Our culture of origin and environment influences our conclusions and their application to our daily lives. It is not uncommon for individuals to question stereotypes that they have upheld as truth since birth because they become educated on information that contradicts their beliefs.
Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, and Xu conducted numerous studies on positive and negative stereotypes associated with sexism, which is prejudice based upon sex or gender. They propose the following:
An understanding of sexism and stereotypes will force you to ask yourself questions such as:
Stereotypes are reinforced constantly in our culture. Much of this reinforcement targets specific populations (i.e., children, adolescents, or adults) and is hidden in the media via messages such as newspaper articles, magazine pictures, television commercials, and website content.
When explaining the concept of stereotypes to a room of third graders, you are likely to receive feedback that stereotyping “may hurt someone’s feelings.” Yes, at its most basic level, stereotyping may make others feel bad about themselves. However, as adults, we understand that stereotyping can have much direr emotional, physical, and psychological consequences.