Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children Aware Of White Male Monopoly On White House

Date:
October 5, 2008
Source:
University of Texas at Austin
Summary:
Challenging the idea that children live in a color or gender blind world, a new study reveals most elementary-school-age children are aware there has been no female, African-American, or Hispanic President of the United States. And, many of the children attribute the lack of representation to discrimination.

Challenging the idea that children live in a color or gender blind world, a new study from The University of Texas at Austin reveals most elementary-school-age children are aware there has been no female, African-American, or Hispanic President of the United States. And, many of the children attribute the lack of representation to discrimination.

Rebecca Bigler, professor of psychology, and a team of researchers at the university and the University of Kansas have published their findings in the October issue of the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

During 2006, more than a year before Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama entered the presidential race, the researchers interviewed 205 children between the ages of five and 10 about their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about the similarities among U.S. presidents. In three studies, children from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds answered questions about the absence of female, African-American and Hispanic presidents.

The researchers found most children are aware that women and minorities have been excluded from the U.S. presidency. Although most of the children believed people of all races and genders should be president, they offered surprising answers as to why only white males have held the nation's highest political office:

  • One in four participants said it is illegal for women and minorities to hold the office of president;
  • One in three children attributed the lack of female, African-American and Latino presidents to racial and gender bias on the part of voters; and
  • While some children expressed the belief that prejudice shapes how adults vote, another third of the participants said members of the excluded groups lacked the skills to hold the position.

"The U.S. presidency is a high profile case of racial and gender exclusion," Bigler, director of the Gender and Racial Attitudes Lab at the university, said. "And because this topic is not typically explained to children, they appear to create their own explanations for the exclusion."

Children generally were optimistic about the possibility that they could become president, the researchers found. However, girls who attributed the lack of female presidents to discrimination were more likely to report they could not become president. In contrast, African-American children who identified discrimination as the reason for the lack of diversity showed an increased interest in becoming president.

"Perhaps the increased interest in becoming president is a result of the long and well-known history of African-Amercans' struggle to achieve equality in the United States," said Bigler. "Young girls are not as aware of the women's rights movements and are less likely to be knowledgeable about women's struggles to achieve political power."

Bigler notes the 2008 presidential election has the potential to significantly alter children's view.

"If Obama loses his bid for the presidency, there may be little change in children's attitudes, but it could fuel their perception that American voters are racially prejudiced," Bigler said. "In contrast, if Obama wins children may believe that exclusionary laws and racial prejudice no longer shape the outcomes of the presidential elections."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas at Austin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Texas at Austin. "Children Aware Of White Male Monopoly On White House." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081005121335.htm>.
University of Texas at Austin. (2008, October 5). Children Aware Of White Male Monopoly On White House. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081005121335.htm
University of Texas at Austin. "Children Aware Of White Male Monopoly On White House." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081005121335.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins