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Children of low intelligence are more likely to be racist and homophobic, finds study

brain020312_optBY BOB HOLT

New research has found that low childhood intelligence can lead to racist attitudes and gay prejudices. The study also finds people with right-wing opinions to be less intelligent than those with views toward the left.

According to Mail Online, the research analyzed large United Kingdom studies from 1958 and 1970, where several thousand children took intelligence testing at ages 10 and 11, and then were asked political questions at ages 30 to 33. The study covered more than 15,000 people. The study found that the same results may apply for homophobia.

Adulthood questions related to feelings about working with someone of a different race, or living next door to such a person. And they were asked if they agreed with various socially conservative beliefs.

Lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario, said adults with low intelligence tend to resist change, and adopt attitudes that can lead to prejudice.

He told LiveScience, "Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any contributing factors are uncovered and understood.”

Hodson noted that earlier studies have linked between low education and biases. According to Business First, researchers next needed to study potential connections between low intelligence and adult political attitudes and overall world views.

The research found that people with lower cognitive abilities were less likely to interact with people of other races. Hodson said, "This finding is consistent with recent research demonstrating that intergroup contact is mentally challenging and cognitively draining, and consistent with findings that contact reduces prejudice."

Hodson said that understanding the roots of racism and bias could help to eliminate them. He also said seeing life from another group’s point of view may be too difficult for people of low IQ.

Comments (2)
2 Monday, 12 August 2013 01:04
Racism is defined as when a member of any ethnic group of the Human Family believes that his or her ethnic group has some inborn superiority over others. They believe that they are more intelligent, more creative, have more physical beauty, more physical strength, more morality, human sentiments, leadership ability, courage, spirituality, sexuality etc. They believe all these traits are abundantly given to their ethnic group by G-D and denied to others (for centuries Caucasians classified members of other ethnic groups as “sub-humans”). To be openly racist today, is not acceptable so the majority of racists express their thoughts and feelings within their own circle of friends and relatives (or anonymously on the internet).
1 Sunday, 05 February 2012 11:35
Vivian Sessoms
I agree totally with this article. However, this does not mean that racists are always people with limited intelligence. I think racism is an ingrained feature (characteristic) of white Americans and, perhaps, some Europeans, although Europeans appear to be more tolerant of people of color. In the United States, whites embrace the notion of white supremacy, regardless of intelligence or level of awareness. People who are more educated, however, do appear to be less racist, but will remain silent even though they think racial discrimination is wrong. In other words, whites, regardless of intelligence, would not overtly object to morally wrong conduct against people of color... And, unfortunately, this code of silence is a very serious part of the problem.

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