What is it about?

Some research suggests that people tend to see Black children as older and less human-like than White children and therefore less harmed. The present research looked at whether these attitudes held up and predicted how people evaluated police force by examining whether people perceive use of force differently against Black girls and boys compared to White girls and boys.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that while people seem to be sensitized to police violence against Black boys, they did not show the same sensitivity to violence against Black girls. That is, they saw force used against Black girls as less harmful than force against White girls. Our results suggest that we cannot look at harm simply in terms of race or gender, but must consider intersectionality (identities in combination) when evaluating things that can impact people's perceptions of harm.

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This page is a summary of: Examining the consequences of dehumanization and adultification in justification of police use of force against Black girls and boys., Law and Human Behavior, February 2023, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000521.
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