We need only scan the latest news headlines to see how bias and prejudice harm adults and children alike—every single day. Police shootings that give rise to the Black Lives Matter revolution . . . rampant sexual harassment of women and the subsequent #MeToo movement . . . extreme violence toward trans men and women.
It would be easy to fix these problems if the examples stopped with a few racist or sexist individuals, but there are also biases embedded in our government policies, media, and institutions.
As a developmental psychologist and international expert on stereotypes and discrimination in children, Dr. Christia Spears Brown knows that biases and prejudice don’t just develop as people become adults (or CEOs or politicians). They begin when children are young, slowly growing and exposed to prejudice in their classrooms, after-school activities, and, yes, even in their homes, no matter how enlightened their parents may consider themselves to be. The only way to have a more just and equitable world—not to mention more broad-minded, empathetic children—is for parents to closely examine biases beginning in childhood and how they infiltrate our kids’ lives.
In her new book Unraveling Bias: How Prejudice Has Shaped Children for Generations and Why It's Time to Break the Cycle, Dr. Brown will uncover what scientists have learned about how children are impacted by biases, and how we adults can help protect them from those biases. Part science, part history, part current events, and part call to arms, Unraveling Bias provides readers with the answers to vital questions:
• How do biased policies, schools, and media harm our children? • Where does childhood prejudice come from, and how do these prejudices shape children’s behavior, goals, relationships, and beliefs about themselves? • What can we learn from modern-day science to help us protect our children from these biases?
Few issues today are as critical as being aware of bias and prejudice all around us and making sure our kids don’t succumb to them. To change lives and advance society, it’s time to unravel our biases—starting with the future leaders of the world.
About the Author
Christia Spears Brown, PhD, is a Professor of Developmental Psychology, and the Director of the Center for Equality and Social Justice, at the University of Kentucky. Her research focuses on children’s experiences with ethic, racial, and gender discrimination and stereotypes and how racism and sexism impacts the academic, social, and psychological lives of children and teens. In addition to award-winning scientific research articles, chapters, and academic books, and numerous teaching awards, she is the author of Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue: How to Raise Children Free of Gender Stereotypes. She was the 2019 Society for Research in Child Development Scholar-in-Residence. She regularly speaks with and consults parent groups, schools and teachers, toy and media companies, and businesses about reducing the impact of stereotypes, is regularly featured in international media outlets, and has served as an expert witness for the ACLU on cases of gender discrimination in schools.