Racial Bias in Pain Perception Appears among Children as Young as 7

Fariss Samarrai, Medical Xpress, February 28, 2014

A new University of Virginia psychology study has found that a sample of mostly white American children–as young as 7, and particularly by age 10–report that black children feel less pain than white children.

The study, which builds on previous research on bias among adults involving pain perception, is published in the Feb. 28 issue of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology.

“Our research shows that a potentially very harmful bias in adults emerges during middle childhood, and appears to develop across childhood,” said the study’s lead investigator, Rebecca Dore, a Ph.D. candidate indevelopmental psychology at U.Va.

Dore noted that this finding is important because many kinds of explicit biases emerge in early childhood–such as children wanting to play with friends of their own race–but those types of biases often decline in later childhood.

However, the racial bias in children’s perceptions of others’ pain appears to strengthen from early to late childhood. The researchers found no evidence of a racial bias among their study participants at the age of 5, but the bias began showing up among participants at the age of 7, and then became particularly prominent at the age of 10.

“Our finding can’t speak to how parents or teachers, for example, might intervene and try to halt these biases at an early age, but we currently are running a study that might speak to that question,” Dore said. “However, what this study can inform is the timing of any interventions. If we want to prevent this bias from developing, it needs to be done by age 7, or age 10 at the latest.”


Dore and her colleagues conducted their investigation by testing children at ages 5, 7 and 10. The children were asked to rate the severity of pain that they believed would be felt by other children of the same gender in different situations, such as bumping their head, or slamming a hand in a door. When shown pictures of black children, the 7- and 10-year-olds tended to rate the pain as being less severe than when they were shown pictures of white children.

The scope of Dore’s study does not explain why children are exhibiting this bias; however, her collaborators have research showing that one reason adults perceive black people as feeling less pain is because they assume black people have experienced more hardship in their lives. The researchers currently are investigating whether such perceptions may explain this bias in children.

Participants in the study were primarily white; therefore the study does not address whether similar biases occur among a sample of black children. Future studies may look into that question, Dore said.



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  • sbuffalonative

    a sample of mostly white American children–as young as 7

    the bias began showing up among participants at the age of 7, and then became particularly prominent at the age of 10.

    Could it be that young children see blacks acting more violent or taking more chances and they perceive that black kids might tolerate pain more than well behaved white kids who are unwilling to put themselves at risk by participating in and experiencing pain?

    Seeing blacks roughhouse might make white kids think they feel less pain.

    • Oil Can Harry

      The solution: ban Third World immigration in order to protect people of color from racist seven year olds.

    • Sue

      The bias was already shown when they only used (or as they “said” mostly) white kids!

      • sbuffalonative

        “study has found that a sample of mostly white American children”

        In science, there’s the principle of a control group. For this to be a valid study, they should have studied all children, not just whites.

        I wonder if blacks were asked, if they might brag that they have a higher threshold of pain.

        The researchers clearly didn’t want to come to any other conclusion than whites are biased.

        • Sue

          Just another day in anti-white sentiment.

        • pcmustgo

          Please, blacks are always boasting of this, of “not giving a ________” and “I ain’t never scared”. They’re constantly boasting of toughness.

      • Brian

        They wouldn’t want to show that the Holy Diverse (peace and blessings be upon them) have similar biases against whites, or latinos, or asians. That would put the liberals pets in a harsh light. It’s also curious that Dore assumes that ‘intervention’ needs to be done to block the bias, without digging into _whether the bias reflects reality_.

    • me

      Could it be that there’s a certain race-tribe-religion that dominates the ‘science’ of psychiatry? Could it be that there’s a particular BIAS against Europeans by this same dominant group in the field of ‘psychiatry’? Could it be that this is pure, unadulterated BULL?

      • John Ulfsson

        Freud’s writings literally portray himself as fighting to topple the white European establishment.

        • Erasmus

          Freud was a whack-job. But since he came from a tradition the first initiation rite of which is to mutilate the newborn male’s tallywhacker, that he was obsessed with his schlang should come as no surprise to anyone.

        • bilderbuster

          They have had a blood feud against the people of Europe since the days of the Roman Empire.

          • Good lord. They instigated the pogroms in Russia, right?

          • HamletsGhost


      • BonV.Vant

        This Bias is brought to every one of their endeavors. This study is a totally manufactured topic, a totally manufactured premise and conclusion. They have their end goal always in mind and that is how they think up such ridiculous things. They will find a reason to vilify whites anywhere and everywhere, even manufacture it out of thin air as was done here.

    • Lewis33

      Lots of ways we could run with this…Since blacks don’t mind going to prison, they obviously feel less aversion to homosexual sex…and on and on and on.

      • bilderbuster

        They just continue their pattern of Black on White rape behind bars.

    • Bantu_Education

      That’s what I immediately thought. And black skulls are thick, so if they get hit in the head its nothing to them.

      • Katherine McChesney

        I used to hear that their feet were the weakest point on their body.

        • HamletsGhost

          Ankles, to be specific.

    • Erasmus

      Could it be that young children see blacks acting more violent or taking more chances and they perceive that black kids might tolerate pain more than well behaved white kids…

      In time the white children will recognize that blacks taking more chances and acting more violent is a function of them being stupider.

      • bilderbuster

        Stupid/Thick skulls!

  • dd121

    It’s hard to reach firm conclusions based on this sort of junk science.

    • sbuffalonative

      Politically motivated, politically correct junk science.

      • BonV.Vant

        could this be just another example of the tribe’s machinations?

  • ncpride

    What does this have to do with ANY thing?! Why are they constantly looking for ‘racist’ behavior in White children? Could it possibly be that White children feel more empathy for others of their own race? OH, NO!! We must correct this behavior ASAP! Sheesh…Why do stupid White parents allow their children to participate in such nonsense?

    • So CAL Snowman

      Just look at the name of the author that wrote this dribble, Fariss Samarrai and it all becomes clear. Another non White looking to put their boot on Whitey’s neck along with all of the other colored savages.

      • Nathanwartooth

        Fariss Samarrai was indeed the author of the story, but here is the author of the study, Rebecca Dore. Just another liberal do gooder.

        Oh, and we’ll all be holding our breath for the day when she does the study with other races.

        • BonV.Vant

          She looks like a tribe member, or perhaps half tribe member. I’d say there are hints of hibernia in the facial features, but strong tribe features as well.

    • Jesse James

      They are building the justification story for our destruction.

      • Germanicus

        A perfect phrase: justification story.

    • MooTieFighter

      We do feel more empathy toward those that look like ourselves. This has been proven over and over again. This is not bad, it’s genetically important. The bad part of this is we are trying to condition and indoctrinate this out of white children (not other races). Another step in the destruction of the white race.

  • Spartacus

    If jews are so smart, how come this is the best they can come up with ?

    • Clover

      How are Jews related to this?

      • Spartacus

        This “study” has “chosenite” written all over it… Always looking for new excuses to start indoctrinating White children at a younger age .

        • Clover

          Do you blame Jews for every instance of cultural marxism you see? What’s special about this one?

          • Spartacus

            Well, cultural marxism is a jewish ideology to begin with…

          • Alexandra1973

            I’ve heard it’s a Jesuit ideology. Marx had Jesuit mentors.

      • JohnEngelman

        Spartacus blames Jews for nearly everything he dislikes.

  • Pelagian

    The researchers found no evidence of a racial bias among their study participants at the age of 5, but the bias began showing up among participants at the age of 7, and then became particularly prominent at the age of 10.

    It is like saying, “A Martian landed on earth, and when he came to Earth he didnt have a bias. Five years later after living among black people, ‘the bias’ had crept in.”

    • Brian

      It’s that Martian Privilege at work. Clearly we need a new organization called Interplanetary Poverty Law Center.

  • shawnmer

    How in the name of all that’s holy do they think these sort of BS tests up? I was brought up in a majority black public school in the South and am an Amren supporter today, so I guess I’m as “racist” as they need me to be. Blacks having less ability to feel physical pain has literally NEVER occurred to me, nor would it. All creatures feel pain.

    • Alexandra1973

      It’s known that women have a higher pain threshold. Maybe something like this is true for blacks, though I’ve never heard anything to that effect.

      • Brian

        I’ve heard that redheads have a lower threshold than brunettes, and require more anaesthesia during dental work, etc.

    • Germanicus

      I was thinking the same thing. I had never heard of this supposedly common bias before today. Notice, the obvious study was not done : do Negroes and Caucasians experience painful stimuli differently? What was done is to ask Caucasian children about their perceptions if another’s perception. (Were black children studied too with this probing query?) It is all meant to lay a foundation for more political propaganda and programs for, first, making Caucasian people–especially children–feel guilty about not being sensitive enough about the pain of negroes. Second, it will be argued that this peculiarly inherent bias of Caucasian children grown into adults was contributory to the bad treatment of Negroes throughout the sordid history of their supposed oppression by Caucasians. Third, there will be ushered in giant new programs seeping in everywhere, just like the Green Environmentalism blather, that will be design to re-educate (really, indoctrinate) Caucasian children. Fourth or concurrently, the re-education will be aimed at also teaching, sensitizing and inflaming Negroes to and with the “fact” that “The White man thinks you are subhuman and do not feel pain like him.” (It reminds me of a line, in another context, from the Merchant of Venice, “If you cut me, do I not bleed?”) With the Left, logic is in many ways inverted.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    I know this study is about perceptions of pain, but if were to take the study I would routinely say that the white guy experienced less pain or at least dealt with the pain better. From my experiences white people have a greater pain threshold than blacks. Just look at the nearly all white pro sports league vs. the predominantly black pro sports league. NHL players get cross checked face first into the boards, lose teeth, and continue to play like nothing ever happened. When NBA players have an opponent just bump them on their way to the hoop, they fall to the floor and flail around like they’ve been shot.

    • Grant3131

      I have to respectfully disagree and I believe your point has some biased logic. Sure, hockey players are a different breed of folk, they are tough as nails and are incredibly fit athletes…. On the other hand black PEOPLE in general tend to have,,,,, “less genetically-fine-tuned nerves” shall we say…. They don’t have the finesse that white people have that would aid in something like throwing a curve ball but they do have the tolerance to have bugs land on their face in aid commercials and not swat at them. HA!

    • Andy

      I do not know much about sports, but I would suspect such flailing is an attempt to get the bumper in trouble and give your team an advantage.

      • It’s called flopping.

        It first started in soccer, and spread to basketball.

        And you’re right. The purpose of flopping, taking a fake fall, is to try to get the refs to show a card (soccer) or blow the foul whistle (basketball) on the other team.

  • Extropico

    The end of the original story contains what might be the real purpose for this study: if they can convince people of racial bias in pain perception, they can promote greater levels of medical treatment for people of color.

  • JohnEngelman

    Dore noted that this finding is important because many kinds of explicit biases emerge in early childhood–such as children wanting to play with friends of their own race–but those types of biases often decline in later childhood.

    – Fariss Samarrai, Medical Xpress, February 28, 2014

    When I first learned that Oriental girls existed I thought to myself, “Some white girls are pretty. Some are not. All Oriental girls are pretty.” Unfortunately there were no Oriental girls in my neighborhood for me to play with.

    The two best friends I had in high school were Chinese Americans.

    One of the most fascinating friends I ever had in my life was a black college professor who taught at Howard University.

  • Whitetrashgang

    Could it be that blacks just do feel less pain, they are warriors after all.Just like natives its natural selection at work.

    • So CAL Snowman

      Black skin is different than White skin, it’s more coarse and dry. I’ve heard blacks complain that their skin gets “ashy” when it gets too hot and dry out. Their skin is perfect for foraging for low hanging fruit in thorny branches, it acts like a sort of leather armor. Black skulls are also thicker than the other races, which allows them to absorb more head trauma than other races. So in summary the little kids maybe on to something regarding blacks and pain due to the differences in black genetics.

      • pcmustgo

        and Black women are always boasting of being “A Strong Black Woman”. Everyone knows blacks are tougher.

        • Who Me?

          Maybe they are strong black women, look at all the kids they have without so much as a blink. Most White women have 2, or hopefully 3 or 4, but we DON’T have 8 or 9 or more. Even if we could afford them and nurture them all, the physical toll is too much for White women.

      • HamletsGhost

        That would explain why they didn’t bother to cross the Sahara.

  • NotTooSwift

    I am 68 years old and I have always considered Blacks’ feeling of pain as follows:

    Head-no pain

    Shins-severe pain

    To Whites they are a pain in the a**.

  • antiquesunlight

    Probably when I was 7 or so, the bias that blacks have fewer rational thoughts began showing up in me. It was particularly prominent at age 10, no doubt.

  • LACountyRedneck

    How much is spent per year dealing with racial issues? Perhaps that’s why it’s done. Somebody is making a living off diversity and associated issues. I’m going back to my beer and Encore Westerns.

  • I don’t feel much pain. I am willing to allow medical experiments to be done on me.

    I would like a few stiff drinks afterward.

  • model1911

    I feel pain every time I see a black.

  • Ograf

    No brain, no pain.

  • Germanicus

    Drive by science perhaps? Then those so desirous can refer to it as being as sound and fecund an idea as, say, the electron orbital theory.

  • prunepit

    The races of mankind evolved separately over hundreds of thousands of years. Racial “bias” is natural, not something that requires “intervention” or “correction”.

  • Tarczan

    How many studies were done to come up with this little bit of nonsense? They do who knows how many studies and cherry pick the results which show that white kids have some racial bias. Sometimes it seems as if the entire educational establishments’ only goal is to convince whites that they are racist and that there is no difference in the races.

  • Tarczan

    When you are half drunk or high on drugs you would feel less pain.

  • RyanP

    I understand that liberals will run with this and twist it to support their agenda(white people bad, etc). But I am not sure why everyone is upset with the study itself. I welcome all racial research. Could it be that 7 year olds are simply figuring out something that is actually true. Maybe blacks do experience less physical pain. It would be just another example of racial disparity to put on the growing pile. I am not quite sure how we could ever measure something as subjective as physical pain. But the racial statistics on suicide are a good indicator of the intensity of emotional pain.

    • MBlanc46

      “I am not quite sure how we could ever measure something as subjective as physical pain.”

      Or how children estimate the pain that other people feel. This is just race baiting of the lowest order.

  • BonV.Vant

    This is only “science” in the female mind. This is something straight out of the show “the view”. You can send a female to a university, give her a degree, but she will still think like a female. Males dominate REAL science for a reason. LOGIC is something that most women are not capable of. The Marie Curries are the exception.

  • IstvanIN

    Have you ever seen a TV show about chimpanzees? They hoot and stomp over the littlest thing and then quickly calm down. Their emotions are much more volatile than ours and much shorter lived. Blacks may or may not experience pain differently than we do, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, but their emotional reactions are, in general, very different from ours.

  • Cold_Gravy

    Yet they would have us believe that things saaid, by Whites of course, are very hurtful.

  • Peter Connor

    Worthless research.

  • Fathercoughlin

    All I EVER hear is mexicans mexicans mexicans. And blacks blacks blacks. They are the future. They alone matter. Everything is about THEM. WE are yesterdays people. Soon to be forgotten. Yet who do these child abusing nutcase “scientist” Dr. Strangelove idiots study relentlessly?? 3 guessess. The study only looked at whites…

  • Cannot Tell

    I’ve recently become interested in the animal rights movement and I’ve come across the argument that some animals don’t feel pain. A vegan friend of mine compared that argument to justifications for slavery and use of African subjects for painful experiments. I wouldn’t have guessed that this bias is prevalent in children as well as adults.

  • John R

    “Our research shows that a potentially very harmful bias in adults….”
    Really? And which race is responsible for the most violence on the other? Blacks assault Whites far, far, more often than the other way around, so which type of bias should we be concerned about? It isn’t White racism; its black racism that is the problem. How about a study of how educating black children about slavery and “racism” (by Whites) increases their anger and hatred toward Whites later on? Of course that would violate the principles of Cultural Marxism. To them, only the “oppressive” groups (White people, of course) are the problem.