Typically begun at a young age, implicit biases are the product of learned associations and social conditions. It is not something that is hard-wired into a human's makeup. What's interesting, however, is that humans can assign positive or negative traits to one's own race, gender, background. For example, a woman born before the 1960's might believe that a woman's role is only as a mother and homemaker; that women have no business doing business. That is classic stereotyping.
The term implicit bias grew in popularity in 1998 when Banaji and Greenwald developed the well-known Implicit Association Test (IAT to confirm their hypothesis. "In addition to racial bias, the test has also been used successfully to assess implicit bias related to gender and sexual orientation."
Holding an implicit bias towards a particular group can determine how you treat an individual from that group. "Implicit biases affect human behavior throughout society, including in classrooms, workplaces, and the legal system." In schools, it means that teachers might treat students differently, favoring girls over boys, or white students over students of color. But implicit bias isn't just dangerous and harmful in schools, it's also detrimental to employees and those caught in the judicial system. "Juries are more likely to exhibit bias against defendants of a race different from the racial background of the majority of the jury. IAT tests have shown implicit associations between the words black and guilty."
Implicit bias and racism are related concepts but they have different meanings. "Implicit bias is an unconsciously held set of associations about a particular group. Racism is prejudice against individuals from a specific racial group, and can be either explicit or implicit." sadly, implicit bias can result in racist behavior. There is good news, though. When we become aware of our implicit biases and actively resisting them, all of us can avoid perpetuating harmful and racist prejudices. We are taught not to judge a book just by its cover. It's important to take a good look inside before we decide if we want to read it, or not. The same is true of people (and frogs. It is important to judge people, not by what particular group that they might belong to, but by their individual actions and deeds.
Opening our minds is just as important as opening our eyes.
I wish you a terrific Thursday and may your world be filled with