(taken from this post on the experiments of Harry Harlow)
This is serious business, because this is a large part of how sexism, racism, homophobia, rape culture, ethnocentrism, etc. continue to happen.
that ape story is not true.
Like the first appearance of the story can be traced to a self help book in the 90’s, where it was also just “scientists did an experiment”, not naming scientists, the institution they did the experiemnt at, or even what the purpose of such an experiment was. Or how they could authorize tests that included electrocuting apes.
If you’ve taken a introduction to Psychology class, you’ve probably heard of Pavlov and Skinner, so ask yourself why you’ve never heard this story in class, and more importantly, why there’s never names attached to it.
Anyway, the whole thing, from the ape story to just the whole “the most dangerous phrase is ‘we’ve always done it this way’” is really naive reductionism. There’s a ton of safety measures people are taught wihout explaining the exact nature of them, and just because you don’t know how it works, it still works.
And prejudice is not just “we’ve always done it this way”. Humanity wasn’t alwyas divided in strict terms of race, with white people placing themselves as the superior ones, that consept is a fairly modern invention. Societal attitudes towards sexuality and gender outside the hetero- and cis norm have been different over time in different places. The social status of women has gone up and down and up again.