Stereotypes Exist Because They Are Grounded in Truth

Topics: Stereotype, Stereotypes, Stereotype threat Pages: 5 (1915 words) Published: December 1, 2012
Stereotypes Exist Because They Are Grounded In Truth
Has anyone ever said that ‘unicorns exist in real life and that they have seen them’? Or that they ‘felt hot while it was snowing’? Or that ‘cats can bark like dogs’? Clearly there is no truth to these statements. This is simply because unicorns do not exist in real life, you cannot feel hot if it is snowing, and that cats simply cannot bark like dogs. Life cannot exist without water, what goes up must come down, and similarly any statement which is accepted by thousands of other people must have some hint of truth to it. As Kanazawa says “Many stereotypes are empirical generalizations with a statistical basis and thus on average tends to be true. If they are not true, they would not be stereotypes" ("The Scientific Fundamentalist"). Although some people argue that stereotypes are just over generalizations, and that people use them to perceive the stereotyped groups’ characteristics, most stereotypes are true as what is generally accepted in society must be somehow grounded in reality. Moreover, many stereotypes have been proven by science, and conducted psychological studies such as stereotype threat. People who believe that stereotypes are false, argue that stereotypes are just over generalizations. They argue that stereotypes represent just a small minority of the group being stereotyped against. They give the example of the stereotype that “all blondes are dumb.” And state that while some blondes may be dumb, not all of them are, in fact many are quite smart. They say that one's hair color has no effect on ones intellectual capability. While this may be true for some of the stereotypes, many of the stereotypes actually represent the majority of the group being stereotyped. For example the stereotype that ‘college educated people have bigger incomes than those who have only completed high school’ is a valid assessment. Yes, this might be true in some cases. But as proven by the “The College Payoff” a report published by the Georgetown University, while there might be a small handful of people who are only high school educated and who earn more than many of the college educated people, still most of the college educated people have a higher salary then high school educated people (Carnevale, Rose, and cheah “the college payoff”). So although there may be some stereotypes that are false or depict over generalization, most of the stereotypes in fact are based on assessments and actions of the majority of the group being stereotyped. Furthermore, people who argue that stereotypes are false state that people continue to cling on to stereotypes because it is quick and comfortable. It allows people to think they are gathering information about other people, without having to stop and actually spend time understanding the person or groups true personality. They claim that because of this many of the people or groups are misunderstood. However, what these people do not realize is that many of these stereotypes quite rightly show some of the traits of the group or individual being stereotyped. An example is the stereotype, 'Jews are adept money handlers'. The fact is that this stereotype is true to quite a great extent. According to ‘The Weakonomics’, “you see an overwhelming representation of Jewish people within industries that revolve around the exchange of money… Not only have they dominated finance...” ("Why Do We Associate Jews with Money?”). While some of the Jews are either lawyers or doctors, most of them are in a field related to finance such as banking. In fact most of the people in top positions related to finance are Jews like the treasurer of the United States, and the Secretary of the Treasury. In fact most of the people running the American Treasury happen to be Jewish. Another example is the stereotype that Asians are smart and studious. Some people say Asians are smart because they are taught differently in their home country, others claim that Asians are...
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