I am white and my ears (and my sister’s) were pierced before age 1. I think it was a way to distinguish that we were girls. (We were bald babies with some wispy blonde strands.) Also, being so young, we don’t remember the pain. My mom always has us with simple, conservative earrings, gold or silver hoops or balls on posts. I think parents make decisions on ear piercing based on their own parent’s decisions. As for hispanics (I lived in a hispanic neighborhood), wearing jewelry (gold) is a way to demonstrate your wealth. I see many toddlers (boys and girls) with bracelets and necklaces. And infants with earrings. Many South Asians use jewelry in the same way.