Do you believe that discrimination is taught in childhood?
A small child does not discriminate with anybody when playing with other children in the nursery. Why does the same child discriminate with others as he/she grows up? I believe that discrimination is taught in childhood. Is it fair to allow/ teach a child to discriminate with a fellow classmate/ friend?
This question is broadly related to the day-to-day discriminations regarding caste, creed, class, color of the skin, and religious beliefs. Discuss...
There are all kinds of discrimination and I think in large part we do learn it in childhood. When I think about some of the common phrases we use, they drip with discrimination - not racial but gender.
How often we hear phrases like: Man up, Indicating men are strong - no one would dream of saying "Woman up."
Or "He cried like a little girl, or screamed like a little girl.
Look at the basic training in the armed forces, when the drill sergeant wants to insult his group of recruits, he says something like, oh look at "her." Or "listen up ladies" as though calling someone a woman is the ultimate insult.
And when kids hear this stuff, it leaves an impression, even if subliminal.
Children do discriminate, just not as profoundly as adults. Children discriminate against ugliness, for instance. They will often stare or point out abnormalities about people. This could be learned from the various Disney and children's movies where the villian is typically unattractive (i.e. troll appearances, warts etc.)
Discrimination is difficult to stop because it is taught from a young age through various sources. It may also be due in part to evolution in that we needed to discriminate and judge quickly in order to survive. These insticts from our ancestors could still be with us today. I'm sure some will argue with that but I believe that most of our traits, beliefs, etc. were beneficial at one point and usually have an evolutionary explanation.
Hands down I believe all discrimination is learned in childhood. The question in my mind is by who. Well, when we are young we look to our biggest influences in our lives, generally our parents. Children, Young; tend to always mimic, or repeat their parents actions. Then off to school, where we are influenced by peers we are attracted to, hence then their actions, choices are sometimes an influence. This always depends on the child and their development. Some children are automatic followers and some are leaders. What is heart breaking to me is that so many of us, don't realize how much our actions as adults do impact a child. What a child needs is encouragement to make their own choices; provided of course they are not damaging anyone or themselves. Encouraging individuality, at the same time reinforcing a child's good choices and/or actions is so important as adults. However as a parent of four, I have made countless mistakes in my development of my children. It's being able to recognize when we as adults are wrong, or make mistakes showing our children that lessons are learned through this process and that for every action there is a reaction; (especially discrimination) sometimes it is the cost that makes it hard for all of us, but the bigger the cost the bigger the lesson.
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