The current paper critically discusses three stereotypes encountered in life and the effects they can have on others. The common stereotype about bullying is that the perpetrator is always a big, dumb and violent boy, while the victim is smaller and weaker. This notion is embedded in traditional views among schoolchildren that bullying is a rite of passage. From a social perspective, prejudice bullying is viewed as a social crisis deeply rooted in the wider social discourse with individuals justifying the use of negative behavior towards an out-group (Boyle, 2005). Traditionally, bullies were seen as having high self-esteem and those who did not do it were viewed as weak. The bullying stereotypes are largely based on the traditional perception that circumstances of imbalance of power must exist for bullying to occur. Other arguments include the perception that bullies struggle with academics and are socially detached. However, a critical analysis suggests that these arguments are mistaken. With the increased use of social networking sites, the nature of bullying has changed dramatically. Information and communication technology enables people to harm others using text messages via cell phones, emails or via social sites. Girls have become cyber-bullies and the traditional view that the perpetrator is stronger and bigger is becoming more obscure. Bullying is now not limited to schools or to people we know. Any one with a harmful intent can bully. The bully must not have any physical advantage in terms of body size or any other form of leverage. A common gender stereotype is that women are not good in competitive sports. Gender stereotypes are biased generalizations about the roles of individuals based on gender attributes. A predominant view about women is that they are generally poor in competitive sports. The main argument for this stereotype is based on traditional perceptions and beliefs about gender roles and sexuality. Other arguments are based on the fact that different performance measures and fitness levels are administered for female athletes. On the contrary, women are as good as men in competitive sports. While women and girls comprise a large part of the population, popular media do not cover women sports as equally as they cover men’s sports (Center for Gender Equality, 2006). Gender stereotyping is common in televised sports, hence, cementing the notion that women are sex objects and humorous fans, but not athletes. The Center for Gender Equality (2006) asserts that gender stereotypes and socialization contribute to the traditional gender roles of women and men, with the media playing a critical role in perpetuating this perception. One of the common stereotypes about old people and aging is that they are lonely and conservative homebodies, who live with relatives. This stereotype is perpetuated via the traditional patterns of behavior associated with Christianity, a predominant religion in our area. The arguments are based on the perception that terminally old people are heavily incapacitated by diseases and depend on other before death. Such generalizations affect the behavior and experiences of old people. People can be persuaded to believe they are elderly, even when they are still healthy and capable of taking care of themselves. More importantly, stereotypes about aging are constructed many years before individuals actually become old. On the contrary, there is a strong association between health and wellbeing. A critical analysis suggests the ‘lonely’ stereotype emanates from the fact that many old people live in houses with relatives. However, old people have a diverse social networking established throughout the years. This
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Stereotype threat is a complex problem with varying psychological effects on individuals. There is growing consensus that stereotypes affect mainly high performers and individuals concerned about their skills and abilities. …
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