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Stereotypes Are Not True Essay

1331 words - 6 pages

Women are not as smart as men. Men are strong and do all the work. Americans are tolerant but arrogant. All African Americans outside of the United States are poor. Black people are stronger than white people. These are some famous stereotypes representing conventional and oversimplified beliefs about specific type of individuals or groups. Contrary to common perception, stereotypes may be a product of prejudices and exaggerations rather than truth. Harold Evans in this regard said, “Attempting to get at truth means rejecting stereotypes and clichés.” ("Harold Evans Quotes - BrainyQuote."). This gestation of Evans’ is in close proximity with truth because stereotypes are mere oversimplified ...view middle of the document...

” ("Chinua Achebe Quotes - BrainyQuote."). This notion of Chinua is a sound enough to negate the concept of believing in researches and surveys for proving the veracity of certain stereotypes. This is because scholarly surveys are nothing more than empirical generalizations. For example, the Ruhr University’s research about women being bad drivers was based on driving test of just 65 people – including men and women, indicating a very limited sample size. Therefore, such scholarly surveys have over time proved to be oversimplified generalizations that should not be made the basis for judging the truthfulness of stereotypes.
Similarly, many people use confirmatory biases to prove the truthfulness of stereotypes. Confirmation bias is a tendency of people to remember and notice events in a way which confirms their ideology and beliefs. People often use them to prove that stereotypes are based on truth. For instance, before the African-American revolution, black people were considered to be inferior and were treated inhumanly by the white people. Consequently, the frustration kept developing in black people, which by all means was the outcome of the way blacks were treated by whites. This ever developing frustration in black people mostly led to some form of violence against the white Americans. Hence, it led to the birth of the stereotype that black people are violent and brutal. In reality, even today white people remember their past in a very specific way so as to prove their beliefs to be true. White Americans either forget or they do not want to remember their inhuman treatment of black people that led to extreme frustration among blacks which in turn led towards violence. Therefore, the notion of confirmatory biases to prove that stereotypes are grounded in truth is flawed because it neglects one side of the story and engenders a biased belief about a specific group of people.
On the other hand, stereotypes come into existence due to biased media reports. In today’s world, the electronic media has entered almost every house around the globe and has overtime become an influential source of information for the people. As a result, media has at times misused its influential power in portraying a biased image of certain people or a group of people. For example, American media after September 11, 2001 attacks portrayed Muslims as a major threat to world peace. Steven Emerson, a terrorism expert, in an interview to a news channel told viewers that Muslims should not be believed if they deny their involvement in any terrorist activity. (Alter, 1995). This shows how the media has played a biased role in making all Muslims responsible for the act of a certain group of people. The media misused its authority in portraying wrong images of certain group or race of people by not looking on both sides of the story and reporting prejudicially. Eventually, this continuous biased reporting against Muslims led to the birth of stereotype that “Muslims are...

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