Study: Black girls viewed as less innocent than their white peers

A recent study shows that Black girls are viewed as less innocent than their white peers.

According to a recently published report from the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality titled Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, Black girls are more likely to be disciplined for minor violations, fighting, and bullying than their white peers.


This treatment is attributed to the girls being viewed as adults and a phenomenon coined as ‘adultification.’

There’s a local effort to address this issue by those who have faced it themselves.

"We are always seen as more adult, less innocent, and in less need of help or service for others. We really wanted a way to combat some of those issues," said Kara Dunovant with Texas Southern University. 

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She looked deeper into this study and how this phenomenon is present in Houston. 

"What we are seeing is that young Black women, particularly in schools and even other areas of their lives, they are seen as less innocent than their peers."

"It’s based on stereotypes for years and years. It is based on our history. Historically, Black women have been portrayed as stronger or more resilient. While these are positive characteristics that are often found in our community, they are often harmful when a Black woman is in need of service or in need of something," she said.


Kara helped launch a project called Black Girls Initiative (BGI). It provides awareness, support, and change when it comes to disparities Black girls face.

"I want the issues that Black women face accessible regardless of your age and work towards a solution," said Jasmine Dolcine, a student at TSU, working with Kara on BGI. 

They have built awareness and campaigns in the community and are seeing results. 

"It makes me very emotional every time I’m in a meeting to see them taking the leadership and the power they have to actually have the power to effect change."

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"This is not a smear campaign. This is not something we are doing to target or put any hate on any group, but simply to bring love to our group as well," said Dunovant.

To find out more about the program and study, click here or click here