PHI 103 Informal Logic
Prof. Philip Bence
December 2, 2013
Stereotyping is a commonly held assumption made by someone about an individual or a group that possess a particular characteristic. There can be positive and negative stereotypes but most stereotyping comes from a bias against others. Race, nationality, gender and sexual orientation are all factors for stereotyping. Stereotypes are basically fallacies would fall under the category of Hasty Generalizations. “The fallacy of hasty generalization is committed when the conclusion is based on insufficient information; a generalization is made too quickly” (Mosser, 2001). Everyone has been stereotyped and is guilty of stereotyping others it is a part of our everyday lives.
A common stereotype that I have encountered in my life is that all overweight people are lazy. While this stereotype is common in both males and females it is more prominent in women. Women are more likely to be judged by their appearance than men. It is more acceptable for a man to have extra weight on him than a women. The media is perpetuating this by retouching photos of celebrities who have more weight on them. People who are overweight are thought to never exercise, sit around all day watching television and eating foods that are bad for them. While that may be true for some, there are hard-working, always on the go overweight people. The overweight woman may have a slower metabolism, a glandular medical condition or maybe her environment and the stresses in her life keep her from losing weight. This is the issue with me. I have a handicapped husband, two special needs children and am going to school myself, exercising is the last thing on my mind. I have recently been reducing the amount I eat and changing what I eat, it is still challenging to lose weight. This stereotype attacks self-esteem and can actually lead one to believe that this is true. In a research study regarding negative effects of stereotyping Kemick stated “The lingering effects hurt people in a very real way, leaving them at a disadvantage.” A stereotype that I see in society today is a gender stereotype that says that men who choose to do predominately female jobs are homosexual. As a mother I tell my children that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. Society tells us that there are certain jobs that are predominately female and certain jobs that are predominately male. If a male choses to become a nurse his sexual orientation comes into question because the job requires skills that are thought to be feminine in nature such as nurturing, empathy and compassion. Most men who go into the nursing field do so for the same reasons as a females, “caring for people and assisting them to deal with their health issues” (Genua, 2005 p.4).
I find it quite offensive that in this day and age that men are still stereotyped in this way. It is not just the nursing profession that this happens in. Men are also stereotyped in this manner when they chose to be hairstylists or fashion designer