Children as young as three months old can be racially biased, London council claims

23 May 2022, 13:27

Islington Council has shared a poster claiming three-month-old babies can have racial biases
Islington Council has shared a poster claiming three-month-old babies can have racial biases. Picture: Getty/Google Maps

By Daisy Stephens

A London council has shared a poster announcing that babies as young as three months old can be racially biased.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Labour-run Islington council's early years department shared a graphic titled "Children are never too young to talk about race".

The poster, made by the Children's Community School but shared by the Islington Early Years Twitter page, details how racial biases develop in children as they age, quoting research from the early 2000s.

"At three months, babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers," the poster reads.

Read more: I'm no homewrecker, insists tearful Ukrainian refugee who ran off with host after a week

Read more: Children suffer from food poisoning as parents switch fridges off to save on energy bills

It then said that children as young as two "use race to reason about people's behaviours".

By age two and a half, the poster says, the majority of children will use race to determine which other children to play with.

It then says that "expressions of racial prejudice" peak at around four of five years old, at which point "white children are strongly biased in favour of whiteness" and have "learned to associate some groups with higher status than others".

Tom Swarbrick challenged over racism

When making the claim about three-month-olds, the poster cited research carried out in 2005.

The research found that newborn babies did not demonstrate a preference for the ethnicity of their caregivers, but by three month old they appeared to have "learned" to.

Researchers said the data suggested that adults' perception of racial differences are influenced by the ethnicities they see in the first few months of their lives.

Read more: Nurse, 27, arrested over 'fatal poisoning of child' in Birmingham Children's Hospital

Read more: No bunting on lampposts and devise counterterrorism plans, street party organisers told

The authority has been criticised on Twitter for sharing the post.

One person branded it "bonkers".

Another said the research was "as scientific as witchcraft itself".

Another wrote: "This is the most egregious example of incitement of racial hatred that I have seen in years."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Indian farmers who have been protesting for a week to demand guaranteed crop prices wait to march to New Delhi (Altaf Qadri/AP)

Man dies as clashes erupt between police and protesting farmers in India

Polish farmers drive tractors in a convoy in Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland as they intensify a nationwide protest against the import of Ukrainian foods and European Union environmental policies (Czarek Sok

Poland concerned by pro-Putin slogans at farmers’ protests

Russian prison bosses at the Arctic penal colony where Alexei Navalny was "detained and killed" have been banned from the UK and had their assets frozen

Russian bosses of Arctic penal colony where Alexei Navalny was 'detained and killed' sanctioned by British government

Rishi Sunak would not repeat Ms Badenoch's claims when asked at PMQs.

Rishi Sunak refuses to repeat Kemi Badenoch's claim ex-Post Office boss ‘lied’ about delaying compensation

ChatGPT began speaking in Spanglish for some users

'It's gone crazy': ChatGPT users share AI's bizarre 'Spanglish' replies as tech firm admits 'unexpected responses'

Maxim Kuzminov, who defected to Ukraine, appears in a video released by Ukraine's Defense Intelligence agency in September 2023.

Russian defector gunned down in Spain 'contacted his ex' as body found riddled with bullets in underground car park

France Eiffel Tower

Striking workers close down Eiffel Tower for third day ahead of Paris Olympics

Richard and Debbie Nuttall have been named as the winners of £61 million

Lucky Brit couple win £61m Euromillions jackpot while on 30th anniversary holiday in Canary Islands

People clean debris after a reported Israeli attack on Syria (Omar Sanadiki/AP)

Two dead after Israeli missiles ‘hit residential area’ in Syria

People look down at a protest in Madrid, Spain as hundreds of farmers drove their tractors into the capital as part of ongoing protests against European Union and local farming policies (Manu Fernande

Thousands of farmers descend on Madrid for tractor protest over EU policies

Ewen MacIntosh has died aged 50

Actor Ewen MacIntosh who played Keith in The Office ‘suffered ill health for two years’ before his death aged 50

Anemone wildflowers bloom in Re’im, southern Israel, at the site of a cross-border attack by Hamas on the Nova music festival where hundreds of people were killed and kidnapped into the Gaza Strip (Ma

Rape and sexual assault took place during Hamas attack, Israeli association says

A police van carrying five Israelis accused of raping the British woman arrives at the Famagusta District Courthouse in Paralimni, Cyprus yesterday

British woman ‘dragged into hotel and gang-raped’ at Ayia Napa hotel enters court to begin testimony

A pig's head has been hurled into a Muslim family's home

Pig's head hurled into Muslim family's home in Blackburn as police investigate hate crime

Two men look at flames after a natural gas pipeline explodes outside the city of Boroujen in Iran (Reza Kamali Dehkordi/AP)

Iran accuses Israel of attack that saw explosions strike natural gas pipeline

The BT Tower

BT Tower to be sold off for £275 million and turned into hotel, with Garden Bridge architect attached