Sterotypes Essay, Research Paper

– “Dumb jocks!”, “Women don’t belong there, doing that!”, “He must be a

criminal, just look at his clothes.” How often have we heard somebody

mention these things, yet, how often have we said something similar? Our

society is based on face values where we categorize people because of

the actions of a few. All of the above statements are prejudicial

notions used to define members of a social or an ethnic group, and are

called stereotypes. Unfortunately, stereotypes negatively affect our

ability to understand members of a different group or ethnicicity, and

are we usually resistant to change because of them. We stereotype

various groups of people, but none like professional athletes, women,

and different ethnic groups in our country. Professional Basketball,

Football, and Baseball players have been the victims of many

stereotypes. Hearing people call them dumb is common. A misconception by

many people is that pro athletes aren’t educated. This is such a farce

since the vast majority of them have attended prestigious colleges and

universities, and received degrees in different fields of study. A

popular misconception is that the educations they did earn were in areas

like Liberal Arts, or other general fields of study which didn’t

challenge their mental capabilities. Another stereotype is that pro

athletes received preferential treatment while in college. Many believe

that if an athlete needs a certain grade to remain eligible to play

sports, then the faculty would grade him or her lighter than the rest of

the class. We have also stereotyped athletes as “above” the law. There

have been, on occasion, incidents where a pro- athlete is treated better

by the justice system than an average citizen wo! uld be in the same

situation. We are satisfied to say it’s because of the athletes fame and

wealth, but fail to realize that it was probably a first offense, or to

follow the story up and see that punishment was dealt accordingly.

Additionally, we have frequently stereotyped women, especially at the

workplace. Women are always associated in business with jobs such as

secretaries, nurses, customer service, and anything that needs a

“womans” touch. They are rarely thought of as the CEO of a corporation,

or as the Vice President. When women are in positions of authority

however, we have stereotyped them as male bashers or power hungry when

they give orders. At home, we stereotype women as well. Washing the

dishes, folding the laundry, cooking the meals, and taking care of the

children are all associated as a woman’s responsibility. Women are also

seen as passive and submissive to their husbands in the home. The way a

woman dresses, or the color of her hair is enough for many men to

stereotype women. We have always looked upon blonds as air headed, with

big white teeth, a high-pitched voice, and a wad of Dentine bubble gum

in her mouth. As well, we have stereotyped women that dress in tight cl!

othes, or short skirts almost instantly as being promiscuous. Finally,

the most common stereotypes are those which we have aimed at different

ethnic or racial groups. African-American stereotypes are the most

obvious. We have often stereotyped Young black men as gang members

solely because of the kind of clothes they wear. The media constantly

blasts images of black men involved in crime and gang-banging across the

six o’clock news, but hardly ever the White or Asian doing the same. We

have also stereotyped African- Americans as the largest ethnic group on

public assistance, which is not true at all. It just seems that way

because people are ignorant to the fact that whites make up most of the

welfare system. We have also stereotyped them as superior to other races

involved in sports. They can jump higher than everyone else, run faster,

and have better balance because of their “extra” muscles. It may seem

this way when we watch sports on television, and it does seem that way

at times, nonetheless though it is a stereotype. Stereotypes are

products of our own individual inadequacies. They make us feel better

about ourselves because we can point the finger at a person, and label

not only him or her, but an entire group. Stereotypes seem harmless at

first, but overtime they cause serious damage to our society. Because of

them, we have become narrow minded and less receptive to people

different from us. Stereotyping a person, or a group of people, is

easier than it is to get to know them. Stereotypes are just another

product of our society which puts more value on what an individual

possesses rather than who a person is. Sadly though, stereotypes will


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