Ethnic bigotry is caused by?

Posted: March 11, 2012 in ALL POSTS, Misc. World Blogs, News Rants

In my ‘Racism Is’ Blog, I argue that racial bigotry is an inaccurate characterization and the term ethnic should always be used in place of racial.   But, what about the cause of ethnic bigotry?  Where did it come from?

The conventional wisdom has been that parents who are bigots teach their children to be bigots by modeling bigoted behaviour, but science has now shown us that while such parents do foster bigotry, and they are in fact the initial cause of it, the mechanism for ethnic bigotry comes into effect days after birth and parents are unaware of it.  In his excellent book The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives,  the author, Shankar Vedantam shows through multiple rigorous studies that children all over the world consistently prefer their own ethnic group over others from the earliest age.  He attributes the cause to infants being able to recognize certain facial features, especially the eyes and the nose — features you will notice that are the major identifiers for the differences between ethnic groups.

So practically all children in the world pretty much start out with ethnic bias and according to Mr. Vedantam, regardless of the attitude of parents in such matters these biases will continue until about age twelve, when they will either become stronger or weaker, depending on the influence of significant others after that.

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  1. […] Ethnic bigotry is caused by? […]

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