Sojourner's Place

out of the mouths of babes  

Posted by SjP in ,

The most certain uncertainty known to every parent, is that you can never be certain of what you child may say or when she'll say it. Yes, Before they learn to "stay out of grown folks conversation" or "to be seen and not heard" you just never know what may come out of their adoring mouths. We learn very quickly that they have minds of their own, and are often more than willing and able to share with you just what their thinking.

It is no wonder, therefore, that elementary school-age children, when given the opportunity, are voicing their opinions regarding the exclusion of people of color and women from the U.S. Presidency. In a study published by the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy it was reported that many children attributed the lack of female, African American, and Latino presidents to gender and racial discrimination.

Prior to the Clinton-Obama's bids to become the Democratic nominee, children between five and ten from various ethnic and racial backgrounds where interviewed in order to assess their knowledge of and attributions for the lack of female, African American, and Latino presidents. Amazingly, most of the children participating in the study believed that presidency should be filled by people of both genders and diverse races and ethnicities. In addition, according to the study, most of the children reported that women and people of color have been excluded from the highest office of the Land.

When asked why they thought people of color and women had been excluded, one in four stated:

...it was currently against the law for women, African Americans, or Latinos to be President. Many children also blamed those who have been excluded, arguing that they lack the necessary attributes to hold the position, including the fact women aren't as smart as men.

Other findings of the study included:

Girls who attributed the lack of female presidents to discrimination were more likely to report that they could not really become president, even if they were interested in the position

African American children, attributions to discrimination were associated with an increased interest in becoming president, ...as a result of the long and well-known history of African-Americans' struggle to achieve equality in the United States.

The researchers conclude that:

...the U.S. presidency is a high-profile instance of gender and racial exclusion that is well known by young children and may shape their expectations concerning gender and race relations and discrimination.

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

...if Obama wins children may believe that exclusionary laws and racial prejudice no longer shape the outcomes of the presidential elections.


Out of the mouths of babes... Maybe, just maybe when its time for them to lead they will not do so without the bigotry, racism, or sexism at the helm. Maybe, just maybe they will do better - be better - than us.

Obliged to you for hearing me,
and now old SjP ain't got nothin' more to say...

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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This entry was posted at Tuesday, October 14, 2008 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

2 sojourners hollin' back

I wonder how long before their view of the world changes.

October 14, 2008 at 4:42 AM

Let's just hope the world is changing in the right direction. By the way, I enjoy your blog.

October 14, 2008 at 10:12 AM
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