What are the negative effects of stereotypes?

In life, we all live in some sort of group. A group that separates us from others, that people see us as. These groups that we or others put us in are called stereotypes. This is how we simplify our social world. What most people don’t know is that stereotypes are harmful to us. Now, you might ask yourself “Why?” Well, let me tell you…

Positive stereotypes affect how large groups of people are treated. Women are recognized to be nurturing and caring for people, it only makes sense that these qualities come naturally for them. That is not always true and it is difficult to deal with those who don’t exactly match that description. Going along with men, we tend to say the heavy and hard work is meant for them. The thing is, is that not all men are built to be like that and sometimes women are! Separating the two could make someone feel like there’s something wrong with that because they aren’t the strongest or most caring people. That is completely fine and more people need to see that.

Stereotypes set the bar way too high for people who don’t fit the expected mold. When you are constantly reminded of the image you ‘need’ to fit, it can create self-esteem issues. Stereotypes never really seem harmful from a distance but when you come close to them you can see how much they affect people. Former Herriman High student, Jayden Moser was super well known in school and I thought it would be a great idea to ask him how he felt about stereotypes. He goes on to say, “I was friends with everyone in high school but there was always talk about why I would hang out with some people just because they weren’t “cool” I hated that people tried to draw a line. Nothing about me makes me any better than someone else, so why would I not be friends with them if I liked them?” High school students would agree with the way he feels and that there should never be a line drawn between people just because they are different than you.

It would be naive for us to say that we don’t put people in groups based on who they are, what they like, and etc. It is important though, that we don’t draw a line between people and what they are able to do. No person is too good for someone else. Recognize and accept your differences because that is what makes you who YOU are.