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In GMA Test Many Black Girls Still Say White Dolls Are Prettier

Today Good Morning America recreated the 1940s experiment in which 63% of African-American children given identical white and black dolls said they'd rather play with the white doll and 44% identified more with the white doll.

GMA interviewed 19 black boys and girls who ranged in age from 5 to 9. This time 42% wanted to play with the black doll, 32% with the white doll, and the rest said they didn't want to play with either doll. 88% said they looked more like the dark-skinned doll. When asked which doll was prettiest, all the boys said both dolls were equally pretty, but 47% of the girls said the white doll was prettiest. "Black boys are more confident," explains Harvard Sociologist William Julius Wilson, "Black girls don't feel that they enjoy the respect and admiration that black boys do." Clip at left. [ABC News]


Note: This experiment was also done in a 2006 short film, A Girl Like Me, by Kiri Davis, which we encourage you to watch.

A Girl Like Me [Google Video]

Earlier: 'White Beauty' Has An Ugly Message
In India, Fair Is Handsome & Dark Is Doomed
Can One Woman Make A Difference? Maybe, If She Works For A Global Beauty Company


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If I remember correctly from my psych studies, that original 1940s experiment was later reproduced under slightly different conditions — e.g., taking into consideration the race of the interviewer — and the results were much less biased.

I can't watch the video at work, but I wonder if this experiment matched the race of the interviewer with the race of the child? That can make a difference.