Originally posted by GullAlight on October 13, 2021 23:44
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.
That's a very interesting point about how neurodivergent children are affected by biases around them and I think it makes sense that there might be a difference. I wonder if there has been any research into anything similar.