Danish Majority Children’s Reasoning About Exclusion Based on Gender and Ethnicity


  • The data were collected as part of Signe J. Møller’s MSc thesis completed at Aalborg Universitet. We would like to thank Mads Nørgaard and Heather Baca-Greif for their contribution in translation. We also thank Tina S. Chin-Newman, Darryl Hill, Jill Hohenstein, Phil Terry, and Fred Vallee-Tourangeau, for comments on earlier drafts of this article. We express gratitude toward Ulla Böwadt and Jens Kvorning from Aalborg Universitet for making the collaboration possible. Finally, the editor and referees are thanked for their careful reading of the manuscript.

concerning this article should be addressed to Harriet R. Tenenbaum, Psychology Research Unit, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 3BQ, United Kingdom. Electronic mail may be sent to h.tenenbaum@kingston.ac.uk.


This study investigated 282 eight- to twelve-year-old Danish majority children’s judgments and justifications of exclusion based on gender and ethnicity (i.e., Danish majority children and ethnic-minority children of a Muslim background). Children’s judgments and reasoning varied with the perpetrator of the exclusion and the social identity of the target. Children assessed exclusion based on ethnicity as less acceptable than exclusion based on gender and used more moral reasoning for the former than the latter. Children judged it less acceptable for a teacher than a child to exclude a child protagonist. Children were sensitive to status, judging it less acceptable to exclude a less powerful group member. The findings are discussed in relation to intergroup relations in Denmark.