Writing And Communication
Stereotypes are assumptions held about the characteristics of a particular group of people. These assumptions could be due to their race, culture, country, community and religion. Women are not as smart as men. Men are strong and do all the work. Americans are tolerant but arrogant. Girls are not good at sports. Black people are stronger than white people. Black people are criminals. Old folks are all very old fashioned. All blond women are dumb. Guys are messy and unclean. Girls are only concerned about physical appearance. Women always talk too much on the phone. All Blacks are lazy. Women are bad drivers. Muslims are terrorists. These are some famous stereotypes representing some commonly held conventional beliefs about specific type of individuals or groups. Many people believe that stereotypes exist because they spring from truth often asserting, “If there is smoke, there is fire”. Although many people would argue that stereotypes are based on truth, stereotypes are not grounded in truth because they are based on false assumptions, hasty generalizations, biased media reports and lack of cultural knowledge.
Stereotypes exist due to false assumptions. Judging people without knowing them, with limited knowledge, is a primary reason that contributes to making false assumptions. By stereotyping, we are actually ignoring the diversity which exists among different groups. Some common stereotypes about black people are that they are criminals, they are violent, they are ugly, they are un-educated and that they are involved in gangs. Now, if we consider all these stereotypes true, then how is it possible that Barack Obama is the President of United States? Why is he not involved in criminal activities? Blonde women are considered dumb. Does hair color have anything to do with intelligence? Scientifically, the answer is “no”. Hair color is decided by a gene, and mutations in this gene cause changes in hair color. But it has nothing to do with intelligence. And suppose, if being dumb has anything to do with hair color, then why this label is only for women, why not for men? Clearly, there is no logic behind this stereotype. For example, if we look in the history, most of the attacks like 9/11 are done by Muslims, so it is assumed that all Muslims are terrorists. Although it is true that Muslims are involved in many attacks, but there are some people behind all this who try to create violence in the name of religion and who make them do this, while Islam is not about all this. These are just some violent people who try to do bad things in the name of religion. These violent people exist in every religion. Due to bad act of few people, we cannot say that all Muslims are terrorists.
Another reason for the existence of stereotypes is hasty generalizations. The concept of hasty generalization is in close proximity with stereotypical generalizations....