The Essence Of Innocence : Consequences Of Dehumanizing Black Children

1837 Words Dec 17th, 2014 8 Pages
Alexander Bates
Psych Research In the study, “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children,” researchers investigated whether or not Black boys are given the same protections of childhood as their peers. They tested three hypotheses: that Black boys are seen as less “innocent” as White peers, that characteristics associated with childhood are less likely to be thought of when thinking about White boys relatives to Black boys, and that these trends are exacerbated when Black males are associated with apes. The researchers cite numerous previous studies to support the foundation of their hypotheses, that black males are not treated fairly because of subliminal racial prejudice. In a previous study, “white participants who were subliminally exposed to images of apes before watching a video of police beating a Black man were more likely to endorse that beating, despite the extremity of the violence. Participants did not, however, endorse the same beating when the suspect was white or when they had not been primed with the ape image” (527). The same concept that the association of apes and black people, however subliminal, leads to unfair treatment and violence is something the researchers focused on with one of their three studies. Further, “in recent research by Rattan et al. (2012)… participants perceived Black adolescent offenders as more deserving of adult treatment than an identical White adolescent offender, providing evidence for…
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