CULTURE BIAS & Study: Black girls viewed as ‘less innocent’ than white girls

by T. Ress Shapiro, The Washington Post, 6/27/17.

Adults view young black girls as less innocent than white girls of the same age, a new study has found, indicating that children’s race may affect how their actions are perceived.

The report from Georgetown University law school’s Center on Poverty and Inequality, released Tuesday, found that black girls, particularly those age 5 to 14, are seen as more sexually mature and know more about adult topics than white girls in the same peer group. The result, authors Rebecca Epstein, Jamilia J. Blake and Thalia Gonzalez wrote, is that black girls experience “adultification,” and are not afforded the same childhood benefits as whites.

“What we found is that adults see black girls as less innocent and less in need of protection as white girls of the same age,” Epstein, the center’s executive director, wrote in a statement. “This new evidence of what we call the ‘adultification’ of black girls may help explain why black girls in America are disciplined much more often and more severely than white girls – across our schools and in our juvenile justice system.”

The study builds on what the authors call a surprising dearth of research about perceptions of black girls. It follows a 2014 study by researcher Phillip Goff that found black boys, as young as age 10, are more likely to be regarded as suspicious, older than they look, and presumed guilty of crimes…

Overall, the study concluded that when adults compared white girls and black girls they viewed black girls as needing less nurturing, less support and less comfort…

“These findings show that pervasive stereotypes of black women as hypersexualized and combative are reaching into our schools and playgrounds and helping rob black girls of the protections other children enjoy,” said Blake, an associate professor at Texas A&M University…

Read more at … https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-black-girls-viewed-as-less-innocent-than-white-girls/2017/06/27/3fbedc32-5ae1-11e7-a9f6-7c3296387341_story.html?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.26ca662b8c87