We, as human beings, stereotype, categorize, judge, separate and label everyone and everything– usually without conscious thought.
Here we have the Jock- A stereotypically young, good looking male who excels in sports, is large and muscular and usually not very smart. The truth? Just because someone is well built and good at sports, doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY thing they’re good at, or that they can’t excel in academics as well.
Another typical stereotype is “Gothic.” A Goth is stereotypically a person who acts depressed, is pale, wears mostly black clothing, heavy makeup and show’s little emotion. The truth? Just because someone is depressed, or prefers black clothing, or wears heavy makeup– doesn’t mean they are emotionless, or really any different than the rest of us. It’s just how ‘they’ express themselves.
My next example is “Nerd.” A nerd is stereotypically someone who is fairly smart, gets good grades, has no fashion sense and few friends. Nerds also stereotypically wear big, thick glasses and have greasy hair. The truth? Just because someone is intelligent, and likes clothing that other’s generally don’t– doesn’t make them outcasts , or losers.
Next come’s “Punk.” A punk is someone who stereotypically likes rock/metal music, wear’s a lot of black, and has piercings and tattoos. Punks are also known to have colorful, unique hair and lots of metal in their wardrobe. The truth? Wearing leather, coloring hair, piercings and tattoos are all ways of self expression. There is absolutely nothing wrong will being individuals– in America didn’t we actually use to encourage that?
A new Genre of people are called Emo. Emo, which is similar to Goth, are people who listen to “emo” and “scremo” music, wear dark clothing, makeup, and are stereotyped as suicidal and “cutters.” Emo people are also know to have long-ish hair, often with some color added. The truth? Just because someone dressed “Emo,” doesn’t make them depressed or suicidal. And just because someone likes the music doesn’t mean they are going go run home and cut up their arms.
We stereotype cheerleaders as well. When people see a cheerleader they generally thing of things like “slut,” “Skank,” “Snob,” and “ditz.” The truth? Just because a girl put’s on a cheerleading outfit, doesn’t mean she’s going to sleep with anyone who shows intrest, or that she is incapable of an intelligant thought.
We, as Americans, generally stereotype all Middle Eastern people (namely Muslims) as extremists and terrorists because of the past problems we’ve had with some of them. The truth? Muslim is a religion, just like Christianity and Catholicism. Being born in the middle east doesn’t make a person a terrorist, anymore than being born in America makes a person an ego tripping elitist snob.
We stereotype teenage mothers as being easy, slutty and stupid. The truth? Having a baby at a young age could be the result of several things. It could have been a mistake, or the result of a fling, but it could also have been a result of loving parents, a calculated decision, or (unfortunately) the result of something like rape.
We stereotype homosexuals as “unnatural,” “weird,” “queer,” “wimpy,” and girly. There also seems to be a stereotype about gay men only wanting sex. The truth? Homosexuals are no different than anyone else, and there is nothing weird or unnatural about them. Sexual preference does not determine someone’s looks, personality or outside interests. Homosexuals are just as likely to be in a relationship as heterosexual couples.
We stereotype Mexican’s as border hoppers, job stealers and people that are only good for physical labor. The truth? While there are a lot of Mexican’s here illegally, there are more that came here by following the laws or being born here. You cant determine someone’s work ethic by their ethnic background, but being Mexican does not make a person an thoughtless brute.
We stereotype black men as “thugs,” “violent,” “gang-like,” and “deadbeats.” The truth? Black, white… We’re all the same. Just because someone is black, doesn’t mean they are violent, or in a gang. Just like how just because someone is white doesn’t mean they’re NOT violent or in a gang. Some of the most successful people are black– look at President Obama.
The history of Stereotyping We, as human beings, have been stereotyping others for as long as we’ve had history. Nothing good ever comes from it. For example: By the end of his reign, the horrifyingly astounding estimates put the death toll between 4,871,000 and 6,271,500!! And it all started because of one man’s prejudice. Adolf Hitler stereotyped and categorized Jews. He began the Jewish Holocaust, or “Final solution” in 1933. Six MILLION people exterminated… for one man’s prejudice.
Stereotyping stems from the same idea as Prejudice.
Prejudice never ends in well, and often ends in BULLYING.
A parent or guardian’s prejudice is handed down to their children, who then gain the same idea and behaviors about a group of people.
People are always going to stereotype others… it may be without conscious thought, but it stillhas the same negative effects.
I believe that my generation is more open minded than my parents generation, and so on. I believe that the prejudice and stereotyping has decreased as open mindedness has increased.
Unfortunately, judging others will never fade completely out of society. It’s too integrated and too practiced for it to go away completely.
The effects & Statistics The effects of stereotyping are obvious to anyone who cares to look. Stereotyping leads to bullying. Bullying is very serious and can easily lead to death. According to SafeYouth.org, 30% of America’s youth are bullied. That breaks down to an astounding 5.7 million children. These numbers break down further to show that in children ages 11 to 16, thirteen percent admitted to bullying others, eleven percent admitted to being bullied, and six percent admitted to both bullying others, and being bullied themselves. Kevin Caruso, a writer for Suicide.org, put it very simply. “Most children that are bullied become depressed. And untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide. All children who are being bullied are at risk for dying by suicide.”
Bullying can go further and turn into Hate Crimes. Hate crimes are very serious, and stem from prejudice and stereotyping. According to the Department of Justice, in 2007 there were 8, 999 single-bias hate crimes committed. Of these 9,000 crimes 52 percent were due to racial bias. 16 percent was due to religious bias, 16 percent was due to bias against sexual orientation, 14 percent was due to ethnicity, and one percent was due to bias against disabled people. Of these 9,000 crimes, 5,408 were crimes against people. Of these 5,400, 47 percent was in the form of intimidation, 31 percent was simple assault, 20 percent was in the form of aggravated assault, .2 percent consisted of 9 murders and 2 rapes, and .6 percent was classified as ‘other.’ To cut through all the fluff– nine people were murdered and two people were raped because of prejudice and stereotyping.
Work Cited Caruso, Kevin. "Bullied Children Suffer Behavioral Problems; Are at Risk for Suicide - Suicide.org!" Suicide.org: Suicide Prevention, Suicide Awareness, Suicide Support. Web. 20 May 2010. <http://www.suicide.org/bullied-children-suffer-behavioral- problems.html>. "Incidents- Hate Crime Statistics, 2007." FBI — Federal Bureau of Investigation. Department of Justice, Oct. 2008. Web. 20 May 2010. <http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2007/incidents.htm>. "SafeYouth.org - Bullying Facts and Statistics." National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Dec. 2007. Web. 20 May 2010. <http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/faq/bullying.asp>. White, Matthew. "Twentieth Century Atlas - Death Tolls." RCN D.C. Metro | Digital Cable TV, High-Speed Internet Service & Phone in the D.C. Metro Area, including Washington, D.C., Bethesda and Silver Spring in Maryland and Falls Church in Virginia. 25 Mar. 2003. Web. 20 May 2010. <http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm>.