Are we hard wired to recognise and fear difference?

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Offline Make it Lady

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I often do courses with teachers about diversity. I quite often ask "What are the causes of prejudice?" Along with the media, history, ignorance and parental influence, I often get fear of difference. One man said that research has been done and it concludes that we are hard wired to recognise and fear difference as this would have played a part in our survival in cavemen times. As I am aware that a lot of bogus research is associated with racism I was quite sceptical about this. However, I would like to know for sure that this is not true. So brain specialists, what do you think? I need to know what to say, should this come up in a future training session. I like to tell the absolute truth on issues like this as myths are all part of the prejudice tree. 
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline Make it Lady

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Are we hard wired to recognise and fear difference?
« Reply #1 on: 18/02/2010 17:36:30 »
Well I can't tell them that as: 1) It doesn't answer my question and 2)I can't say corollary as I have problems with words with lots of Rs and Ls in. I can't even say necessarily, no idea why.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline Geezer

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Are we hard wired to recognise and fear difference?
« Reply #2 on: 19/02/2010 00:14:38 »
I don't believe young children are even aware of racial differences. That would seem to suggest it's a learned response.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.