Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood

By Rebecca Epstein, Jamilia J. Blake, and Thalia Gonzalez

Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Law


This study explores the question raised by similar research on black boys and men. Based on a random sample, the researchers found girls are subjected to the same form of “adultification” as their male counterparts. The authors conclude that:

That is, beginning as early as 5 years of age, Black girls were more likely to be viewed as behaving and seeming older than their stated age; more
knowledgeable about adult topics, including sex; and more likely to take on adult roles and responsibilities than what would have been expected for their age.


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