Social stereotypes develop as a result of labeling a group of people with similar characteristics. For example, people can be categorized based on age, race, or gender (Zhang et al., 2018). Gender stereotyping seems to be an element of the traditional gender ideology that describes average differences between males and females, explaining these disparities as the consequences of separation between private and public spheres (Jones et al., 2020).
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Although some stereotypes may disappear with time, others may still exist. For example, according to the real-time EEG-monitored study by Zhang et al. (2018), the appearance of gender stereotypes was recorded in the participants. Still, even if it is still present in human minds, research shows that gender bias in the English language diminished over the two centuries (Jones et al., 2020). However, many career-related terms and family-associated female words remain unchanged (Jones et al., 2020). Gender stereotype continues to be topical in modern days in an altered form, making it distinct from other characteristics of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.
Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are related terms, implying that certain individuals are separated in society based on their unique characteristics. The difference is that stereotypes are built upon a simple assumption, while a negative belief about people causes prejudice.
Discrimination stems from prejudices, leading to aggressive action toward different people (McCarthy et al., 2019). These three concepts have one element in common – a false negative belief that one group is inferior to the other. Gender stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination are common, but, like many other assumptions, fundamentally wrong because one gender is not superior to the other because they are physiologically different; thus, they cannot be compared. Fortunately, people started to understand this complexity as an understanding of human body functioning progressed.
In summary, gender stereotyping still exists in people’s minds, but it became less prominent in language than in the past. The main issue with stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination is a biased assumption about a distinct group of people who often do not have scientific confirmation. However, the whole generations continue to believe in these destructive ideas. Finally, gender stereotypes and prejudices are unacceptable because such comparison is often illogical due to differences in male and female physiology.
Jones, J. J., Amin, M. R., Kim, J., & Skiena, S. (2020). Stereotypical gender associations in language have decreased over time. Sociological Science, 7, 1-35.
McCarthy, J., Heraty, N., & Bamberg, A. (2019). Lifespan perspectives on age-related stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination at work (and beyond). In B. Baltes, C. W. Rudolph, & H. Zacher (Eds.), Work across the lifespan (pp. 417-435). Academic Press.
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Zhang, X., Li, Q., Sun, S., & Zuo, B. (2018). The time course from gender categorization to gender-stereotype activation. Social Neuroscience, 13(1), 52-60. Web.