The Impact of Stereotypes on Teens at PLHS
1.)Stereotypes and racism have always been an issue in this and many other societies.Teenagers are commonly the most impacted by stereotypes, not unlike most teens at Point Loma High School. To further analyze this, my class read “How a Self-Fulfilling Stereotype Can Drag Down Performance” by Shankar Vedantam, a science correspondent for NPR. In his informative article, Vedantam discusses how research proves that self-fulfilling stereotypes can drag down many individuals’ performance. He supports his claim by presenting statistics such as “When black people and white people answered 10 vocabulary questions posed by a white interviewer, blacks on average answered 5.49 questions correctly and whites answered 6.33 correctly”, and talking about how black students tend to score better on tests that are administered by other blacks, and finally explaining how all students’ performance increases when they are not reminded of their race/gender before beginning a test. Vedantam’s purpose is to inform the audience about the negatives of reminding students of their race before a test in an effort to prevent poor performance and boost test scores. Upon reading this, my class has decided to carry out a research project about the stereotypes at our school, and how they affect a variety of students.
2.) We began our study by interviewing a classmate, then interviewing another PLHS student for homework and recording our data. We then proceeded to fill out a Google form, which aided us in planting the anonymous data in a data table and combining it. Following that, we sorted and graphed the data by gender and ethnicity to see how different groups responded to each inquiry. Upon doing this, we recorded our observations in a document, which then became the spine of our Stereotypes Essay.
3.) As an element of our research, we have interviewed over 165 students. Seventy nine percent of the students that we interviewed were ninth graders. The remainder of the students were evenly split between tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade. Fifty eight percent of the participants in our research were male and forty two percent were female. Forty six percent of the students in our study identified themselves as Caucasian/White, while another thirty three percent identified themselves as Hispanic/Latino, and the rest were fairly equally disputed between African American, Asian American and other. Participants also identified themselves as students, athletes and teenagers. Our subjects most noticed the impact of stereotypes when they were at school, but outside of class. Most of our participants respond to these stereotypes by ignoring them, although some prefer to attempt to prove the stereotypes wrong or merge them into a joke.
4.) When viewing the data table after it’s contents were sorted by ethnicity, I detected that African Americans mentioned the stereotype of being skilled at sports, but not skilled at...