The answer is YES! We are not talking about hatred, bigoted, racist, sexist biases but something very basic. Let me share a story with you before diving more into the answer.
When my daughter was a mere 1 year old, I picked her up from daycare and this poor little African-American girl (who was obviously ready for her mommy to get there) ran up to me. After about 2 seconds she realized I wasn't her mother and looked so disappointed because for just a brief moment she thought this brown mommy could be her brown mommy! That is all bias is about during infancy, until about 2 years old, then it gets more complicated (SEE LATER POST). An infant has to be smart enough to know who IS mommy and who is NOT mommy. This is the beginning of bias. Imagine a child being stranded, and really not being able to find their mother. This could be a matter of life and death (or like the story book "Are You My Mother" lol)...but seriously, if an infant were in a situation where they must find their mother they don't have time to sit and wonder "Well what did she look like again?". Instead their little brains (which remember what mommy looks like since they have been looking at her since birth), start scanning for people that LOOK like mommy until they find the right one. No use looking for a Chinese woman if your mom is a Black woman, that would be a waste of time and potentially life threatening.
So again the answer is YES! Infants have a bias for what mommy and/or their other primary caregiver(s) look like. This bias is innocent and really based off of the fact that the infant is not dealing with too many people, they remember who the few people they are around daily look like( especially the ones that TAKE CARE OF THEM). In terms of evolutionary psychology and the need to survive its important for infants to know who their caregivers are and how to find them, which means knowing what they look like. Skin and hair are the most salient features of human beings. Infants learn this early in life just to know who and where their LIFE SOURCE is. This is innocent and life sustaining, but if parents do not expose their children to different types of human beings by the time their children are school-aged, it CAN turn into PREJUDICE.
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