Harm Of Stereotypes
April 1, 2013
Harm of Stereotypes
Often people will encounter a stereotype at some point during their lives. Often times stereotypes are made unintentionally, however they can still harm those who have been stereotyped. While I witness many different stereotypes each day, there are three stereotypes that occur in my life more than others. When crossing paths with others I will often be unfairly stereotyped due to my blonde hair and my gender. I also witness stereotyping against my husband for his visible tattoos. The saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ crosses my mind often as I deal with the actions that occur due to stereotyping. Stereotyping can sometimes harm the individual and cause many negative outcomes.
While all stereotypes are generalizations, not all generalizations are stereotypes. Stereotypes are oversimplifications of people groups widely circulated in certain societies (About.com, 2013). A stereotype may be positive or negative. However many negative stereotypes can be harmful to those who are negatively stereotyped. A stereotype threat refers to being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one's group (reducingstereotypethreat.org, 2009). For example a person who is stereotyped to be not as smart due to their race may start believe they are actually not smart and will then not perform as well on exams when their race is emphasized, while any other time they may perform better. Mosser (2011) shows that often the fallacy of hasty generalization can lead to damaging stereotypes made on the basis of just a few examples. Stereotypes about women, religious groups, minorities, ethnic groups, and so forth are often based on this type of reasoning. Drawing broad and very general conclusions based on insufficient evidence can therefore lead to harmful results, not only for the victim of the stereotype but also for the person doing the stereotyping (Mosser, 2011)....
References: Kemick, April (August 12, 2010) Stereotyping has lasting Negative Impact: Prejudice has lingering effects, study shows. Retrieved From http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2010/08/12/stereotyping-has-lasting-negative-impact
Mosser, K. (2011). An introduction to logic. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu.
Race Relations, 2013. What Is a Stereotype? Retrieved from http://racerelations.about.com/od/understandingrac1/a/WhatIsaStereotype.htm
ReducingStereotypeThreat.Org, 2009. What is Stereotype Threat? Retrieved from http://www.reducingstereotypethreat.org/definition.html
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