Babies and Racism

At just nine months, babies demonstrate biases in facial recognition — essentially, they can recognize faces and emotional expressions of people of the same race.

Now, that’s not to suggest this behavior make babies racist, per se, however, a recent study suggests that “biases in face recognition and perception begin in preverbal infants, well before concepts about race are formed. It is important for us to understand the nature of these biases in order to reduce or eliminate [the biases],” explains researcher Lisa Scott.

The learned mechanism is probably a survival technique of some sort and not ultimately behavior indicative of “racism.” But, it does suggest that people learn to identify and segregate people on the basis of race from a remarkably young age. [via theatlanticwire]

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