Does Racism Have Roots in Evolution?

Scientists at Yale University have produced evidence that human beings’ fear of people from outside their group may be an innate trait passed down by millions of years of evolution. In research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Yale study found that monkeys treat individuals from outside their group with suspicion and distrust.

Laurie R. Santos, associate professor of psychology at Yale and the lead researcher, stated that “every conflict in human history has involved people making distinctions on the basis of who is a member of their own race, religion, social class, and so on.” Her research finds that “this tendency to dislike outgroup members appears to be evolutionarily quite old, and therefore may be less simple to eliminate than we’d like to think.”