The Etymology of Stereotypes


Our society takes information that we feel is accurate and true to a specific group of people, even if this data has not been scientifically proven, then they attach it to this group. These views become very difficult to break, also they will not only hinder self esteem, but opportunity and well being. Pretty much every group of people has a specific set of stereotypes associated with one another, some more severe than others of course, but they are all there.

Since the dawn of man and women, women have been the victim of harsh stereotypes by their opposing genders, for as long as we’ve walked this earth. While taking into consideration, that all forms of life fall victim to stereotype. While many know that these aren’t always true,but when it comes to women it is almost accepted as fact. The reason this occurs is because of the regular depictions society places upon women. Throughout our lives, there are many instances, whether it be in real life experience or over media, where women are given a stereotype without even so much as a thought. Below depicts an world renowned and widely acclaimed magazine “GQ“, with a fully suited man and than a woman, who is completely naked and latched onto him. This stereotypes woman and men to believe, that this is what they must to be “sexy.”


Man has always dominated earth and felt they are superior to women. Woman throughout history have always taken a back seat to men. Women, in past years have acted as more of an asset to men, rather than being an equal. This raises the question, where does this stem from, are we raised to believe in these stereotypes.

From the time we are young children we become instilled with the image of how women should act, dress and what is expected of them. Body image is very important in a young woman’s life. Without even realizing what they are doing, parents go out and buy their young daughters dolls to play with. Even though you may think that these dolls do anything but provide a good time, but it shapes how the young child would want to look. One of the most popular dolls is a perfect example of this, and that is BarbieThe unrealistic body, lack of clothing, and extensive makeup, make women feel that if they do not have these attributes, that they are not pretty. the bodies on Barbies are getting smaller and smaller as well, convincing girls they are further away from feeling like they are beautiful.


Not only through do the sales of these dolls create a stereotype of woman, but so much else. Take for example, sitcoms. Every week, or at least it seems, a new sitcom about your average American family. If you pay attention, you most likely see the woman do things that women have been stereotyped to do for hundreds of years. Typically, these shows portray a wife who cooks and cleans. Even if a show presents the woman with a job, it will go in hand with the stereotype of woman. That they are here to assist men, whether it be a receptionist or a secretary, woman usually will not have a job of extreme importance. For example, in the show The Officeis the most prominent woman in the show and is the receptionist, where she is constantly criticized for woman stereotypes.

I have interviewed one JMU freshmen, in order to figure out if these stereotypes if these stereotypes are involved in an average freshmen and  believe me they were.


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