By Ashley Green, Texas A&M University College of Education and Human Development
Biases revealed in a report coauthored by a Texas A&M University professor may shed new light on why black girls are disciplined more harshly than their white peers.
The report, Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, focuses on adult perceptions of black girls and finds adults view black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers.
Authors of the report, including Dr. Jamilia Blake, associate professor of school psychology at Texas A&M, adapted the scale of childhood innocence developed in 2014 to include stereotypes associated with black girls. They then applied the scale to a new survey on adult perceptions of girls and found significant bias toward black girls starting at age 5.
Across the four age brackets examined, the most significant differences in adult perceptions were found in relation to girls ages 5-9 and 10-14.