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Study: Children Are Aware of Voter Prejudice in US


The "race card" has been a hot phase for pundits, politicians, and the general population throughout campaign season (McCain's own camp even alleged that Obama "played the race card" earlier this Summer), and apparently, it's a notion that's not lost on the youngest among us. A new study shows children are aware white males have monopolized the US presidency, and most attribute the trend to racial prejudice.

Researchers at the University of Texas found most elementary-school-aged children are aware there has been no female, African-American, or Hispanic president. Many of the children attribute the lack of representation to discrimination.

The research team interviewed 205 children aged five to 10 in 2006, a year before Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama began their historic bids for the presidency. For additional findings, read more.

  • A third of the children said the white male monopoly was due to "racial and gender bias," and another third believed members of the excluded groups "lacked the skills to hold the position."
  • One in four participants told researchers they thought it was "illegal for women and minorities to hold the office of president."
  • The study found children were generally optimistic about the possibility that they could be president.

Rebecca Bigler, professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, and lead author of the study, noted the topic of how racial and gender exclusion play into our politics is not typically explained to children so they appear to create their own explanations for the exclusion.

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