It's become a working assumption of our culture that there are real differences between men and women, but that racism is really a sort of falsehood that we carry around with us. An odd report lends some credence to the idea that might be the case.

Never has a human population been found that has no racial stereotypes. Not in other cultures or far-flung countries. Nor among tiny tots or people with various psychological conditions.

Until now.

Children with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that makes them lack normal social anxiety, have no racial biases. They do, however, traffic in gender stereotypes, said study researcher Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg of the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
So, a disorder can block racial prejudice; but people continue to recognize and impute importance to sex differences even here.

Which, by the way, what are the "gender stereotypes" at work here?
That is, 99 percent of the 40 children studied pointed to pictures of girls when asked who played with dolls and chose boys when asked, say, who likes toy cars.
Unlike the racial stereotype questions, that is a question with a fairly high predictive value. The probability of X given Y is the test here: does the probability of a child being naughty (X) vary substantially given their race (Y)? Not that I know of, factoring for socioeconomic differences. Yet the probability of playing with dolls instead of cars (X) really does vary substantially given sex (Y). While far from a perfect predictor, sex does offer substantial predictive value here.

That's why the race questions are questions about prejudice. In order to test whether they are prejudiced about sex -- rather than merely performing rational calculations, as well as a child might be expected to do -- we'd need similar questions. Yet sex proves to be a reasonable predictor for "naughtiness" too!

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