HHS funds study on why children believe white males embody 'the default person'

The $40,000 grant is based on premise that "white men remain vastly overrepresented" in the U.S. with "severe costs to the rest of society."
Golden Horseshoe

The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.

This week's Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services for awarding $40,391 to New York University to study how kids "acquire the belief that white males represent the default person."

While the study proposes to "uncover the developmental processes" forming this purported belief, it presupposes that," according to the project description, the "pattern" is "rooted in the ideologies of androcentrism (centering the expriences of men) and ethnocentrism (centering the experiences of white people) prevalent in the United States."

"The grant is touted to advance equity among women, men of color, and gender nonconforming people, looking at children's perspectives," OpenTheBooks.com Founder/CEO Adam Andrzejewski wrote in his #WasteoftheDay column for RealClearPolicy.

Despite rises in "racial and gender diversity" nationally, "white men remain vastly overrepresented across a host of domains within the U.S, from media to politics to clinical research," posing "severe costs to the rest of society," the project grantee argues.

To address the imbalance, "we must understand when and how the tendency to view white males as default people develops across childhood, as well as the environmental factors that underlie this phenomenon," explains the grant description. 

"This study appears to be seeking support for the notion that structural racism pervades society, government, classrooms, medicine and the economy — and that a demand for 'equity,' along with more taxpayer dollars thrown at the issue — is the only way to solve it," Andrzejewski told Just The News.

"At first blush it looks like the study is seeking a problem for which progressives have already settled upon the answer," Andrzejewski said. "If the study stands to generate actual value for Americans, it ought to easily earn support from the private sector. But as it's framed in the grant, there's no reason to believe kids think white males best exemplify people, other than an initial assumption from the research team."

HHS did not respond to a request for comment for this story.