Racial stereotyping is the representation of a group of a certain race or ethnicity in a general manner by portraying all members of that group to display certain typical characteristics. Despite the fact that racial stereotype is more often than not considered negative, there do exist some positive aspects about racial stereotype. Stereotyping an individual typically indicate that that person has all the traits that members of that race should poses. The negative effects of racial stereotype surpass the positive effects by far. People, who have been a victim of stereotyping, are often impacted on a self-esteem level, the way you act and the way they view others that stereotype them; this perpetuate the continuation of stereo typing and prejudiced from generation to generation. Despite the fat that there has been much discussion about whether race has a social or biological basis, the truth is that race, and especially racial stereotype is a psychological reality for many people.
This means that many individuals assign other people to racial categories based on their appearance, thereafter make assumptions about them. Social mythologies, such as "a black male cannot play golf" may have some negative repercussion for those being stereotyped. Although many people do not endorse these negative beliefs, research show that just a meager awareness of these stereotypes can have adverse effects for people who are targeted by them. Numerous studies show that the self-esteem of the stereotyped individuals is usually affected because being stereotyped affects the manner in which they view themselves. It is argued that victims do not function to the maximum of their potential because being stereotyped affects the way and individual view him or her self (Clouse, 2009).
Stereotyping also has an adverse impact on a victim's level of confidence. When being stereotyped, victims let people treat them like they are inferior and worthless. As a result, one's social skills and life are affected, in that the manner in which the victim interacts with people changes. Racial stereotype also affects people's actions and way of thinking. Victims of racial stereotyping often experience psychological breakdown, which may lead to severe depression and committing suicide (Clouse, 2009). When people are unable to endure more instants of being stereotyped, they are more likely to end their lives, as this will end the mystery associated with being stereotyped. In order to fit into different criteria other than their own, many people try to change some habits and self-image. For example, it is believed that Caucasian women develop eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa, partly because they want to attain the thin Western feminine ideas (Gordon et al., 2001). Racial stereotyping often results from, and leads to bigotry and prejudice.
Language, especially slang, is used to stereotype certain groups of persons, and such discrimination is a precursor of violence, and in extreme cases, murder. For instance, when people are unable to stand the frequent the torture associated with being stereotyped, they might become violent and confrontational against those people who stereotype them. It goes without saying that such confrontations might lead to serious repercussions, such as injuries and even death to both the person who stereotypes and the victim. It is argued that racial stereotype does not just hurt the victim, but also has some negative effects on the individuals who hold, or even think about those stereotypes. A recent study established that white students who in a position to think about racial stereotype of their classmates of African American decent performed worse in a mathematics test than the white students who were not so primed. As mentioned earlier, racial stereotyping tends to be negatively inclined, but there do exist some positive aspects of stereotyping as well.
For instance, Native Americas are often stereotyped as wise, faithful, spiritual, and having a keen interest in taking care of the environment. Therefore, It is important that people start to see the positive side of stereotype as this will help quell the heated debate regarding racial stereotyping. Racial stereotyping is more often than not ingrained into our brains. It has become part of our upbringing because it is imbibed from our social environment. In fact, racial stereotype has become an endless cycle because the victims are more likely to start stereotyping others. This can be attributed to the fact that stereotype victims will start to retaliate against people of another race (Clouse, 2009). However, this does not mean that one cannot dispel these stereotypes and outgrow them. People should forget to put themselves in other people's shoes and live their lives as required by the society.