other children. Bloom mentions how “... it’s because the sense of right and wrong that they naturally possess diverges in important ways from what we adults would want it to be” (page 2). These kids hear what you say, internalize it, and adapt their thinking about the subject to try and fit your views because as an adult you have more knowledge and you’re trustworthy in their eyes, even if it's some sort of random belief or conspiracy that Ariana Grande is actually the president of three different countries in Europe. Who are we kidding? They'll probably go and tell their friends at school and teachers about it because it must be right if you said it.

And if those ideas continue to be mentioned or if the children aren’t explicitly told not to believe in them, they probably will still believe in it and it will only solidify the more they get older. In Racial Identification and Preference in Negro Children, it is mentioned that “These data definitely indicate that a basic knowledge of “racial differences” exists as a part of the pattern of ideas that Negro children from the age three through seven years in the northern and southern communities tested in this study - and that this knowledge develops more definitely from year to year to the point of absolute stability at the age of seven.” With time these ideas and beliefs will only grow and become more believable. Some might disagree, but if you’ve ever told a 5 year old about the tooth fairy and follow through with what you told them will happen, they’re going to continue to believe it and they’ll only believe it more until you sit them down in the 4th grade and break it to them that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist and they’re not getting any more quarters for teeth.

But of course we can’t assume that children will just blindly accept information and believe it. Take that one little girl from the Anderson Cooper video, she was extremely aware of how some adults are straight up racist and do not like Black people - even though she didn’t really understand it at times. Either way she still disagreed with them but was aware of what they believed and even mentioned that some days she wishes she didn’t have dark skin because she saw it as ‘nasty’ and other people did too. For a kindergarten age child to be this aware of the situations regarding race should be a red flag to us all. Kids are a lot smarter than we think they are and these kinds of ideas about race preference will stick with them, and can potentially be so detrimental to how they see themselves and those similar to them.

I agree that children, especially toddlers and infants, are highly influential and will inherently believe whatever it is they are told. Often times, false concepts, such as the mystical tooth fairy, are harmless to a child's development and mentality. However, when it comes to race, stereotypes, and biases, it's important that a strong foundation be established right off the bat. This is why it is incredibly important that parents recognize their own biases and be wary not to pass them on to their children.

poutineenthusiast
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

From a young age, children process things different compared to adults. They are much more complex than we realize. I think that, one way that we can make sense of the way children feel the way they do, is knowing how their environments affect their opinions and behaviors. Growing up, depending on who their surrounded by will directly influence the way they behave. Adults like parents and teachers can easily influence children. Whether it be unconscious or conscious, the adults that children are raised by directly impact their behaviors. In Bloom's article, he discusses the morality of babies and argues that children are born with a basic sense of right and wrong. He makes the point that children need care and attention so that they can develop and form their morals. Environmental factors are essential to shaping one's views, which is something we need to take into account when studying children. Even if it's not taught to them directly, if a child sees an adult that they trust say or act in any specific manner, they will pick up on that behavior as well. Even if racial bias is not taught to a child explicitly, a child can still pick up on the racial bias that surrounds them. Banaji's study showed that the white children showed strong white bias, while the Black children showed no bias. Banaji's results connect to Bloom's in the way that it shows that children are taught racism. Banaji argues that children need to be actively taught that bias is wrong, or else they will pick up and internalize these harmful morals. The importance of learning from a young age that racial bias and prejudice is wrong because it'll be easier from a young age. As the child grows older and develops their morals, they become strongly attached to them, making it harder in the future to change. I am privileged enough to be able to grow up in a very diverse community. I say this was a privilege because I was always surrounded by people who didn't look like me, so it wasn't hard for me to realize that we were all the same. Others might not have this same privilege as I do, which is why it's so important to actively teach kids that this is wrong. Although it requires a lot of effort, it's important to put in that effort.

poutineenthusiast
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

Originally posted by augustine on October 13, 2021 19:59

The children feel the way that they do based on the environment that they are immersed in. Even if the parents and relatives of that child are not explicitly racist, implicit bias can absolutely affect their actions. Babies are pretty perceptive, which is the whole reason Bloom’s experiment worked so well, because even at a very young age babies were able to differentiate between good interactions and bad ones, and even neutral interactions and bad ones. So even if the people around this child are not intending to act in a hateful way, the subtle ways in which they interact with other people are picked up on by the baby. Especially if the child grows up in an environment where they are not around people who don’t look like them, communicating to the child that new doesn’t equal bad when they have already picked up on all of these biases would be a challenge. The one bit of information that stuck out to me the most was when in the recreation of the doll experiment, they asked the question, “Which skin color do adults not like?” to which the children overwhelmingly responded with the darker skin tones. This is such a crucial piece of information, as it supports the idea that all of this bias is learned. When you are a kid, you are told that adults are always right, so it makes sense that kids would internalize the biased ways in which the adults around them conduct themselves. But this is where part of what Banaji said comes into play- it is never too late to unlearn what you have been taught. It absolutely won’t be an easy process, because that's the thing about implicit bias- its unconscious, so you might not even realize its there but so long as you put the effort in to be in a diverse, and inclusive environment, changing the biased ideas that you have been taught is absolutely an attainable goal. It also should be, I think, part of every school’s core curriculum. Like others have said on this post, the first time I was taught in an academic setting about implicit bias was when I was 13. To only be taught about this at age 13, when people of color have been experiencing discrimination since long before that, is pretty harmful. So it not only is important to be in an environment where these biases don't form, but also to be educated about it so you have the tools to become better even if they do.

I agree with your opinion that we need to teach children these things much earlier! I am very surprised that you were not taught this until you were 13, and it showed me the lack of effort there is to educate children on the issues of race. Development would just be a lot smoother if we taught it from a young age.

poutineenthusiast
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

Originally posted by no-one on October 13, 2021 20:16

I think that kids act this way for a couple reasons, and for different kids in different areas it might be different. A lot of young childrens’ ideas about race might be based on in-group membership, like was suggested in the Boston Globe article, which demonstrated young children having biases against people who looked different than themselves (however, this only manifested in the white children, according to the article). However, the article also stated that media perceptions contribute to these ideas: “It is not the fault of the children that they grow up to see a majority of power and influence concentrated among one race...if we don’t act in their lives, as they age, to show context to that imbalance, they may continue to believe that one group is better or worse than the other, based on nothing more than color, features, or

expressions.’’

Taking this in combination with Paul Bloom’s writing about child morality, children may feel that if the world is just and benefits are given to those who do well, and vice versa, (obviously, unfortunately not the case) that the people they see represented in the media for some reason deserve to be there. This is why media representation is extremely important, most especially for young children growing up and seeking role models: if the only characters they see on screen, in their picture books, etc., are white, they may associate this with some sense that people who look like them do not deserve those sorts of positions.

This could be seen by the Black children in the videos we watched in class, and those from the original Clark study, who held negative views toward their own race and were biased toward whiteness. Notably, children from segregated schools in the South tended to have less negative views about other Black children/the black dolls, obviously not to the benefit of segregation but showing that having peers and role models of the same race may serve to lessen these internalized biases.

There are a wide range of factors that likely influence these feelings: in-group identity, internalized racism from parents and teachers, biases in the media, and lack of diversity to provide exposure to both similar and different perspectives, backgrounds, and appearances.

The solution is not entirely clear: I doubt that many parents of the children surveyed intended to teach their children racist ideas and prejudices (at least, not explicitly), but they have still picked them up, and it is the parents’ responsibility to combat this. White parents are certainly less likely to notice this, as their children are biased toward themselves, making it less obvious, but doubly important to fight and teach against. Parents, teachers, and any adults around children have always had the responsibility to teach them what is right and wrong, taking their baseline level of morality and amplifying and adjusting it to make them able to live in society. This is no different.

I agree! Although it may not be the parents' fault, it is their duty to make sure that their children understand that prejudice is wrong and that we shouldn't judge others based on their appearance. Things like this make me wonder where kids even get it from then. If it's not from their parents, then who? I also agree with the opinion that ALL adults (not just parents) have the responsibility to teach kids otherwise. I think that if kids learn this from a young age, they will be able to adjust to society in the future.

SesameStreet444
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by Clover52 on October 13, 2021 11:29

I think one of the main reasons children responded the way they did is because of the environment they are growing up in. Parents and teachers are some of the most influential people young kids are around, and children soak up their surroundings and how people are acting around them. In Paul Bloom’s article, he explains how children are born with some sense of right and wrong, but if they are left by themselves, they won’t grow up with the morals that are socially acceptable. For children who are only interacting with one group of people or ideas, it can be difficult for them to adapt to new situations later on in life. Younger children especially, as we saw in the videos from class, are quick to pick up behaviors adults might be portraying around them. Adults might not be saying explicitly racist things, but children can pick up on the small details and adopt their way of acting. The kids who are around 5 years old have no way of understanding racism, but they show biases because of what the adults around them are doing. If they were brought up in a more diverse, open-minded community, the surveys might have had different results. Children should not be showing the amount of racism and racial biases they were displaying in the Anderson Cooper study video. However, the problem isn’t directly with only children. The root of the issue is the adults they are around. In schools, children should be educated on racial biases and other topics pertaining to race at an early age. The earlier we try and instruct children, the more likely they will become increasingly accepting of all people later on. In the Clark study, the conclusion was that children were unaware of racial differences. They were quick to answer the questions concerning white and colored dolls confidently, but not so much for the third. This proves that it is a deeply rooted problem. The highest age was 7 years old and even then, they were still not 100% sure on all of their answers. For me personally, the first kind of education on race was in 8th grade at BLS when I was about 13. That is incredibly late, and for some people who aren’t exposed to different races younger, it can be too late. A solution to this issue could be not only educating children but also adults who are around impressionable kids.

I agree that exposure and education is key to minimizing racial bias within children. Young kids, and just people in general, are often more comfortable with the community that they are brought up in. It should be prioritized by parents that these communities contain diversity and aren't exclusively made up of one race or skin color. In addition to this, schools should be focused on integrating racial bias into their curriculum, along with educating their youth on ongoing racial issues.

GullAlight
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

After watching the video about how unrelated our genetics are to most attributes and traits we have, I think children feel the way they do because they are largely impacted by their environment, and therefore their families. We tend to think of babies as not very smart, but it turns out they are very perceptive, and likely pick up on the implicit biases and subtext around them. However, this does raise the question of how neurodivergent children are affected by the biases around them, as they might not be as good at reading body language and tone?

Anyways, getting back to the actual question I'm supposed to be answering, I think children start out without many biases and then pick it up from their parents. From experience as well, when adults say they're trying to be quiet, they're usually not, so if the child then hears them talking and showing their own biases, they will definitely continue to model that behavior. After all, humans are social animals, and approval form one's community is something that everyone, and especially children, seek. In addition, I think people have a tendency to form patterns where there may be none, and to also generalise and dwell on harm done to them in order to avoid it in the future.

I think everyone also has the tendency to develop an us vs them mindset, and of course fear of the unknown would be especially prevalent in younger children. This might be remedied by having more diversity in schools, and dealing with the legacy of redlining so that communities become more diverse.

In addition to teaching young children, I think it's also important to integrate anti-bias classes into school curriculum. Although we might not be able to change the past, we can definitely still help older children recognise those biases as well and try to combat them that way.

Having more diversity in the media and in schools I think is also important. Having representation in schools and seeing others who look like them in the media will help boost self confidence and hopefully help with internalised racism rampant in the US.

GullAlight
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by no-one on October 13, 2021 20:16

I think that kids act this way for a couple reasons, and for different kids in different areas it might be different. A lot of young childrens’ ideas about race might be based on in-group membership, like was suggested in the Boston Globe article, which demonstrated young children having biases against people who looked different than themselves (however, this only manifested in the white children, according to the article). However, the article also stated that media perceptions contribute to these ideas: “It is not the fault of the children that they grow up to see a majority of power and influence concentrated among one race...if we don’t act in their lives, as they age, to show context to that imbalance, they may continue to believe that one group is better or worse than the other, based on nothing more than color, features, or

expressions.’’

Taking this in combination with Paul Bloom’s writing about child morality, children may feel that if the world is just and benefits are given to those who do well, and vice versa, (obviously, unfortunately not the case) that the people they see represented in the media for some reason deserve to be there. This is why media representation is extremely important, most especially for young children growing up and seeking role models: if the only characters they see on screen, in their picture books, etc., are white, they may associate this with some sense that people who look like them do not deserve those sorts of positions.

This could be seen by the Black children in the videos we watched in class, and those from the original Clark study, who held negative views toward their own race and were biased toward whiteness. Notably, children from segregated schools in the South tended to have less negative views about other Black children/the black dolls, obviously not to the benefit of segregation but showing that having peers and role models of the same race may serve to lessen these internalized biases.

There are a wide range of factors that likely influence these feelings: in-group identity, internalized racism from parents and teachers, biases in the media, and lack of diversity to provide exposure to both similar and different perspectives, backgrounds, and appearances.

The solution is not entirely clear: I doubt that many parents of the children surveyed intended to teach their children racist ideas and prejudices (at least, not explicitly), but they have still picked them up, and it is the parents’ responsibility to combat this. White parents are certainly less likely to notice this, as their children are biased toward themselves, making it less obvious, but doubly important to fight and teach against. Parents, teachers, and any adults around children have always had the responsibility to teach them what is right and wrong, taking their baseline level of morality and amplifying and adjusting it to make them able to live in society. This is no different.

I agree. It isn't the fault of the children, and instead mostly of their environment. I think parents definitely have a responsibility to not teach their children racism, but I think that implies that the parents do not intentionally act racist. Although the issue examined in the resources we've been reading examine the children, I think the root cause of most of these issues is the parents, and the inheritance — whether intentional or not— of racism boils down to issues with parents and adults in general.

GullAlight
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Originally posted by augustine on October 13, 2021 19:59

The children feel the way that they do based on the environment that they are immersed in. Even if the parents and relatives of that child are not explicitly racist, implicit bias can absolutely affect their actions. Babies are pretty perceptive, which is the whole reason Bloom’s experiment worked so well, because even at a very young age babies were able to differentiate between good interactions and bad ones, and even neutral interactions and bad ones. So even if the people around this child are not intending to act in a hateful way, the subtle ways in which they interact with other people are picked up on by the baby. Especially if the child grows up in an environment where they are not around people who don’t look like them, communicating to the child that new doesn’t equal bad when they have already picked up on all of these biases would be a challenge. The one bit of information that stuck out to me the most was when in the recreation of the doll experiment, they asked the question, “Which skin color do adults not like?” to which the children overwhelmingly responded with the darker skin tones. This is such a crucial piece of information, as it supports the idea that all of this bias is learned. When you are a kid, you are told that adults are always right, so it makes sense that kids would internalize the biased ways in which the adults around them conduct themselves. But this is where part of what Banaji said comes into play- it is never too late to unlearn what you have been taught. It absolutely won’t be an easy process, because that's the thing about implicit bias- its unconscious, so you might not even realize its there but so long as you put the effort in to be in a diverse, and inclusive environment, changing the biased ideas that you have been taught is absolutely an attainable goal. It also should be, I think, part of every school’s core curriculum. Like others have said on this post, the first time I was taught in an academic setting about implicit bias was when I was 13. To only be taught about this at age 13, when people of color have been experiencing discrimination since long before that, is pretty harmful. So it not only is important to be in an environment where these biases don't form, but also to be educated about it so you have the tools to become better even if they do.

I agree that the fact that anti-bias training happens so late is really not good at all. Question though: was the training effective, and was there feedback given to whoever ran the workshop? After all, great idea to have the workshop, but then we have to make it effective.

I also agree that its definitely not impossible to unlearn biases, but I also am a little bit of a pessimist so... I guess my question is how we can get the general public, especially parents and educators, to realise that they are biased and then convince them to put in the work it takes to unlearn those biases. And what do we do if they aren't willing to change?

stylishghost
Roslindale, MA, US
Posts: 10

The racial biases and morals learned from the children in every one of the experiments were products of their surroundings and adults. It was most interesting to see the time in a child's life where they are most clearly showing signs of bias (around age 5 for the doll experiment). Not so coincidentally, age 5 is around the time a child begins to go to school. Finding them self surrounded by children--who are mostly likely exposed to the same racial preferences--only furthers the affect. I also found the doll study noteworthy because of the fact that children in integrated schools showed a higher percentage of anti-blackness (labeling the black doll as looking bad). The concept of integrated schools was obviously a huge step against racism in this country, so why these results? Chances are, the black children in these schools faced a higher level of racism from their white peers in comparison to those who attended all black schools, where they were not targeted for their skin color. The experiment gave a huge insight as to what integration meant for children at the time, and the rampant racism around them. This idea was also brought about in the Anderson Cooper video, with one black girl who described her skin as "nasty". Where could those words be coming from, because surely one is not born hating something as trivial as skin tone. The girl was around 5-7, the age where kids tend to start elementary school. This wave of increased racism likely not only happens at an early school age, but also other life events like high school or, much later, the workplace. It is up to the parents and leaders to not allowed for a place where children can display or absorb their learned racism.

It was also apparent that the concept of race was learned, and not simple morality, because of the morality study. Babies, often around age 1, were able to go out of their way to help those in need, even if they got no reward. Through this conclusion as well as many others covered by the study, one can come to the conclusion that morality and "human kindness", if considered learned behaviors, are learned early on in life in order for survival. This has a major contrast with the studies on racism, where children under 3 did not show the same clear decision making.

stylishghost
Roslindale, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by GullAlight on October 13, 2021 23:54

Originally posted by augustine on October 13, 2021 19:59

The children feel the way that they do based on the environment that they are immersed in. Even if the parents and relatives of that child are not explicitly racist, implicit bias can absolutely affect their actions. Babies are pretty perceptive, which is the whole reason Bloom’s experiment worked so well, because even at a very young age babies were able to differentiate between good interactions and bad ones, and even neutral interactions and bad ones. So even if the people around this child are not intending to act in a hateful way, the subtle ways in which they interact with other people are picked up on by the baby. Especially if the child grows up in an environment where they are not around people who don’t look like them, communicating to the child that new doesn’t equal bad when they have already picked up on all of these biases would be a challenge. The one bit of information that stuck out to me the most was when in the recreation of the doll experiment, they asked the question, “Which skin color do adults not like?” to which the children overwhelmingly responded with the darker skin tones. This is such a crucial piece of information, as it supports the idea that all of this bias is learned. When you are a kid, you are told that adults are always right, so it makes sense that kids would internalize the biased ways in which the adults around them conduct themselves. But this is where part of what Banaji said comes into play- it is never too late to unlearn what you have been taught. It absolutely won’t be an easy process, because that's the thing about implicit bias- its unconscious, so you might not even realize its there but so long as you put the effort in to be in a diverse, and inclusive environment, changing the biased ideas that you have been taught is absolutely an attainable goal. It also should be, I think, part of every school’s core curriculum. Like others have said on this post, the first time I was taught in an academic setting about implicit bias was when I was 13. To only be taught about this at age 13, when people of color have been experiencing discrimination since long before that, is pretty harmful. So it not only is important to be in an environment where these biases don't form, but also to be educated about it so you have the tools to become better even if they do.

I agree that the fact that anti-bias training happens so late is really not good at all. Question though: was the training effective, and was there feedback given to whoever ran the workshop? After all, great idea to have the workshop, but then we have to make it effective.

I also agree that its definitely not impossible to unlearn biases, but I also am a little bit of a pessimist so... I guess my question is how we can get the general public, especially parents and educators, to realise that they are biased and then convince them to put in the work it takes to unlearn those biases. And what do we do if they aren't willing to change?

I agree with the idea of unlearning these racist ideas, and I think that the most important and easiest way to do that is to ensure the next generation doesn't pick up clear biases from adults in the same way we did.

stylishghost
Roslindale, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by Clover52 on October 13, 2021 11:29

I think one of the main reasons children responded the way they did is because of the environment they are growing up in. Parents and teachers are some of the most influential people young kids are around, and children soak up their surroundings and how people are acting around them. In Paul Bloom’s article, he explains how children are born with some sense of right and wrong, but if they are left by themselves, they won’t grow up with the morals that are socially acceptable. For children who are only interacting with one group of people or ideas, it can be difficult for them to adapt to new situations later on in life. Younger children especially, as we saw in the videos from class, are quick to pick up behaviors adults might be portraying around them. Adults might not be saying explicitly racist things, but children can pick up on the small details and adopt their way of acting. The kids who are around 5 years old have no way of understanding racism, but they show biases because of what the adults around them are doing. If they were brought up in a more diverse, open-minded community, the surveys might have had different results. Children should not be showing the amount of racism and racial biases they were displaying in the Anderson Cooper study video. However, the problem isn’t directly with only children. The root of the issue is the adults they are around. In schools, children should be educated on racial biases and other topics pertaining to race at an early age. The earlier we try and instruct children, the more likely they will become increasingly accepting of all people later on. In the Clark study, the conclusion was that children were unaware of racial differences. They were quick to answer the questions concerning white and colored dolls confidently, but not so much for the third. This proves that it is a deeply rooted problem. The highest age was 7 years old and even then, they were still not 100% sure on all of their answers. For me personally, the first kind of education on race was in 8th grade at BLS when I was about 13. That is incredibly late, and for some people who aren’t exposed to different races younger, it can be too late. A solution to this issue could be not only educating children but also adults who are around impressionable kids.

I also found it really interesting that the 5 year-old children had the strongest response, and it gives a really good insight into how children are a "indicator" of the ideas around them.

Boat1924
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

What’s Up with Racial Preferences among Children

I believe that the main reason why children develop biases and discriminatory thoughts when they are young is due to the environment that they are growing up in. While children are growing up and developing, they are taking in and learning about a wide variety of their surroundings. In Bloom’s article, it describes how even though parents believe that children are idiots that have no understanding or concept of their surroundings, babies actually have somewhat of an understanding of their surroundings using the information to slowly learn more about the world and complex concepts. In addition, in Banaji’s article it describes how a new study found children develop somewhat of a morality and racial thinking system earlier than what we previously thought. The test found that three and four year olds have already developed a somewhat rudimentary bias for their own skin color and the skin color that they have observed their parents and other adults having more favour towards. These two articles show that racism in a person isn’t engraved in their system when they are born, but rather it is fostered as they grow by the adults and the environment that they are living in. From the time a person is a young baby to the time they are a young child in school, they are developing and creating their racial thinking system by learning and watching their parents and other adults in their life. So if a child is born in a less diverse, more backwards thinking environment and home, their belief system will be much different than a child born in a diverse and progressive community. I do not believe that one person is born racist or biased, but rather these ideas are fostered and cemented through the community around them. Even if the community around them isn’t directly racist or backwards thinking, children can still pick up biases through entertainment and media which hasn’t been looked over or changed by parents. In addition, if parents avoid dealing with racial injustices and differences, then children will become biased as their systems develop, leading to their ideas cementing and formalizing as they grow if there is no adult to change their way of thinking.
Boat1924
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by augustine on October 13, 2021 19:59

The children feel the way that they do based on the environment that they are immersed in. Even if the parents and relatives of that child are not explicitly racist, implicit bias can absolutely affect their actions. Babies are pretty perceptive, which is the whole reason Bloom’s experiment worked so well, because even at a very young age babies were able to differentiate between good interactions and bad ones, and even neutral interactions and bad ones. So even if the people around this child are not intending to act in a hateful way, the subtle ways in which they interact with other people are picked up on by the baby. Especially if the child grows up in an environment where they are not around people who don’t look like them, communicating to the child that new doesn’t equal bad when they have already picked up on all of these biases would be a challenge. The one bit of information that stuck out to me the most was when in the recreation of the doll experiment, they asked the question, “Which skin color do adults not like?” to which the children overwhelmingly responded with the darker skin tones. This is such a crucial piece of information, as it supports the idea that all of this bias is learned. When you are a kid, you are told that adults are always right, so it makes sense that kids would internalize the biased ways in which the adults around them conduct themselves. But this is where part of what Banaji said comes into play- it is never too late to unlearn what you have been taught. It absolutely won’t be an easy process, because that's the thing about implicit bias- its unconscious, so you might not even realize its there but so long as you put the effort in to be in a diverse, and inclusive environment, changing the biased ideas that you have been taught is absolutely an attainable goal. It also should be, I think, part of every school’s core curriculum. Like others have said on this post, the first time I was taught in an academic setting about implicit bias was when I was 13. To only be taught about this at age 13, when people of color have been experiencing discrimination since long before that, is pretty harmful. So it not only is important to be in an environment where these biases don't form, but also to be educated about it so you have the tools to become better even if they do.

I agree that people need to be taught about racism and discrimination at an early age. Too many kids, including myself, we’re not accurately taught these topics until we were entering high school. We need to teach these topics at a young age so that their thinking and whatever biases they have developed are combated and change.

Boat1924
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by Blue terrier on October 13, 2021 22:16

There are a number of factors that contribute to the incredibly alarming and shocking results that we saw in the experiments that we studied. Perhaps the most glaring or prominent factors to me, are children's lack of exposure to different racial groups that do not look like their own, and also the portrayal of different races through the media that these children are exposed to and consume. Young children and babies are a lot more conscious of their surroundings than we think, or have previously thought throughout history. This is evident through Paul Bloom's article. He illustrates the experiments that were used to show that young children are extremely impressionable, but also incredibly smart. They recognize patterns, human interactions, and have a pretty good understanding of gravity and the world around them. This is the main thing that we can take away from this article, and it is incredibly important and eye opening to me.


Now, with this in mind, it does add some context to the distressing results found in the studies about racial biases in children. A large idea that I took away is that children often associate bad attributes with the unknown. The young children in the CNN study, who have only been alive for a short time, may have not been exposed to different racial groups and identities different from theirs, leading them to automatically associate these groups with something bad. This is also supported by Mahzarin Banaji’s research. The article states even states that ¨“The odds of aging children losing or at the very least lessening their bias against out group people are only increased, of course, when responsible adults in their lives consciously place their children in a position to see different groups interacting as equals.¨ This also does bring up a rather hopeful outlook on these results, as with the right consciously acting adults, a young child could avoid these racist attitudes manifesting in adult life.


This still doesn't explain the results in the CNN video, where young children of color often associate their own race with negative attributes. I believe that this can be attributed to an overall lack of representation in the media that surrounds young kids, and underlying racist undertones that are present. To stray slightly away from the videos and articles for a second, one thing I can recall is students in this class talking about the under representation of their racial groups in media such as movies and TV shows and how this affected them personally. When young children look up to fictional characters in these types of media, and the main characters are often white, it can leave these impressionable young kids feeling lost and often ashamed of their own racial background or skin tones. On top of this, in a country where racism and dsicrimnation is very prominent, it is very easy for young children to be influenced and start to take in these ideologies and beliefs, to no fault of their own. This is also backed by Mahzarin Banaji’s research: “It is not the fault of the children that they grow up to see a majority of power and influence concentrated among one race.’’


One overarching theme among all of these articles and videos was some hope that these biases are not permanent. As incredibly alarming and scary the results were, many said that these can be dropped as one matures and has more experiences in the world. This also adds to the responsibility everyone in the U.S. has, as these racist biases, a lot of the time, have to be dropped manually and actively.

I agree that the lack of representation leads to children developing ideas of biases and hate. I believe that while some Children are not taught racist ideas and thinkings by adults in their life, they are instead develop these ideas though media and the lack of representation in their lives.

goldshark567
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

The Anderson Cooper video emphasizes how race is a very prominent factor in our society, starting at a very young age. I believe that the children feel the way they do about race broadly because of their environment, which includes where they grow up, who they are surrounded by, what adults tell them, etc.

Paul Bloom says in his article, “The Moral Life of Babies,” that morality “is the product of culture, not of biology.” Although babies may have some sense of right and wrong “wired” into their brains, what exactly is considered right and what is considered wrong is a result of everything around them. When parents tell their children that something is good or something is bad, they remember it and they apply it to their life.

This idea of morality being a “product of culture” applies to the social construct of race in the same way. There is no biological difference between people classified as different races, but it is certainly ingrained into society and affects many things. What parents, teachers, and other adult figures say (or don’t say) to their children about race is very influential on how a child views skin color.

Mahzarin Banaji’s research reveals that children understand the concept of race very quickly and very early on because children process information differently than adults in general. Banaji also states that “As children age, let us say past 10, environment begins to play a tremendous role in how they perceive in-group and out-group people,” supporting the reasoning behind why children have racial preferences at such a young age.

Another piece of evidence that supports the role of environment in the racial stereotypes that children form is that overwhelmingly, in the Anderson Cooper video, children who went to more diverse schools had a more positive view of relationships between people of different races. Children who went to predominantly white schools had much more racial bias than those who went to predominantly black schools.

Overall, the way in which we grow up is so crucial to not only who we become, but also often unconsciously affects many of our views, prejudices, etc., so it is important as a society to be judicious about the things that children hear and see.

posts 16 - 30 of 36