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  • October 1999
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"What do you expect form a blonde?" " A woman's place is in the kitchen", " Look at the jewelry he's wearing, he's probably a drug dealer" How many times have we heard statements such as these? It is such statements along with numerous others, which have caused our society to isolate and stereotype every individual based on past or previous experiences. To categorize individuals or a group according to an oversimplified standardized image or idea is to stereotype. When we stereotype, it affects our ability to understand and accept individuals and various groups of people for who they are. Women, Police Officers and various ethnic groups are among many who are stereotyped.

In the early 1800's, women were recognized as "homemakers". However, as times changed they began to feel the need to become independent. As a result, women are now frequently stereotyped more than ever, especially in the business environment. Men are accustomed to women acquiring positions that require a "feminine touch" such as, nurses, secretaries, school teachers or other clerical positions. Therefore, when a woman acquires a position that puts her in higher authority, such as a role as a Vice President or CEO of a company, she is instantly stereotyped as feeling the need to be dominant. Women are also stereotyped by what they wear. For example, if a woman is wearing an outfit that is tight fitting or wearing a mini skirt, she is misconstrued as being too promiscuous.

Futhermore, our society has even come down to stereotyping the many men and women who on a daily risk their lives to serve and protect our community. Due to immoral acts initiated by other police officers, such as dishonest/illegal search and seizures and drug related issues, police officers are stereotyped frequently too. If a civilian is summoned by an officer to pull over due to a motor vehicle violation and this civilian is of an opposite ethnic background of the officer, the officer is usually accused of...

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