There have been many debates on whether or not your race determines your life. Starting as early as when you are conceived, and later affecting your entire life span. Although it is an ambiguous and controversial topic, studies have shown that infant mortality has been higher in African American babies compared to white babies. The question is why? Both social and biological factors are looked upon when studying these two race groups yet it is neither a social or biological factor which will determine your child's survival rate, birth weight, and health risks during their life span. It is a mixture of bits and pieces of your culture as well as your biological structure and race. On page 37 of The Starting Gate it states that, “Women living in highly segregated areas are more likely to have low incomes, be unmarried, and be less educated than those living in less segregated areas and these characteristics have all been shown to increase the risk of unhealthy birth outcomes.” The environment in which the mother resides while she is pregnant has an impact on her baby because if she is uneducated and isn’t around needed resources she has a greater chance of being exposed to harmful activities such as drinking or smoking. Also being without the support of a husband she may be more stressed and not mentally prepared for raising a child alone. On page 45 it states that, “… infants of different races may ‘naturally’ come in different sizes due to genetic variations between two populations.” I think that the comparison between the two races is unfair, being that there are biological differences and what is considered normal for one race might be considered abnormal or in this case under weight for the other. “If black babies are ‘naturally’ smaller than white babies, low birth weight for a black baby may not indicate the same level of physiological immaturity, and hence health risk, that it does for a white baby.”(p45) I think this is crucial to the studies because if African American babies tend to be smaller.at birth, then they were born at a normal weight and there might be no difference in low birth weight when looking at these 2 races after all.
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