Friday, October 02, 2009

Baby bigots? Or adults who pay too much for fishwrap?

Here's a fun column from Janet LaRue,
... Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, in their new book, NutureShock, is based on one "test" of 100 white babies and 100 black babies by one researcher revealing the same response by both races:

How do researchers test a 6-month-old? They show babies photographs of faces. Katz found that babies will stare significantly longer at photographs of faces that are a different race from their parents, indicating they find the face out of the ordinary. Race itself has no ethnic meaning per se-but children's brains are noticing skin-color differences and trying to understand their meaning.

Newsweek editors apparently concluded from this "research" that 6-month old white babies are born racists. What else explains Newsweek's cover question: "Is Your Baby a Racist?"
Well, sure. Maybe. I dunno. Probably not.

If we start with the proposition that a six-month-old child never has any problems figuring out the world around her, there is no reason other than racism that she would stare longer at an unfamiliar type of face. We can go anywhere from there.

As a matter of fact, it's hard to even see when you do not know what you are looking at. There have been rare cases of people who recovered their eyesight after a lifetime of blindness, and that is precisely what happened. It took them a while to even interpret what they were seeing, because they were so unused to getting visual information.

If this is research, I really do prefer ignorance.