2 min read

Prejudice at Age 6

[. Damn, this is awful.

By age 6, many kids are well schooled in societal prejudice. In a study, researchers interviewed 92 African-American first- and sixth-graders from varying socioeconomic backgrounds about job status and their own interest in particular occupations.

Children from all economic backgrounds associated white workers with jobs that they saw as higher in status. Furthermore, when asked about unfamiliar and even imaginary jobs such as a “tenic,” someone who organizes and marks handicapped parking spaces, children rated careers pictured with white workers above those depicted with black workers or a mixed group.

“It’s troubling that children in our society take race as something that defines the status, importance, and pay of jobs,” says Lynn S. Liben, professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University and coauthor of the study, published in Developmental Psychology.

Liben also found that poor children in the sixth-grade group showed less interest in high status jobs such as a doctor or airline pilot, which they saw as occupied primarily by whites. She speculates that underprivileged children in particular may “self-select” away from high status jobs because they assume a lack of access to the education and resources needed to attain them.

Go to the Eracism site and get a sticker, shirt or something to spread the word that we want an end to this disgusting way of thinking.