Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality released a study, Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, in 2017 about perceptions of innocence in black girls. The study found that black girls aged 5-19 are viewed by adults to need less protection, nurturing and support than white girls of the same age. It also found adults believe black girls know more about sex and adult topics.
Black children are unable to hold onto a childlike innocence that white children can cling to, simply because of prejudice and bias. This “adultification” affects school disciple and suspension. If they are older, they should “know better.”