With recent issues regarding the perpetuation of stereotypes, and the further anti-progressive effects of stereotyping, and even embracing it or working with it, I felt the need to post some definitions to help gay/bisexual/straight people understand that most of the difficulty you have with being true is projected upon you.
A stereotype is an exaggerated belief, image or distorted truth about a person or group – a generalization that allows for little or no individual differences or social variation. Stereotypes are based on images in mass media, or reputations passed on by parents, peers and other members of society.
The Effects of Stereotypes
A person who carries the stigma of group membership must be prepared for its debilitating effects. Studies indicate that African American teenagers are aware they are stigmatized as being intellectually inferior and that they go to school, bearing what psychologist Claude Steele has called a “burden of suspicion.” Such a burden can affect their attitudes and achievement.
These shadows hang over stigmatized people no matter their status or accomplishments. They must remain on guard and bear an additional burden that may affect their self-confidence, performance and aspirations. These stigmas have the potential to rob them of their individuality and debilitate their attempts to break out of stereotypical roles.
Basically, in English, this means, you are limiting yourselves by following a stereotype, or accepting it, so stop.
How to Stop Stereotyping
If people are aware of their hidden biases, they can monitor and attempt to ameliorate hidden attitudes before they are expressed through behavior.
You are in control of the furthering of stereotypes. If you just accept them as ‘how it is’ you will only perpetuate them. Your sexuality, your gender identification, or anything you do can be stereotyped. The goal is to actively remember that stereotypes do not represent an individual, and how you react based on your stereotype acceptance can cause damage to a person.
If your going to perpetuate stereotypes, your only going to be working against progress, as well as causing harm. It’s a known fact that the stereotypes and the belief in them, limits people.