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study reveals that black girls are perceived as more adult-like than peers

May 20, 2019
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Literally coming as no surprise to anyone, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality’s Initiative on Gender Justice and Opportunity released Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, a collection of data proving that Black girls aged 5 to 14 are perceived to be more “adult-like” and less innocent than their white peers.

Meaning that in places like school, Black girls are less likely to be given the benefit of the doubt in disciplinary situations and are more likely to be policed than white kids doing the same types of things. The study revealed that in addition to the adultification bias, Black girls receive harsher treatment and are held to higher standards than other students. Negative stereotypes are mapped onto Black girls which help sustain this bias. And adult often attempts to enforce traditional white norms of femininity on black girls.

While this study isn’t a surprise, it’s important confirmation of the racial biases young black girls face on a routine basis. We must break this cycle.