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Stereotypes refer to misleading perceptions labeled against a group of people or a certain way of doing things, which are flawed, and that misrepresent reality (Stangor, 2000, p.24).
Common stereotypes include negative perceptions against certain religions, gender, ethnic groups or a certain race. Stereotypes have adverse effects on victims. They encourage hatred, irresponsible behaviors, aggressiveness, lack of self-control and diminish motivation of individuals in certain situations (Stangor, 2000, p.28). Stereotypes are unethical and should be discouraged.
Three common stereotypes include the perception that Muslims are terrorists, Christians are ignorant, and that women are less intelligent than men. These stereotypes are unjustified because they lack scientific evidence to validate them.
They result from hatred and superiority complex by individuals or groups of individuals who harbor negative attitudes towards certain individuals or social groups (Stangor, 2000, p.43). Stereotypes are either positive or negative. However, they are baseless and unethical because they lack evidence to validate them.
The stereotype that Muslims are terrorists propagates the perception that Muslims are evil people and always act to destroy the world and harm people (McGarty et al, 2002, p.73). The media has played a significant role in propagating this stereotype. Individuals who perpetuate the stereotype claim that Islam supports murder in its teachings.
This stereotype is flawed because a decision to commit a crime is motivated by personal values and character, and not an individual’s religion (McGarty et al, 2002, p.75). In addition, the teachings of Islam condemn murder and instead encourage peace. This stereotype leads to hatred and religious intolerance, which cause religious and political wars.
Another common stereotype is that Christians are ignorant. People who propagate this stereotype believe that Christians are ignorant because they ignore the validity of science (Chunnel, 2010, par3). In addition, they claim that Christians are evil because the Bible contains many stories that talk of war and violence.
This stereotype is flawed because there are so many Christians who believe in science. Christians who do not believe in science do so because they choose to believe what Christianity teaches without investigating to find the truth. Even though their Christian beliefs may contribute towards their refutation of science, not all Christians are ignorant. This stereotype causes religious intolerance and persecution.
The stereotype that women are less intelligent than men is a gender stereotype that is held by many people. People use the traditional concept of division of roles based on gender to propagate the stereotype (McGarty et al, 2002, p.79). Women were given easy tasks such as cooking, washing and taking care of children. On the other hand, men handled difficult tasks such as fending for their families and cultivation.
Men’s ability to handle difficult tasks is the foundation of this stereotype. The stereotype is unfounded because in today’s society, gender roles have changed and women are handling tasks that were considered masculine (McGarty et al, 2002, p.80). In addition, women have equal potential to success as me do. The large number of women in leadership roles is a proof that women are as intelligent as men are, and they can achieve whatever men can achieve.
Stereotypes refer to misleading perceptions labeled against a group of people or a certain way of handling responsibilities, which are flawed, and that misrepresent reality. Common stereotypes include perceptions against certain religions, gender, ethnic group or certain race. Stereotypes have lasting negative effects on victims. Common consequences of stereotyping include hatred, aggressiveness and lack of self-control.
Chunnel, A. (2010). Stereotypes in Religions. Retrieved from http://www.teenink.com/hot_topics/what_matters/article/479077/Stereotypes-in-Religions/
McGarty, C., Yzerbty, V., and Spears, R. (2002). Stereotypes as Explanations: The Formation of Meaningful Beliefs about Social Groups. London: Cambridge University Press.
Stangor, C. (2000). Stereotypes and Prejudice: Key Readings. New York: Psychology Press.