Study: Racism Against Moms Can Harm Their Babies

Anna North, BuzzFeed, August 28, 2012

Black women in America are over twice as likely as white women to give birth to babies with low birth weight, and socioeconomic and healthcare disparities don’t fully explain the difference. Since low birth weight can predispose people to lung disease, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes later in life, researchers have been looking for a reason why it’s linked to race. Now a study reveals one answer: discrimination against women can actually affect the weight of their babies.

For a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Valerie Earnshaw and her colleagues at Yale interviewed over 1,000 black and Latina girls and women between the ages of 14 and 21 (some groups of Latinas, such as Puerto Rican women, are also more likely than average to have low-birth-weight babies). They asked them how frequently they experienced forms of discrimination like being treated with less respect than other people, receiving poorer service, or being called names or insulted. They also asked whether they thought they were being discriminated against because of their race, their age, or other factors, and they screened the women for depression. When the babies were born, the researchers also recorded their weight.

The good news: across the board, the women reported relatively low levels of discrimination. However, even those low levels were associated with a significantly increased risk of low birth weight. That was true whether the women felt the discrimination was motivated by race or other factors.

The study also suggests one possible explanation for the harm discrimination might due to a developing fetus. Women who experienced more discrimination were also more likely to be depressed, and depression—both in this study and in previous research—has been found to be associated with low birth weight. {snip}

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  • … interviewed over 1,000 black and Latina girls and women between the
    ages of 14 and 21 (some groups of Latinas, such as Puerto Rican women,
    are also more likely than average to have low-birth-weight babies). They
    asked them how frequently they experienced forms of discrimination like
    being treated with less respect than other people, receiving poorer
    service, or being called names or insulted

    Solid science, indeed:  Basing medicine and health care on the opinions of 14-year old black and Hispanic girls, who really should be nowhere near reproducing.

  • haroldcrews

    So that black mothers will not experience ‘discrimination’ perhaps they should have their children in black countries such as Haiti or a country in Africa.  That should help.  Or would that cause the rates of preventable infant death to increase?

    • CoweringCoward

       Either way, GREAT IDEA!

    • Peter Lamoureux

      Problem solved, thank you.

  • WmarkW

    OK, so compare the low-birth weight rate for Puerto Rican females living in the US to those in Puerto Rico, where presumedly they don’t face ethnic discrimination,  and isolate how much of a factor discrimination is versus other intrinsic Puerto Rican characteristics.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Yes, and after the Puerto Rican study we can compare the low birth rates among American blacks vs blacks in Haiti, Jamaica and Sub-Saharan Africa.

      The study will show far worse birth defects in black-run countries.

  • Michael C. Scott

    This is all my fault.  The “racism” rays shoot out of my head while I sleep and would probably make a Geiger counter explode.  Sayaka and Ariadne seem to be immune, despite prolonged, close exposure.
     

  • Ulick

    “Black women in America are over twice as likely as white women to give birth to babies with low birth weight…. Now a study reveals one answer: discrimination against women can actually affect the weight of their babies.”

    Yes, because there’s no way that it could be their propensity toward both a worse diet and a greater drug use while pregnant.  I’m sure that these facts don’t factor in at all.

    • Also having to qctually worry about who will take care of the kid… specailly if gramma is not around…

  • Biff_Maliboo

    Here’s a fun experiment : Go to the most “diversified” Wal-Mart in your area this weekend, and tell me how many black or hispanic females over the age of 11 you see suffering the long-term effects of low birth weight.

    The evidence I’ve seen shows that they get over it pretty darn quick.

  • MekongDelta69

    Ahh yes – another useless anti-white college ‘study’. We haven’t had one of those in what? A week? Two hours? Twenty seconds?

    I love the name of this one though – Anals of Behavioral Medicine.
    Oh wait – did I spell that incorrectly? Sorry about that.

  • Rag Man

    Who am I to comment?

    But maybe Margaret Sanger the person who formed Planned Parenthood had the right idea in her original plan?

  • MekongDelta69

    Oh good. Another anti-white ‘study’ from an ‘esteemed’ university. How long has it been since we’ve had one of these ‘studies’?
    A week? Two hours? Twenty seconds?

    Btw, Valerie Earnshaw ( http://cira.yale.edu/people/valerie-earnshaw-phd ) is a post-doctoral ‘fellow’ (oops – sexism alert!) – as opposed to when she was a pre-doctoral ‘fellow’ in social psychology studying… yep, you guessed it… “Health disparities among stigmatized group members”

    • With such useful knowledge, is it any wonder why so many of our new graduates can’t find jobs?

  • Shouldn’t this: 
     Since low birth weight can predispose people to lung disease, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes later in life, researchers have been looking for a reason why it’s linked to race. 

    Read:  Since being black can predispose people to lung disease, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes later in life. And since black people are black, it must be racism.

    • You sir have finally figured it out. This is the “god particle” of racism. Being black is racist against blacks.

  • Maybe having babies at 14 has something to do with it….

  • Personally I blame the higher mortality rates on lack of access to blenders.  Blenders make really good smoothies and milk shakes.  Smoothies and milkshakes are essential in early infant development and obviously White people have the blender market cornered.  I surveyed 1500 blacks and latinas (but no Asians because their babies come out fine for some strange reason) and asked them about their access to blenders.  Over 80% responded that blenders are “for white folk” and that they felt discriminated against by not having a Pier 1 Imports or Bed, Bath and Beyond in their local ghetto.  

    Damn, “liberal science” is easy!  Where do I go to get my University funded research grant and which publisher do I see about an advance on my future New York Times best seller, “Blending Away Racism.”

    • That’s it. You’ve solved this scientific quandry.  Blenders are not covered by EBT! That’s “racist!” In order to right this social injustice, we must increase the monthly amount distributed via EBT in order for diversity to purchase blenders.

      • WhiteGuyInJapan

         Spell it “Blendaz” and they will sell like hotcakes in the ‘hood.  Put some bling bling rhinestones on them and you are golden.

      • RisingReich

         I think we can solve this by staging some Skittles in the blender, um, I mean blenda.  No it bees da food item.

  • refocus

    All of the low birth weight babies get neonatal intensive care treatment
    for 40 days at $10,000 ten thousand dollars per day plus $1,000 per day
    in doctors bills.

    And, uh…. a mexican in a new car with a pregnant female and three kids acted as if he was going to run me down in the parking lot of a large store today.  

    I am white therefore the offspring of the mexican will be low birth weight and the state will pay the mexican about $800 per month plus supply additional nutrition through the WICA program. 

  • Church_of_Jed

    Is there anything it can’t do?,

    you might ask, but since racism isn’t thoroughly and successfully defending and perpetuating our White privilege, then what good is it?

  • Well, white people have been racists for centuries and they don’t show any signs of changing. Maybe the answer is  for blacks to get away from white people.

    • bubo

      You might be on to something.   Us YT are so unrepentantly racist that for the survival of the black race they will have to be removed from our racist societies.  

      Is there any way to fast track this proposal through the UN?

      • RisingReich

         The only way I know of to fast track it would be to convince the UN there is a human rights emergency and that removal of the blacks will ensure white destruction.  Saving black people would not be enough.

        Good luck with that.  I know there is a group of people passing around a petition to the UN human rights council bringing up the current genocide in white nations.  You can imagine the reception that is garnering.

    • This would solve soooo many problems.

  • AmRem

    This is the most hilarious thing ever 

  • OPersephone

    Or maybe people who embrace the role of perpetual victimhood are more likely to: a) perceive racism even when it’s not there, and b) suffer from mood or personality disorders that affect their behavior and judgment, including how well they take care of themselves and their babies.

  • SLCain

    Racism:

    it slices…….,
    it dices,…….,
    …… and makes thousands of julienned fries.

  • Vil

    If white men could have babies… What would you think would the size/weight of them be?
    They would hardly weight more than a feather.

    But really, what stupid nonsense is this?

  • JackKrak

    Nice work, Yale. Glad to see the spirit of scientific inquiry is alive and well and we can all look to our Ivy League institutions to ask the hard questions and break new ground in their never-ending quest for knowledge.

    Now shut the hell up.

    • You ever ponder how useful these people are going to be to society after they graduate? After you get through laughing about that thought,  remind yourself that they probably are receiving some form of government assistance for this “great” education. 

  • What a reach. To jump from low birth weight secondary to racism is nuts. There are so many other factors that play a part of this. How about exercise/activity levels during pregnancy. How about nutritious foods/what they choose to eat during pregnancy. How about the use of recreational and “safe”prescription med use. How about appropriate sleep/rest. How about fetal noise exposure (what the fetus hears/noise levels in the womb). Anyone who looks at this “research”  at face value is simply biased in what they want the end result to be.

  • I really think these “researchers” should look at this following article. They can study this for the next 4-5 years, as I’m sure were paying a big part of their “education” :  A KwaZulu-Natal (region of South Africa) Member of the Executive Council accused lightening of targeting only black people. She said “We will do an investigation and talk to the department of science and technology on what is the cause of the lightning, and if it only happened to the previously disadvantaged as I have never seen any white people being struck by lightning.”

  • Peter Lamoureux

    Let’s not forget to blame George W. Bush as well, after all Kanye West (the wise) stated as fact, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people”.

  • Disgusting.  It never ends.

  • Former White Teacher

    In all seriousness, I am a former teacher who taught in three school districts from 2002 to 2009.  They ranged from lower income to upper income. I a now an educational consultant meaning I do work outside the classroom.  During my several years of teaching, I noticed that the young Black boys were on average notably smaller than young White boys of the same age. This would not have been the case when I was growing up. I have spoke with friends across different regions of the nation  and they made this point as well.

    My beliefs were confirmed when I went to several junior high and high schools earlier this year. The White men were on average, larger. I certainly do not chalk it up to any conspiracy, but I have noticed this trend.

  • JvNk

    Now all we need is a study linking racism and low IQs, proving that white people’s racism somehow permeates into the womb, and stunts brain development. Voila! A ready-made justification for affirmative action.