Stereotyping is something that everyone does without even thinking about it. Whether it is positive or negative, stereotyping in popular culture can lead to negative outcomes. Even the slightest of cues, such as reading or seeing a negative stereotype about race or gender, can have an impact on the way someone behaves in a situation.
As stereotypes are included in everyday lives, they become part of what defines an individual. Every person of various age ranges is labelled with stereotypes that are used to group certain people together.
Stereotypes not only affect how a person interacts socially and emotionally, but how a person interacts with the environment as well and if stereotyped negatively, the reaction to said stereotype could result in negative outcomes as well.
Due to the extensive amount of technology and access to internet that is laid before the eyes, there is next to nothing stopping people from seeing the media and because of that “we are much more aware of what is going on in our homes and in the world” (Hunsdorfer).Being able to see what stereotypes are being stated about everyone changes the mindset of people and the way they behave.
Someone watching a movie star and seeing a male star depicted as athletic and muscular gives young men an unrealistic expectation to live to and in movies the woman is typically shown as not being as physically capable as the men and this makes young women feel as if they are not adequate enough.
People tend to be more “empathetic to other youth due to shared similar experiences” (Hunsdorfer).
The simple fact that the shared experiences should not be glorified rather than reprimanded. The youth of today should not all have the same negative experiences with popular culture stereotyping individuals in a negative manner.
Not only can being spoken of negatively have a negative impact on who a person becomes, but something as simple as being viewed differently than others can have a major impact on life choices.
A simple way to get into the mind of the people is through the use of video games. Over 42% of American household play video games regularly and of those statistics it is “children between 8 and 17 years old make up the group that plays the most video games” .
A child’s mind is not fully developed and therefore it is easier to manipulate their thoughts and emotions because they are too young to know any better. When playing these video games, the majority of main characters are expressed as white males saving the day and in violent video games the bad guy is typically depicted as being a racial minority.
This can lead to children falling into racial stereotypes and believing that minorities are they bad guy and should be treated as such.
Another example of how video games can alter the mind of those who play them is an experiment in which participants are exposed to images of men and women that were either stereotypical sex-typed images from video games or professional images from press photographs.
Stereotyping these people in video games to be sex-objects has a huge affect on what becomes accepted as socially normal in most cases. According to Burgess’ article “results demonstrated…exposed to the video game images were more tolerant of sexual harassment”.
This simple fact can be a danger to anyone and everyone who witnesses sexual harassment because if people are more comfortable with seeing it happen then the people will tend to turn a blind eye towards it when it does get seen happening.
This can cause people to feel unsafe when walking down the street of the neighborhood knowing that a blind eye might be turned if someone was to become sexually harassed because it is depicted as normal behavior in video games.