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Stereotypes are fixed and oversimplified ideas or images that individuals or groups have about particular types of people or things. Essays on stereotypes could explore their formation, the psychological and societal factors contributing to stereotypes, or the impact of stereotypes on marginalized or misrepresented groups. Other topics might include the portrayal of stereotypes in media, the relationship between stereotypes and prejudice or discrimination, or strategies for challenging and changing stereotypes. Analyzing the role of education in perpetuating or combating stereotypes, discussing the intersectionality of stereotypes with issues of race, gender, or class, or exploring personal and collective experiences of stereotyping could provide a nuanced understanding of this pervasive social issue. A substantial compilation of free essay instances related to Stereotypes you can find at Papersowl. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

Gender: Stereotypes and Prejudice

Throughout history, gender stereotypes have made themselves prominent in the lives of individuals of all cultures. A stereotype is a common biased of a certain group that is defined by oversimplistic ideas usually taught at a young age. Gender stereotypes reflect the prescriptive notions of men and women that have been predetermined by society for centuries. While many have fought for the pursuit of equality and have become liberated in their beliefs and attitudes, many of our actions can be […]

Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?

The 21st century has watched reality TV transform into one of the tremendous phenomena of our time. At first, we started off with just black and white pictures with no regularly scheduled programming, just on special occasions announced long in advance, your TV set had to be within 1/2 mile of the transmitter tower, and it had to be the right kind of TV for that TV station or you wouldn't get a signal. From ""Love and hip hop"" to […]

God’s View on Homosexuality

In spite of the fact, that God’s commands are considered morally right to believers in the divine command theory, homosexuality is very debatable. In the Bible, Leviticus 18:22 says, “[Men] shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” Leviticus 20:13 says, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act” (Jeffress). God’s Word says the homosexual […]

Haitian Stereotypes

Stereotypes are general ideas or concepts that are misinterpreted and uninformed. I wanted to do some research on Stereotypes because these ideas misconstrue groups of people, causing those people to feel hurt and bothered. The truth about stereotypes shows that not much is known about these groups of people. Some stereotypes about Haitians are that they brought ""AIDS"" to the United States, they practice Voodooism, and President Donald Trump refers to Haiti as a garbage country. They also believe that […]

Interpersonal Communication and Cultural Stereotypes

Abstract In recent years interactions between people from different cultures have increased, and this has been primarily due to globalization. Nowadays, many of us are living in a globalized society, and we must be able to understand other cultures better to connect with them. Cultural stereotypes and interactions can be difficult to navigate for the individual who's part of this particular culture and those from a different one. This paper will take an in-depth look at how interpersonal communications help […]

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Capital Punishment is Morally Indefensible

The story of one of the most horrific hate crimes of our day came to an end this past Thursday. Or did it? Capital punishment also termed punishment by death was used on John William King by lethal injection for the murder of James Byrd Jr. The family however shared with CNN news reporters as they watched their brother’s murderer be executed, “they believe this was a just punishment, however, they felt nothing, there was no sense of relief."" Understandably […]

The Role of Women and Stereotypes in the Greek Society in the Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey is a classic poem by Homer ha revolves around the narrative of Odysseus an ancient Greek hero. Homer describes a full twenty-year journey that Odysseus spends fighting the Trojan War and traveling back to his family. The most significant theme is the nature and the role of women in Greek society. According to the story, men during the period were dominant and made most of the rules. However, Homer defies and illustrates the disparity in the role of […]

How Stereotypes Contribute to Injustice System?

Because of the stereotypes exist in the media and our society that create racial profile and many injustices especially in criminal system, which is why that Social movement are created. These movements are demanding changes for a better treatment not just on better wage or better job, but also the protection from law. Stereotypes exist in society that it become the norm, which creates the one of the most dangerous behavior which is racial profiling. Racial profiling exist everywhere which […]

Scout Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Sometimes when people discriminate against one thing, they’re still open to another. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, this issue is expressed all throughout the story. For the time and place “To Kill a Mockingbird” takes place in, there was some way people would find a difference of another person and compare it to themselves. Examples of discrimination were racism and sexism; consequently, Scout learned multiple lessons from discrimination. Discrimination will alter someone’s life in ways of humiliation and […]

Cultural Stereotypes and Autism Disorder

“It’s the fastest growing developmental disability, autism” (Murray, 2008, p.2). “It is a complex neurological disorder that impedes or prevents effective verbal communication, effective social interaction, and appropriate behavior” (Ennis-Cole, Durodoye, & Harris, 2013). “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong disorder that may have comorbid conditions like attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorder, stereotypical and self-stimulatory behaviors, insomnia, intellectual disabilities, obsessive compulsive disorder, seizure disorder/epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, Tic disorders, gastrointestinal problems, and other conditions. Another certainty, […]

Racial Stereotypes: Characteristics, Affects and Social Marketing Theory

Racial stereotypes: their characteristics, affects and social marketing theory will educate the college community to promote racial justice. Racial stereotypes happens subconsciously, and many of those thoughts are learned through experience whether it was direct or indirect. Many humans take on stereotyping repeatingly during an everyday basis, and there are speculations that this genetic or cultural trait is carried from generation to generation. It can be a mistaken idea many people have about someone because how they look on the […]

The Moral Debate: Animal Rights Vs. Human Interests

In the article “All Animals Are Equal” by Peter Singer he argues that there is no reason to deny that animals are equal to humans in many ways. He elaborates on the term speciesism (the exploitation of animal,) and how it is wrong and needs to be stopped. He claims that our pleasure is not a valid reason for animals suffering. In this paper, I will argue how this fails, I am going to argue the point of view that […]

Gender Stereotypes and Bias in Child Rearing

For many years, child rearing has been a discussed topic. However, some of the most discussed topics are gender stereotyping and different types of biasing on children. According to Merriam-Webster, a stereotype is something that is, ""conforming to a fixed or general pattern."" (Merriam-Webster, 2018) In the case of gender stereotyping, this would mean a person would conform to the gender norms that surround their own personal gender. These types of stereotyping and biasing can be done by parents and […]

Gender Stereotypes and their Effect on People

It is not in one’s nature. Gender stereotypes are people’s expectation to behave, think, speak, and interact a certain way based on their gender. Gender roles are stereotypes of behaviors that are considered appropriate for one’s gender in society. Although some may believe that different genders innately behave a particular way, gender roles are adopted since childhood through various social factors such as expectations of an individual's family, friends, community, and such beliefs shape a person to conform to society’s […]

Gender Roles and Stereotypes

A common stereotype is men are independent, and women are codependent. ""Gender roles are the behaviors learned by a person appropriate to their gender, determined by prevailing cultural norms."" (qtd. ""Oxford Dictionary""). Gender roles are shaped through media, family, environment, and society. These roles often turn into stereotypes. Gender stereotypes come down to man vs. woman and how they dress, behave, and present themselves. Television and movies on-screen are forms of entertainment that influence gender stereotypes. As read in ""The […]

Stereotypes in Media

Media is an important and popular entertainment. People also obtain information and form their impressions on characters who are represented in media. As a result, racism media will implement the stereotypes into people’s mind. Unfortunately, American media has a long history of producing media contents with bias and stereotypes. This enhanced the racism which has a long history in America. Racism and stereotypes have serious consequences such as stereotype threat and media are one of the forces that push them. […]

Martin Luther King Jr.: the Philosopher King

Martin Luther King Jr. is recognized of his memorable life of leadership and service, which he was committed to and overall, died for. He was a social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement until his assassination in 1968, leaving one of the biggest impacts around the world. He not only fought for his people of color but wanted the community to come together and unite as one. ‘The Liberatory thought of Martin Luther King […]

Ethnic Stereotypes

""People are much deeper than stereotypes. That's the first place our mind goes. Then you get to know them and hear their own stories, and you say, 'I'd have never guessed."" (Carson Kersley). Unfortunately, enough not everyone has this type of experience, this aha moment and they end up living through their entire life stereotyping other races. Stereotypes act as a barrier between people and not often are the barriers taken down, which typically prevents others from associating them self's […]

Native American Stereotypes in Sports and Schools

As I walked into my new school, I was nervous, but at the same time I was delighted. I was embarking on a new journey, I was attending a public school. Because I lived on a Native American reservation and attended an American Indian Boarding School, I didn't know what to expect. As I was walking down the hallway, I saw an image on the wall, a strange one. Beside the image, I read the word ""Redskins"". The image, as […]

Disney Princess Stereotypes

My name is Claire Roark and I go to Poudre High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. Like you, I love to inspire the younger generation to succeed in their goals and to follow their dreams no matter what. I appreciate your passion for creating entertainment for people of all ages and have been watching Disney movies since I was very young. However, as I've grown up watching these movies I've noticed the pressure it puts on young girls to look […]

Stereotypes: Dangerous and Harmful Things

Introduction This paper will examine whether or not the argument for stereotyping is a valid reason for treating someone a specific way. Stereotyping can be a dangerous and very hurtful thing that can damage not only the person it is directed toward, but it can also damage the person whose perspective is askew. This harmful use of stereotyping can damage the way someone sees the world and how they react to it. Examining the way a person acts within a […]

Prejudice and Discrimination in College

Everyone at some point has seen a significant change that social media has done in its own role to display prejudice and discrimination. I have witnessed it myself through social ports and daily news. The overflowing negativity of news in which we may not want to hear can trigger a feeling of "How can we stop this?", or perhaps what we can we contribute to change the world around us. The fact is that prejudice and discrimination aren't only a […]

Racial Stereotypes in Athletics

The article, Racial Athletic Stereotype Confirmation in College Football Recruiting, can be found in the Journal of Social Psychology and is written by Grant Thomas, Jessica J. Good, and Alexi R. Gross. This article was published in 2015 and it explores the topic of racial stereotypes in the context of college athletic recruitment. They were basically studying if a racial bias could play a role in college athletic recruitment. The researchers' first hypothesis was that coaches would rate black players […]

Black Stereotypes

During prime time, Univision and Telemundo are always airing new episodes of Latin American soap operas. Univision and Telemundo are both networks whose audience are American Hispanics and Latinos. In 2015, soap opera titled ""Celia,"" aired on Telemundo. According to Olga Segura associate editor of America magazine, who identifies as Afro-Latina stated, "" It was not until 2015 that we saw black Latinos starring as protagonists in Telemundo's ""Celia,"" which stars Jeimy Osorio as the Cuban singer Celia Cruz. The […]

Gender Stereotypes

I chose the film Miss Congeniality, which is a fictional movie produced by Sandra Bullock herself and filmed in 2000. The film opens at a school where a boy is picking on another. We see Gracie Hart as a child who beats up the bully and tries to help the victim, who instead, criticizes her by saying he disliked her because he did not want a girl to help him, an example of the gender stereotype that men should always […]

Stereotypes in Middle East

A Thousand Splendid suns takes place in war ravaged Afghanistan throughout different time periods of battle and governmental change. Through the last decades of war in the Middle East many myths and misconceptions have been formed by the Westerners. Two thousand years of statues are destroyed by the Taliban to show their power over the people and to ingrain that their history means nothing. Years of stereotypes make Islam seem like a religion of destruction and violence.The events of September […]

Stereotyping Males in the Classroom

Sexism in school began to become a topic of discussion when Title IX of the Education Amendments Act was passed in 1972, which "prohibited sex discrimination against students or employees in any federally funded program" (Davies, Evans 255). It became clear that textbooks were not only teaching children math and science; they were also being taught gendered behaviors and "how society regards certain groups of people" (Davies, Evans 256). Because "books are a powerful tool in shaping children and their […]

Decentering Stereotypes

Decentering the social normative ideas that are placed on gender and race can be achieved through a myriad of ways. Two of the most potent ways of disrupting the misguided notions of some and re-centering our views on the nature of race and of gender is through authentic narratives and poignant performance pieces. What lies at the center of our understanding of race and gender; comfort, familiarity, certainty, and affirmation. These emotions and persuasions cushion our ideas and common understanding […]

5 Gender Stereotypes that Used to be the Exact Opposite

The hardest stereotypes to break are the ones that are so old as to go all the way back to hunter-gatherer days. After all, how can you argue with biology? Women carry the babies, men have the upper body strength to tackle gazelles. Nobody made that up out of thin air. But if society has taught us one thing, it's that it becomes way too easy to attach amendments to that bill, claiming that all sexual and gender stereotypes date back […]

Variety of Stereotypes LGBT Community

There are a variety of stereotypes that revolve around the LGBTQ community. More specifically, there are numerous stereotypes involving relationships. These stereotypes usually invalidate the problems that can transpire within the relationship. People often believe that the abuse that lies within the relationship is not as serious as heterosexual abuse; they often perceive it as play fighting. They would say things such as, “it’s not that serious girls fight all the time,” or “girls are so understanding and sweet it […]

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Writing Prompts about Stereotype

  • 🗃️ Essay topics
  • ❓ Research questions
  • 📝 Topic sentences
  • 🪝 Essay hooks
  • 📑 Thesis statements
  • 🔀 Hypothesis examples
  • 🧐 Personal statements

🔗 References

🗃️ essay topics about stereotype.

  • The effects of gender stereotypes on workplace discrimination.
  • The role of the media in perpetuating racial stereotypes.
  • The harmful effects of age stereotypes on mental health.
  • Gender stereotypes and role assignment for young children.
  • Stereotypes in advertising and their impact on consumer behavior.
  • The effects of cultural stereotypes on mental health in immigrant communities.
  • The impact of ableist stereotypes on people with disabilities.
  • Impact of unconscious bias on group’s perception.
  • The role of education in reducing harmful stereotypes.
  • The effects of beauty standards and body image stereotypes on young women.
  • The influence of religious stereotypes on interfaith relationships.
  • The portrayal of LGBTQ+ people in media and its impact on stereotypes.
  • The effects of racial stereotyping on an individual’s identity.
  • The effects of racial stereotypes on the criminal justice system.
  • The impact of age stereotypes on job opportunities and career advancement.
  • The effects of stereotype threat on academic achievement.
  • The role of language in perpetuating gender stereotypes.
  • Single story and storytelling as power.
  • The effects of gender stereotypes on mental health in the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The impact of gender stereotypes on children’s toy preferences.
  • The influence of stereotypes on interracial relationships.
  • The effects of regional stereotypes on social and economic opportunities.
  • The role of stereotypes in shaping political discourse and policy.
  • Issue of racial discrimination.
  • The effects of gender stereotypes on leadership opportunities in the workplace.

❓ Research Questions on Stereotype

  • How do stereotypes affect our perceptions and judgments of others?
  • What is the impact of media on the perpetuation of stereotypes?
  • How do stereotypes impact the workplace and employment opportunities?
  • What role does education play in perpetuating or combating stereotypes?
  • How do stereotypes affect individuals’ self-perceptions and identity?
  • What is the relationship between stereotypes and prejudice?
  • How do stereotypes differ across cultures and societies?
  • What is the relationship between stereotypes and mental health?
  • How do stereotypes affect the criminal justice system and law enforcement?
  • What role do stereotypes play in interpersonal communication and relationships?
  • How do stereotypes impact the way we view and treat people with disabilities?
  • What are the long-term effects of being exposed to stereotypes?
  • How do stereotypes contribute to systemic inequalities and oppression?
  • How do stereotypes impact the experiences of immigrant and refugee communities?
  • How can we effectively challenge and combat stereotypes in society?

📝 Topic Sentences about Stereotype

  • Stereotypes can have harmful effects on individuals and society as a whole, perpetuating unfair and inaccurate beliefs about different groups of people.
  • Although sometimes based on a kernel of truth, stereotypes can be dangerous when they are used to make assumptions about people without considering individual differences and complexities.
  • It’s important to recognize and challenge stereotypes in order to promote diversity, inclusion, and understanding between different cultures and communities.

🪝 Top Hooks for Stereotype Paper

📍 anecdotal hooks on stereotype.

  • As a blonde woman, I’ve been stereotyped my entire life as a “dumb blonde.” But little do they know, I’m actually a rocket scientist. The only time my hair gets in the way is when I accidentally dip it in my beaker of chemicals.
  • As a tall person, I’ve been stereotyped my whole life as a basketball player. But let me tell you, I have the coordination of a baby giraffe on roller skates. The only thing I’m good at catching is low-hanging tree branches.

📍 Definition Hooks about Stereotype

  • A stereotype is a cognitive shortcut that helps us process information quickly and efficiently but can also lead to biases and prejudices. We’ll explore the origin and evolution of stereotypes, as well as their impact on our perceptions and behaviors.
  • Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people that are often based on incomplete or inaccurate information. We’ll examine the ways in which stereotypes can manifest in various aspects of society, including media representation, workplace culture, and interpersonal relationships.

📍 Statistical Hooks for Essay on Stereotype

  • According to a study by the National Science Foundation, more than 70% of Americans believe that stereotypes are prevalent in society, and over 50% of respondents reported experiencing discrimination based on their identity.
  • Research has shown that stereotypes can have a significant impact on academic achievement, with studies demonstrating that negative stereotypes about certain groups can lead to decreased performance and a lack of confidence.

📑 Best Stereotype Thesis Statements

✔️ argumentative thesis examples about stereotype.

  • Stereotypes perpetuate harmful and inaccurate beliefs about different groups of people, contributing to a culture of discrimination and prejudice. It is crucial to actively challenge and dismantle these stereotypes in order to promote diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
  • While some stereotypes may contain a kernel of truth, they often oversimplify and misrepresent entire groups of people. By recognizing and challenging stereotypes, we can promote a more nuanced and accurate understanding of diverse individuals and communities.

✔️ Analytical Thesis on Stereotype

  • Stereotypes are a product of cultural norms and social conditioning and can perpetuate power dynamics and inequalities. Through a critical analysis of the ways in which stereotypes function in society, will examine the complex intersectionality of identity and stereotype.
  • Stereotypes are not just individual beliefs but are deeply embedded in cultural and institutional practices. By analyzing the social and historical context of stereotypes, will explore the ways in which they are constructed and maintained, and their impact on social power dynamics.

✔️ Informative Thesis Samples about Stereotype

  • Stereotypes are pervasive and can have serious consequences for individuals and society as a whole. An exploration of the history, psychology, and impact of stereotypes, will provide a comprehensive overview of this complex and important topic.
  • Stereotyping is a cognitive process that plays a significant role in shaping our perceptions and behaviors. Examining the different types of stereotypes, their formation and effects, and ways to overcome them, aims to provide a thorough understanding of this complex phenomenon.

🔀 Stereotype Hypothesis Examples

  • Individuals who are highly identified with their social group may be more susceptible to the influence of stereotypes.
  • Stereotypes can be reinforced or challenged through the media, depending on the type of representation and the context in which it is presented.

🔂 Null & Alternative Hypothesis about Stereotype

  • Null hypothesis: Media representation of marginalized groups has no effect on the perpetuation of stereotypes in society.
  • Alternative hypothesis: Negative or inaccurate media representation of marginalized groups contributes to the perpetuation of harmful stereotypes, leading to further discrimination and prejudice.

🧐 Examples of Personal Statement on Stereotype

  • I have experienced firsthand the harmful effects of stereotypes and the power they hold to shape our interactions and opportunities. Through my academic pursuits and extracurricular involvement, I am committed to promoting a more nuanced and empathetic understanding of diverse individuals and communities. I believe that by challenging stereotypes and promoting inclusivity, we can create a more just and equitable society for all.
  • I have become acutely aware of their negative impact on individuals and society as a whole. As a student, I am dedicated to learning more about the complex ways in which stereotypes function and perpetuate inequality. Through my studies and involvement in social justice initiatives, I hope to help create a world where all people are respected and valued regardless of their identity.
  • Gender stereotypes and workplace bias
  • Stereotyping and Stereotypes
  • Positive Stereotypes Are Pervasive and Powerful
  • Stereotyping From the Perspective of Perceivers and Targets

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94 Gender Stereotypes Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on gender stereotypes, 🎓 most interesting gender stereotypes research titles, 💡 simple gender stereotypes essay ideas, ❓ research questions about gender stereotypes.

  • Race and Gender Stereotypes in Literature Literary texts are used to advance gender and race-related stereotypes. In this paper, the author examines three literary texts: Araby, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The False Gems.
  • Gender Stereotypes and Misunderstanding Stereotypes predetermine a human life and a female life, in particular, explaining the approaches that can change the situation, and defining the power of stereotypes.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Women’s Opinion Study This study focuses on the opinions of women and their perspectives on the prevalence of gender stereotypes. The qualitative research will best fit the purpose of the study.
  • Women’s Views on Long-Existing Gender Stereotypes Women are still seen as creatures fit for child-rearing and keeping households. Men still think that women cannot perform certain tasks and take up some responsibilities.
  • Gender Stereotypes’ Effects Career and Mental Health This paper discusses the stereotypes about women and shows how they limit the professional development of women and put them at risk of domestic violence and mental health issues.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Families: Parental Influence on an Adolescent’s Career Choice Gender stereotypes are still persistent in societies that often seem to be egalitarian. These stereotypes are transmitted to younger generations that copy their parents’ role models.
  • Gender Stereotypes Developed Within Families The researchers hypothesized that parents’ views on gender roles as well as their stereotypes would be adopted by their children.
  • Gender Stereotypes Formation in Children This paper focuses on a study that explores the extent to which parents model gender roles to their children and dwells upon the development of gender stereotypes in children.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Families: Parents’ Gender Roles and Children’s Aspirations Psychologists have paid significant attention to gender stereotypes, and many important trends have been identified and evaluated. Researchers use various methodologies.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Western and Eastern Culture Stereotypes claim that the girls from the east are well behaved. They are shy and respectful, quiet and smart.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Family: Research Methods Family is one of the most important factors that affect the development of children’s perceptions concerning gender roles.
  • The Gender Stereotypes in the Workplace The gender stereotypes in the workplace were the focus of the discussion. Different studies exploring issues related to gender stereotypes in the working environment were analyzed.
  • Gender Stereotypes and Employment’ Correlation The paper discusses will science faculty members reveal preferential evaluation of a male science student to work in the laboratory settings?
  • Gender Stereotypes in Family and Academic Settings The persistence of gender stereotypes in the USA as well as the rest of the world is one of the most burning issues.
  • Gender Stereotypes: Research Question This work is a research proposal on the topic of what factors affect the development of opinions in women concerning gender-related issues as seen by working females.
  • Data Analysis Proposal: Gender Stereotypes This paper presents a data analysis proposal of the study that focuses on developing females gender stereotypes using an empirical phenomenology approach.
  • Gender Stereotypes: Data Presentation Strategy This report examines gender stereotypes from a quantitative perspective, including data presentation strategy and strategy of credibility, dependability, and transferability.
  • Gender Stereotypes of the US Women This work is a proposal study concerning experiences that influence US women’s attitudes towards their roles in society, gender stereotypes, distribution of power.
  • Gender Stereotypes: Should Real Men Wear Pink? Even in the 21st century, there is a strong belief among people that real men should not wear outfits that are associated with femininity.
  • Gender Stereotypes in the Modern World The About Face project aims to oppose a culture that promotes the belief that women are weak, and have a particular set of duties and responsibilities that should be obeyed.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Commercials Home appliances or makeup commercials are typically directed at women. Automobile advertising, on the contrary, tends to concentrate on the male audience.
  • Gender Stereotypes in “Frozen” Animated Film The shift in gender stereotypes is presented in “Frozen.” The contrast between Elsa and Anna is a conflict between the past stereotypes and emerging perceptions.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Advertisements Gender-stereotyped portrayals remain perverse in ads and other promotional activities in conventional print and broadcast media and digital and social networking platforms.
  • The Problem of Gender Stereotypes Gender stereotyping seems to be an element of the traditional gender ideology that describes average differences between males and females.
  • Gender Stereotypes and Their Role in Advertising Now it is difficult to imagine life without advertising. In modern society, there is still a principle of building advertising on gender stereotypes.
  • Role of Gender Stereotypes in Advertising The paper states that it is of great significance to understand the reasons behind the advertisers’ attachment to socially constructed gender differences.
  • Futurama Series Speaks Against Gender Stereotypes Although Futurama may seem to be a sexist series, at first sight, a closer examination reveals several directions in which this work speaks against gender stereotypes.
  • Gender Stereotypes Have Changed by Eagly et al. Gender Stereotypes Have Changed by Eagly et al. investigates the changes in gender stereotypes over a long period and the historical and social processes that contributed to this.
  • Gender Stereotypes in Academic and Family Settings Gender stereotypes refer to the assumption about gender features and roles that every woman or man is expected to possess or depict.
  • How Gender Stereotypes Affect Society Gender stereotypes are harmful because they only teach men and women to act in certain ways; they confine people to a set of behaviors associated with their gender.
  • Socialization and Its Relationship to Gender Stereotypes
  • Impact Color Associations Have On Gender Stereotypes
  • The Hidden Gender Stereotypes in the Animations of the Little Mermaid and Tangled
  • Gender Stereotypes Start With Toys
  • Raising Children Without Gender Stereotypes
  • The Harmful Effects That Gender Stereotypes Can Reflect on the Individual and Society
  • Workplace Segregation and Gender Stereotypes
  • Television Commercials and How They Perpetuate Gender Stereotypes
  • Media Messages, Gender Stereotypes & Baby Mama
  • Defining Manhood Through Gender Stereotypes
  • How Jane Eyre and the Works of Robert Browning Subvert Gender Stereotypes?
  • Gender Stereotypes That Have an Influence on People From Their Birth
  • Nostalgic Representations and Gender Stereotypes in Romanian Advertising
  • Gender Stereotypes and Bias in Child Rearing
  • Holding Fast: The Persistence and Dominance of Gender Stereotypes
  • English Postcolonial Animal Tales and Gender Stereotypes
  • Gender Stereotypes and Estimated IQ Scores
  • Toys That Develop Gender Stereotypes
  • Gender Stereotypes and Influences of Celebrities on Our
  • Gender Norms and Enforcing Gender Stereotypes on Society
  • Warnings Against Gender Stereotypes in Early Twentieth-Century American Literature
  • Gender Stereotypes Are Still Pervasive in Our Culture
  • The Factors That Influence Gender Roles, Gender Identity, and Gender Stereotypes
  • Sports Broadcasting Reinforces Gender Stereotypes and Homophobia Media
  • Gender Stereotypes and Their Effects on Society
  • Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Gender Stereotypes in Disney Films
  • Gender Differences and Gender Stereotypes From a Psychological Perspect
  • Masculinity, Femininity, Gender Stereotypes, and Racial Stereotypes in the Media
  • Female Development and the Impact of Gender Stereotypes
  • Gender Stereotypes Influence the Perception of and Attitude Towards Characters
  • Physical Appearance and Gender Stereotypes
  • Gender and Gender Stereotypes and How They Have an Impact on Children
  • Men Who Defy Gender Stereotypes
  • Pop Culture and Gender Stereotypes
  • Sexism and Gender Stereotypes in the Public Relations Industry
  • Gender Stereotypes: The Reign of the Blue Collar Male
  • Girls Rule, Boys Drool: The Effects of Gender Stereotypes
  • Workplace and Gender Stereotypes
  • Gender Stereotypes Throughout the Past Decades
  • What Is the Relationship Between Physical Appearance and Gender Stereotypes?
  • How Do Gender Stereotypes Warp Our View of Depression?
  • How Do Magazines Create Gender Stereotypes?
  • How Do Gender Stereotypes Impact Dimensions of Effective Leader Behavior?
  • How Women Are Fighting for Gender Stereotypes in Today’s Society?
  • What Are the Gender Stereotypes Against Iranian Women?
  • How Does Ridley Scott Create and Destroy Gender Stereotypes in “Thelma and Louise”?
  • How Do Television Commercials Perpetuate Gender Stereotypes?
  • How Can Gender Stereotypes Explain the Gender-equality Paradox?
  • How To Reduce the Effects of Gender Stereotypes on Performance Evaluations?
  • What Is the Role of Gender Stereotypes in Speech Perception?
  • What Is the Influence of Gender Stereotypes on Parent and Child Mathematics Attitudes?
  • What Does the Term Pancultural Gender Stereotypes Mean?
  • Do Citizens Apply Gender Stereotypes To Infer Candidates’ Ideological Orientations?
  • What Are the Discourses of Female Violence and Societal Gender Stereotypes?
  • What Changes Did Occur in Gender Stereotypes Over Time?
  • How Do Brain Potentials Reflect Violations of Gender Stereotypes?
  • What Is the Role of Gender Stereotypes in US Senate Campaigns?
  • How Gender Stereotypes Prevent Women’s Ascent up the Organizational Ladder?
  • What Are the Implicit and Explicit Occupational Gender Stereotypes?
  • What Is an Evolution of Gender Stereotypes in Spain?
  • How Do Newspaper Sources Trigger Gender Stereotypes?
  • What Is the Influence of Gender Stereotypes on Role Adoption in Student Teams?
  • What Are the Current Gender Stereotypes and Their Evaluative Content?
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StudyCorgi. (2023, November 9). 94 Gender Stereotypes Essay Topics. Retrieved from

StudyCorgi. (2023, November 9). 94 Gender Stereotypes Essay Topics.

"94 Gender Stereotypes Essay Topics." StudyCorgi , 9 Nov. 2023,

1. StudyCorgi . "94 Gender Stereotypes Essay Topics." November 9, 2023.


StudyCorgi . "94 Gender Stereotypes Essay Topics." November 9, 2023.

StudyCorgi . 2023. "94 Gender Stereotypes Essay Topics." November 9, 2023.

StudyCorgi . (2023) '94 Gender Stereotypes Essay Topics'. 9 November.

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The essay topic collection was published on May 10, 2022 . Last updated on November 9, 2023 .

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Stereotypes have existed since time immemorial they.

Stereotypes have existed since time immemorial. They are as old as human culture itself and are beliefs and ideas that a certain group of people hold for those who differ from themselves. A stereotype can exist in a simple word for example "nerd" or in a collection of words and images which are evoked when others hold similar opinions. Stereotypes can be positive, however, most of the times they are associated with negative connotations and make one group of person feel superior and above another group. Stereotypes are oversimplifications and are usually based on behavioural aspects or on the way people physically appear. (Stangor, 2000) In today's society it is almost impossible to escape stereotypes. The media, entertainment, sports and politics all bring to light stereotypes and because of this the lives of many are affected. According to several studies people who feel they are being stereotyped tend to perform poorly….


Macrae, C.N., Stangor, C., & Hewstone, M. (1996).Stereotypes and stereotyping. The Guilford Press.

Stangor, C. (2000). Stereotypes and prejudice, essential readings. Psychology Pr.

Stereotypes Practitioners of Certain Religions Have Faced

Stereotypes Practitioners of certain religions have faced prejudiced and stereotyped ideas about the personages because of the negative affiliations of their religion. Perhaps no religion is as stereotyped as the religion called Islam. Islam, antithetically to what the majority of ignorant people believe, is "a religion of ethics, obedience, harmony, and is based on a faithful belief system" (Hossain). It is a religion that promotes peace and the toleration of others. Due to the unfortunate actions of a handful of terrorist extremists, many people mistakenly associate the religion with terrorism. There are violent people in all walks of life and from every religion, but ignorance does not allow people to see that the vast majority of Islamic believers are not terrorists. Those who practice Islam, Muslims, are not violent people. The stereotype of Muslims is that they are violent extremists bent on destruction and death. This is absolutely not the case….

Works Cited:

Al-Marayati, Laila and Semeen Issa. "An Identity Reduced to a Burka." Women's Muslim

League. 2002. Print.

Elliott, Justin. "Debunking Stereotypes of Muslim Americans." Salon. Web. March 2012.

Stereotypes We Are All Guilty of Judging

Stereotypes We are all guilty of judging others based on a wide range of traits we perceive in them. In so doing, we end up attaching (wrongly) certain traits to such individuals. In this text, I concern myself with stereotyping, its meaning, and the effects it has on those who experience it. Common Stereotypes According to Schneider (2005), "stereotypes are qualities perceived to be associated with particular groups or categories of people." In that regard, stereotypes include all those assumptions as well as generalizations we make about all members of certain groups based on our perceived characteristics of the group under consideration. Personally, I have in the past encountered a variety of stereotypes. The most common of these include stereotypes on gangs and abortions. The other rather outrageous, yet common stereotype I do encounter is that all tell men play basketball. When it comes to gangs, one commonly held stereotype is that all gang….

DeLamater, J.D. & Myers, D.J. (2010). Social Psychology (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Kemick, A. (2010, August 10). Stereotyping has a Lasting Negative Impact. Retrieved July 21, 2012, from the EurekAlert website: 

Schneider, D.J. (2005). The Psychology of Stereotyping. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Stereotypes Media the Media Has

The Sopade (underground messages to the Social Democratic Party's headquarters in exile) confirmed that a plurality of attitudes towards Jews -- ranging from virulent hatred to apathy and indifference -- continued to exist during the Third Reich and that these attitudes were shaped as much by geographical, class, and religious affiliations as by propaganda (Brown, 2002)." An example of Christian in 2004, Director Mel Gibson became embroiled in controversy for producing what may likely be considered the most direct and explicit work of anti-Semitism created for mainstream consumption since II. In the Passion of the Christ, which would ultimately gross more than $370 million at the box office, Gibson would retell the story of Jesus with a focus on the myth of the Jew as a weak, effeminate figure whose treachery caused the death of the Messiah. (BOM, 1) the recall of an otherwise fading perspective on the Jews returned….

Works Cited

Alba r. And Kasinitz p. (2006) Sophisticated Television, sophisticated stereotypes. Contexts 5 (4). 74

Armour J. (1995) Stereotypes and Prejudice: Helping Legal Decisionmakers Break the Prejudice Habit. California Law Review. 83 (3), pp. 733-772

Becker, a. (2007) 'Sopranos' Makes a&E a Big Shot. Broadcasting & Cable. 137 (10), p4-25, 2p

BOM. (2004). "The Passion of the Christ" Lifetime Box Office. Box Office Mojo. Online at . tm.

Stereotype and Prejudice the Effects

The current study investigates two questions: a) do positive self-affirmations influence the likelihood of individuals holding prejudicial and stereotypical beliefs? And b) are suggested self-concepts projected onto others who are often stereotyped? It is hypothesized that positive self-affirmations will result in reduced stereotypical and prejudice beliefs. It is also hypothesized that positive self-concepts (high intelligence) through suggestion will result in the projection of these concepts onto others that are often stereotyped, resulting in the belief that others are intelligent as well. Method Participants 200 undergraduate university students participated in this study in order to fulfill course credit for an introductory psychology course. Procedure Half of the participants received a bogus spatial orientation exercise to complete and were told that it was a test of intelligence. Upon completion of the task, they were all told that their score indicated that they were of very high intelligence. The remaining participants completed the same exercise, but were not….

Fein, S., Spencer, S. (1997). Prejudice as self-image maintenance: affirming the self through derogating others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(1), 31-44.

Govorun, O., Fuegen, K., Payne, B. (2006). Stereotypes focus defensive projection. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(6), 781-93.

Newman, L., Duff, K., Baumeister, R. (1997). A new look at defensive projection: thought suppression, accessibility, and biased person perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(5), 980-1001.

Seibt, B., Forster, J. (2004). Stereotype threat and performance: how self-stereotypes influence processing by inducing regulatory foci. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(1), 38-56.

Stereotype in My Daily Encounters I Normally

Stereotype In my daily encounters I normally encounter gendered assumptions that are prejudicial to both male and female gender. In these encounters, gender role stereotypes are manifested. The human race behaves in gender stereotypical ways without taking their time to reflect on such behaviors (University of Toronto, 2010). Our society is programmed in such a way that when a person strays from gendered expectations; s/he has to face the consequences (Kemeck, 2012). People would be very quick to correct or behave in a way that makes it obvious to somebody that he has strayed from what is considered feminine or masculine. Straying is at times met with violence or harassment. One fine morning when my sister was mowing the front lawn, quite a number of the male gender who lived next to our home stopped to give her some advice on how to properly mow a lawn. In fact I heard one….

References List

Kemeck, A. (2012). Stereotyping Has Lasting Negative Impact. Retrieved December from

Mosser, K. (2011). An Introduction to Logic. San Diego: Bridgepoint.

University of Toronto. (2010). Stereotyping Has a Lasting Negative Impact. Retrieved from

Stereotypes Conflict Resolution Involves a

The counselor makes clear several guidelines that guide behavior in boys' activities. For instance, first of all, the counselor should state that each member is equal, no matter of gang affiliation or other criteria. Therefore, each member is due to respect the other and is not allowed to call names or manifest other forms of bullying behavior. The tasks are accomplished by members regardless their gang affiliation. The boys should be taught that cooperation is a better way to interact during task accomplishment that competition. These rules may be written and placed in the classroom, in the recreation room. ewards are established for those who respect at least one of the rules established by the counselor; for instance they are allowed to watch TV or do their favorite activity for an extra-time. Ensure that different groups interact as equals. This is related to stereotyping reducing and cooperation in diverse groups.….

Swisher, L.C. (1997). Conflict resolution/peer mediation: Everybody wins. Masters Abstracts International, 36-01, p. 0024, Eastern Michigan University. Retrieved from the Peer Facilitator Quaterly, Volume 16 No. 1 Fall 1998

Thomason R., (2006) Kindness: The Foundation of Service-Learning, Retrieved at 

Crawford, D., Bodine, R., (1996) Conflict Resolution Education a Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth-Serving Organizations, and Community and Juvenile Justice Settings. Retrieved at

Stereotypes the Human Mind Has Been Blessed

Stereotypes The human mind has been blessed with the gift of empathy and, when used properly, can be used to great benefit if not for great learning. The purpose of this essay is to describe the exploration into the perceived experience of another group or minority. This writing will focus from the perspective of the Native American Indian as it relates to professional and collegiate sports adoption of their likeliness for mascots and team representation. This issue has been discussed in recent times and has become a hot button issue in many regions where Native American Indians are represented has a team mascot. Some examples of this are edskins, Indians, Chiefs and Seminole. These mascots have been associated with their school or city for many generations and whiling offer a sense of pride and a centerpiece to culturally revolve around; many find this practice outdated and bigoted. Taking the perspective of the Native….

Merriam Webster Online. "Stereotype." Viewed 4 Oct 2013. Retrieved from .

Merriam Webster Online. Glass Ceiling. Viewed 4 Oct 2013. Retrieved from

Stereotypes in Japanese Media Japan

Men, on the other hand, are more likely to be old, job holders, out of the home and authorities on the products. They are also more likely to explain why the products are good and to recommend expensive items." (Sakamoto, 1999) However over the years, changes have been noticed in some respects. Women are not as much associated with cheaper products as they once were due to their improved financial status. However they were still preferred as young and beautiful instead of older or more mature. The study found that while in terms of argument and product price, stereotypes had decreased, they had become more prominent in terms of location. Location here refers to being in the home, in the kitchen or outside home. The study suggested in its conclusion that, "traditional stereotypic portrayals of men and women in Japanese television commercials have not substantially decreased from 1961 to 1993. Nor….

Ford, J.B., Voli, P.K., Honeycutt, E.D., Casey, S.L. (1998), "Gender role portrayals in Japanese advertising: a magazine content analysis," Journal of Advertising, Vol. 27 No.1, pp.113-25.

Sakamoto, a., Kitou, M., Takahira, M., & Adachi, N. 1999. Gender stereotyping in Japanese television: A content analysis of commercials from 1961-1993. In T. Sugiman, M. Karasawa, J. Liu, & C. Ward (Eds.), Progress in Asian social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 201-212). Seoul: Kyoyook-Kwahak-SA.

Stereotype Stereotyping The Reciprocity of

They feared difference, lacked an understanding of my culture and used stereotypes as an excuse to keep me isolated within the company. This was an organization where I find myself unable to remain for any lengthy period of time. It was also an extremely important moment of revelation with regard to the way that I approach others, particularly those who are in some manner different from me. I was now alerted to my own tendencies with respect to others, and even to realize that I had been guilty of employing stereotypes in the past as well. Perhaps in a sense, I had been somewhat standoffish around my new all-white coworkers because I allowed this sense of cultural isolation to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This again causes us to consider the theories discussed in Ruchlis' text. The author explains avoidance as a dimension of stereotyping that is passive in nature but….

Ruchlis, H. (1990). Clear Thinking: A Practical Introduction. Prometheus Books.

Stereotypes Story Putnam County Fla -- Three

Stereotypes STOY PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Three days after a woman was shot and killed by an armed robber, deputies released a composite sketch of a possible suspect. On Friday afternoon, Summer Smith was shot and killed during a robbery. "She's gone now from us," said Smith's fiance, Clint Horvatt, who was in the car with the victim when she was shot. Standing in front of the sheriff's office, Horvatt held a flier with his fiancee's photo, and told Channel 4 he didn't know what else to do help catch the man who killed the he was going to marry. He said he and Smith were en route to Gainesville to do some Christmas shopping but they stopped near Swan Lake Camp on state oad 26 just north of Melrose. Horvatt said Smith recognized what she thought was a friend's pickup truck and they pulled over to help. "I trusted her and that everything was going to….

"Deputies Search for Robber Who Shot, Killed Woman.", December 15, 2008. 

Gilens, M. (1999). Why Americans Hate Welfare: Media and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy. University of Chicago Press.

Hill, D. (2010). "Video: Teen Derrion Albert Attacked, Beaten to Death in Melee., December 9, 2010.

Kirst-Ashman, K.K. And C. Zastrow (2010). Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.

Stereotypes in Social Psychology

Stereotyping Inevitable: An Investigation of How People Use and Maintain Stereotypes, and How They Can Be Changed Social psychology by nature deals with the examination of social phenomena including stereotyping. The intent of this paper is a close review of the nature of stereotyping, in order to determine whether stereotyping is inevitable and to determine whether or not social stereotypes can be changed. In particular stereotyping will be examined to determine whether or not people have an unconscious tendency to create perceptions of others, and what if anything can be done to change this unconscious pattern of thinking. The effects of stereotyping on members of groups will also be discussed and analyzed. Analysis of Problem Before one can examine the question of stereotyping, they must first understand exactly what stereotypes are. Stereotypes can be defined in a number of ways; most simply stereotypes are a set view or image of the members….

Anthony, T., Cooper, C., & Mullen, B. (1992). "Cross-racial facial identification: A

social cognitive integration." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 296-301.

Aronson, E., Wilson, T.D. & Akert, R.M. (2004). Social Psychology, 5th edition. New York: Prentice Hall.

Devine, P.G. (1989). "Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 5-18

Perceptions and Stereotypes

Stereotype Threat The different social groups that I feel I belong to are female and 20s age group. Although I have many ethnicities, the ones that I indentify the most with are Mexican-American/Yaqui Indian and Caucasian. I belong in the group who has a degree and is pursuing an even higher degree. Some stereotypes that I have heard about for the discussed groups are that if you are a mature (i.e. older) white male, you are assumed as more intelligent, than say, a young Mexican woman. People like to assume that if you have a college degree it must mean you are smarter than the average person is, but I know plenty of people who never went to college and have a higher IQ than mine, and I also know many people who have a degree and skated through school. I think people may perceive those with high skills in athleticism….

Steele, C.M. (1997). A Threat in the Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance. American Psychologist, 52(6), 613-629.

Negative Impacts of Stereotypes What Are Stereotypes

Negative Impacts of Stereotypes What are stereotypes? Stereotypes can be defined as generalizations passed about a group of individuals where they may be associated with particular kinds of characteristics which defines them in a particular way and attaches a label to them. This may be a negative attachment or a positive label but they have strong implications on those that undergo this stereotyping. It is generally easy when the group has some clear attributes that can be defined and identified in a particular way. These stereotypes may be based on qualities like race, ethnicity, color, gender, age, etc. The impacts of stereotypes on the labeled groups can be quite long lasting and drastic. It may mentally torture a person and in some instances there are physical harassments taking place as well. There may be high levels of discrimination that a person has to face due to the stereotypes attached to him or her.….

Johnston, Lucy. (2006). Reducing stereotyped-based judgments: Impact of habitual stereotype use.

New Zealand Journal of Psychology.

McCauley, Clark. (1995). Stereotype Accuracy: Towards appreciating group differences.

American Psychological Association.

What Propagates Stereotypes

stereotype? The modern United States of America is very different in regards to race relations to previous decades in America's history. Mainstream Americans overwhelmingly do not question racial equality, integration of schools, mixed marriages, and equal opportunities for education and jobs. Today's America is "post-racial," a term used after the election of President Obama. However, this is not completely true. The news periodically mention racially charged shootings such as the Trayvon Martin case and more recently, racist incidents on college campuses nationwide. Fraternities throwing "gangsta" parties, majority white-male organizations dressing as the stereotypical African-American or Latino gangster are causing minority students to speak up. All these incidents stem from lingering stereotypes. Stereotypes are popular beliefs that are oversimplified about a particular group or person. Stereotypes branch from cultural misunderstandings and a complex history of social interactions. This paper will examine the reasons why stereotypes exist through the eyes of Judith….


Research Paper

Stereotypes have existed since time immemorial. They are as old as human culture itself and are beliefs and ideas that a certain group of people hold for those who…

Mythology - Religion

Stereotypes Practitioners of certain religions have faced prejudiced and stereotyped ideas about the personages because of the negative affiliations of their religion. Perhaps no religion is as stereotyped as the…

Stereotypes We are all guilty of judging others based on a wide range of traits we perceive in them. In so doing, we end up attaching (wrongly) certain traits to…

The Sopade (underground messages to the Social Democratic Party's headquarters in exile) confirmed that a plurality of attitudes towards Jews -- ranging from virulent hatred to apathy and…

The current study investigates two questions: a) do positive self-affirmations influence the likelihood of individuals holding prejudicial and stereotypical beliefs? And b) are suggested self-concepts projected onto others who…

Sports - Women

Stereotype In my daily encounters I normally encounter gendered assumptions that are prejudicial to both male and female gender. In these encounters, gender role stereotypes are manifested. The human race…

The counselor makes clear several guidelines that guide behavior in boys' activities. For instance, first of all, the counselor should state that each member is equal, no matter…

Native Americans

Stereotypes The human mind has been blessed with the gift of empathy and, when used properly, can be used to great benefit if not for great learning. The purpose of…

Business - Advertising

Men, on the other hand, are more likely to be old, job holders, out of the home and authorities on the products. They are also more likely to…

They feared difference, lacked an understanding of my culture and used stereotypes as an excuse to keep me isolated within the company. This was an organization where I…

Stereotypes STOY PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Three days after a woman was shot and killed by an armed robber, deputies released a composite sketch of a possible suspect. On Friday afternoon, Summer…

Stereotyping Inevitable: An Investigation of How People Use and Maintain Stereotypes, and How They Can Be Changed Social psychology by nature deals with the examination of social phenomena including…

Stereotype Threat The different social groups that I feel I belong to are female and 20s age group. Although I have many ethnicities, the ones that I indentify the most…

Negative Impacts of Stereotypes What are stereotypes? Stereotypes can be defined as generalizations passed about a group of individuals where they may be associated with particular kinds of characteristics which defines…

stereotype? The modern United States of America is very different in regards to race relations to previous decades in America's history. Mainstream Americans overwhelmingly do not question racial equality,…

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The Problem of The Cultural Stereotypes from The Media

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Analysis of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk

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Evaluation of Diversity, Privilege, and Stereotypes in The Community

An analysis of the stereotypes, lessons, gender roles, the ideas of good versus evil, and the concept of beauty and fantasy in children stories, dreadlocks: origin and some stereotypes about people with dreadlocks, stereotypes associated with tattooed people, an analysis of the factors influencing stereotypes in society, stereotypes and labels, and its effect on people, the problem of stereotypes in american society, prejudice and stereotypes of ethnic groups, "the sellouts" by luis valdez: how stereotypes affect attitude to the entire race, society’s expectations: stereotypes and false interpretations of women, cultural diversity, stereotypes and discrimination in indian education, sexist stereotypes related to food preferences, definitions, development and aftermath of racial and gender stereotypes, stereotypes around eating disorders, psychological hypotheses of stereotyping, selective perception & projection, stereotyping around teenegars, unfairly stereotyping teenagers, my experience of stereotyping against asian students, racial discource in benito cereno by herman melville, the issue of stereotyping in the media.

In social psychology, a stereotype is a generalized belief about a particular category of people. It is an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group.

Common types of stereotypes include gender, race, sexual, social-class, (dis)ability, age, nationality, political, and religious stereotypes. Also there are explicit (refers to stereotypes that one is aware that one holds) and implicit (those that lay on individuals' subconsciousness) stereotypes.

Correspondence bias, illusory correlation, common environment, socialization and upbringing, intergroup relations.

Attributional ambiguity, stereotype threat, self-fulfilling prophecy, discrimination and prejudice, self-stereotyping, substitute for observations.

Research shows that children have definite stereotypes about women, ethnicities, and other social groups by age 5. Some people use stereotypes to feel better about themselves. Stereotypes are shaped by social context and reflect cultural beliefs. Individuals who do not “fit” a prescriptive stereotype often suffer backlash.

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Original research article, the impact of gender stereotypes on the self-concept of female students in stem subjects with an under-representation of females.

stereotype research paper topics

  • 1 Department for Education, Universität der Bundeswehr München, Neubiberg, Germany
  • 2 Federal Centre for Professionalization in Education Research, University of Teacher Education Styria, Graz, Austria
  • 3 Educational Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

It's possible to assume that women who study STEM topics with a low proportion of females have successfully overcome barriers in school and the family, making them less prone to stereotypic views, and influences. The present study focuses on these kinds of factors and analyzes to which degree family factors, school-related factors, and individual stereotypes may influence a woman's academic self-concept. The following study presents a latent regression model which is based on a survey of 296 women from different German universities, all of whom are part of STEM programs of study that have <30% females. It was investigated to which degree individual stereotypes, support in school, and family support contribute to the self-concept in STEM. Gender stereotypes were negatively related to students' STEM-specific self-concept in the selected sample. This study also reveals negative family-related influences that lower a woman's self-concept. Positive predictors on the other hand included school aspects that are found in the students' favorite subjects at school. The results of the study provide important aspects for STEM education. Even though the students participating in the study presumably had good grades in STEM, stereotypes still corrupted their self-concept. One of the reasons for this might lie in stereotypes that attribute girls' achievements to diligence instead of talent. The results also point out that direct support, particularly by parents, can have a negative impact on female students' self-concept. Activities that are meant to support pupils directly may actually backfire and transport stereotypes instead. This stresses the need for indirect support during socialization, e.g., by providing opportunities for children to have positive experiences or by giving them the chance to meet role models that are enthusiastic about their STEM professions. These kinds of measures have the potential to spur students' interest in STEM subjects—something that in the present study proved to be especially beneficial for women's positive self-concept when studying STEM topics.


In most European countries, the proportion of females pursuing a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is still alarmingly low. This holds especially true for occupations in technology and engineering ( Blickenstaff, 2005 ; Ihsen, 2009 ; European Commission, 2015 ). The past decades have seen the proportion of females in these fields remain constant at approximately 25% in the EU, and even lower in Germany with approximately 18% [ CEWS (Center of Excellence Women Science)., 2014 ]. One of the reasons females avoid STEM subjects lies in the negative and stereotyped perception(s) of these subjects (see Engeser et al., 2008 ; Schuster and Martiny, 2017 ). Stereotypical assessments here include expectations e.g., about a particular gender, as well as the attributions of abilities in specific domains. Such assessments are embedded in a broader cultural context of the individual (see Good et al., 2008 ). According to Bronfenbrenner's (1977) ecological systems theory, a major source of stereotypes lies within an individual's macro system, i.e., the cultural and social context of a person's societal group. The macro system refers to the overall values and customs that characterize a given social group which provide a framework for the interactions between the individual and its social context, e.g., the teachers at school or the family. Depending on the macro system and its values, stereotypes about professions, or subjects may vary among nations or cultures (see Nosek et al., 2009 ; Else-Quest et al., 2010 ). Many females in the Western world still believe the stereotype that professions and subjects in STEM are “male” domains ( Nosek et al., 2009 ) and they often apply these kinds of stereotypes to the assessment of their own abilities in STEM (see e.g., Dresel et al., 2007 ).

Stereotypical classifications of professions and subjects have strong implications for females. They impair learning and prevent females from fulfilling their full potential. Stereotypes lower one's self-assessment and sense of competence, i.e., a person's self-concept ( Marsh and Scalas, 2011 ). They even have an impact on career choices (e.g., Engeser et al., 2008 ; Schuster and Martiny, 2017 ).

Against this background, the present study investigates how stereotypes may explain female university students' self-concept in STEM. In this context, it is important to have a closer look into the different STEM subjects. Even if the term is used internationally, there are particularly differences about the definition of the science part. The German equivalent to STEM focuses only on “natural” sciences like physics, chemistry, biology etc., (see Ihsen, 2009 ). The English-speaking community also includes life sciences like medicine (e.g., European Commission, 2015 ; Eccles and Wang, 2016 ), while some authors, primarily from the US context also include social sciences in this definition (e.g., Su and Rounds, 2015 ). It is important to acknowledge this fuzziness when interpreting results with respect to STEM, because all these definitions, comprise subjects with a very low proportion of females, e.g., engineering as well as with a superior proportion of females like e.g., life sciences (see e.g., European Commission, 2015 ; Su and Rounds, 2015 )—even if the proportions of females vary between the countries. This study focusses on a special group of female STEM students for reducing ambiguity: those who study a subject with an especially low proportion of females. We will label these STEM subjects having an under-representation of females as STEM-LPF (STEM subjects with a l ow p roportion of f emales). Studies with an especially low proportion of females have less than 30% ( Buchmann et al., 2002 ). This means that for every female, more than two males study this subject. This group of female STEM-LPF students was selected because it could be expected that they are less prone to stereotypes after they have chosen what can be seen as a less-than-typical career path.

Academic Self-Concept

An academic self-concept comprises a person's self-assessments in academic domains. It is formed through experience and interpretations of one's environment as it regards feelings of self-confidence, competence, and ability. It's influenced by evaluations of significant others, reinforcements, and attributions of one's own behavior ( Marsh and Scalas, 2011 ). Such self-assessments may belong to two frames of reference ( Rost et al., 2005 ): The external frame of reference is guided by a social comparison of one's own achievements with those of peers. The internal frame of reference is guided by a comparison within the individual, for example a comparison of abilities in various subjects. Students compare their achievement in one subject (e.g., mathematics) with their achievement in another (e.g., English).

The academic self-concept in a specific domain does not necessarily accurately reflect achievements. In a study by Ludwig (2010) , female middle school students were much more critical of their abilities in STEM than male students even if they had the same grades. Similar results were found in the PISA studies ( OECD, 2015 ). The academic self-concept of females who perform on the same level as their male counterparts in the PISA science scores was about one quarter standard deviation lower ( OECD, 2015 , p. 75). In most participating countries, females had a more critical academic self-concept in STEM than males. These kinds of differences can be downright vicious because research postulates reciprocal effects between the academic self-concept and achievements (see Marsh and Scalas, 2011 ). In their reciprocal effects model , pathways were found between students' achievements and their academic self-concept and vice versa. This means that, considering students on the same level of achievements, the students with the higher academic self-concept will advance in their achievements over the course of time while the others will lag. This effect may be explained by expectancy-value theory in how students with a higher academic self-concept in a domain have higher expectations regarding their chances for successful outcomes and as a result have a higher motivation to invest time and effort into learning activities in this domain (see Eccles et al., 1983 ; Eccles and Wang, 2016 ).

Attributions for causes of achievement also essentially contribute to the development of an individual's self-concept (see Möller and Köller, 1996 ). Successful achievements may be attributed to ability and thus enhance a positive self-concept, or they may be attributed to luck and have detrimental effects on the self-concept as a result (see Heider, 1958 ). Attributions are also related to learning motivation: Attributing academic failure to a lack of effort may increase effort for the next examination, while attributing failure to the lack of ability may cause resignation. Thus, the academic self-concept influences to which degree a student makes full use of her/his academic potential (see Jahnke-Klein, 2006 ). Studies show that female and male students differ in their attribution patterns in STEM fields ( Beermann et al., 1992 ; Jurik et al., 2013 ). In comparison to males, although females seldom attribute success in STEM fields to ability, they do in fact attribute failure mostly to the lack thereof ( Dickhäuser and Meyer, 2006 ). These kinds of dysfunctional attribution patterns interfere with the development of a positive self-concept and impair learning motivation (see also Ziegler, 2002 ; Dresel et al., 2007 ). All in all, a too-critical self-concept is an important reason why females believe they have inferior skills in STEM fields (see Wang et al., 2015 ; Eccles and Wang, 2016 ); why they are less motivated; and why they seldom consider a career in a STEM field at all ( OECD, 2015 ).

School and family are two distinct environments that support the development of a student's academic self-concept. Different characteristics of classroom teaching show substantial effects on students' academic self-concept and their interest in a subject ( Lazarides and Ittel, 2012 ). Comparisons in the classroom set an external frame of reference for the self-assessment and attribution of achievements (see Rost et al., 2005 ). Teachers' support in the attribution of achievements ( Heller and Ziegler, 1996 ) can help students overcome gender-specific attribution patterns ( Dresel et al., 2007 ). So teacher behavior can support students' interest and their development of a positive academic self-concept and encourage students to perhaps even experience STEM as their favorite field, all while keeping in mind that opposite effects are possible as well.

Within the family context, there is no in-class comparison. Here, parents' attributional beliefs serve as a frame of reference for a student's self-assessment ( Viljaranta et al., 2015 ). Parents' beliefs about their child's ability have strong impacts on his/her self-assessment of ability ( Tiedemann, 2000 ) and academic self-concept as a result. This makes parent support an important aspect in the context of STEM ( Adya and Kaiser, 2005 ). However, if parents consider their child as being less capable, they may provide intrusive support with detrimental effects on the child's self-assessment ( Pomerantz and Eaton, 2001 ). In other words: parents' influence on their children's academic self-concept can be ambiguous depending on their specific behavior, making it important that students experience support for their self-assessments at both school and at home ( Adya and Kaiser, 2005 ). Of note here is that the effects of this support are subject to the particular support behavior. In the context of the STEM subjects, gender stereotypes can be seen as one reason why support measures may achieve the opposite effect.

Stereotypes and their Impact in STEM

The development of the academic self-concept begins in infancy and unfolds its most significant impact(s) after primary school ( Senler and Sungur, 2009 ). Parents' and teachers' expectations and attributions of abilities and achievements essentially shape a child's self-concept ( Dresel et al., 2007 ; Ludwig, 2010 ). They do not necessarily rely on objective assessments; often, parents underlie stereotypical evaluations which do not correspond to their children's actual achievements. For example, parents tend to regard daughters as being less talented in mathematics and science and reinforce dysfunctional attribution patterns as a result ( Dresel et al., 2007 ).

Explicit Stereotypes as a Threat to Performance

Several studies on stereotypes have coined the term “stereotype threat” ( Martignon, 2010 , p. 221; Shapiro and Williams, 2012 ). In these studies, participants usually were confronted with a stereotype about a target group, e.g., females or members of a specific ethnic group. In the context of STEM, stereotypes would include males being more talented and successful in math and science. After confrontation with the stereotype, study participants worked on a task that is associated with the stereotype ( Martignon, 2010 , p. 221), and performance was compared to another group working on the same task that was not confronted with the stereotype. In nearly all studies on stereotype threat, females achieved worse results with mathematical tasks, and their interest decreased when they were confronted with the stereotype that women are less talented in mathematics ( Shapiro and Williams, 2012 ).

Owens and Massey (2011) describe two mechanisms that explain why stereotype threat occurs. The first mechanism works via internalized stereotypes; this means the person has internalized the stereotype and identifies him/herself with the target group. Consequently, he/she invests less effort in the task and the stereotype threat becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The internalization of the stereotype also has a negative effect on the academic self-concept ( Heckhausen, 1989 ) and is accompanied by a reduction in motivation and effort ( Möller and Köller, 1996 ). The second mechanism works via external stereotypes ( Owens and Massey, 2011 ). In this case, the person does not necessarily identify him/herself with the stereotype, nor does he/she need to believe the stereotype. Confrontation with the stereotype, however, affects the perception of task difficulty, increasing strain and tension. Rumination about the stereotype uses up resources that are otherwise needed for task completion, impairing performance as a result (see Macher et al., 2015 ). This research shows that even females who believe themselves to be competent and pursue a career in STEM still can be impaired by stereotype threat.

Influence of Stereotypes Communicated by Significant Others

Stereotypes are also communicated by significant others such as parents or teachers ( Gunderson et al., 2012 ). Tiedemann (2000) showed in his study on pupils in primary school that mothers as well as teachers based their feedback on children's competence in mathematics not only regarding previous grades but the respective child's gender as well. Mothers were even more prone toward gender stereotypes than teachers. Stereotypes were especially strong in feedback on achievements and had a significant impact on the children's self-concept ( Tiedemann, 2000 ). In a study by Kiefer and Shih (2006) , students were especially receptive to teacher feedback that was associated with gender stereotypes. According to Dickhäuser and Meyer (2006) , girls mainly rely on perceived teacher evaluations of their ability when making math ability assessments and thus are very susceptible to incorporating significant others' stereotyped evaluations into their own self-concept (see also Xu, 2016 ).

Parents' and teachers' gender stereotypes manifest themselves not only in communication, but in dysfunctional support for their children or students as well. When parents endorse specific gender stereotypes (e.g., boys are better in STEM, girls are better in languages), they are more likely to uninvitedly intrude on homework, undermining children's confidence in these areas, and weakening their self-concept ( Bhanot and Jovanovic, 2005 ). These kinds of long-term influences by parents and teachers may have a significant influence over the years not only on motivation and achievement but regarding career choices as well ( Bleeker and Jacobs, 2004 ).

Research Question

The academic self-concept is a key variable in explaining learning and motivation in specific academic domains. It is also of interest in explaining career choices and perseverance in a specific profession. However, it does not always rely on “objective” data such as actual achievements, but is instead subject to distorting influences such as internalized stereotypes as well as external stereotypical attributions by others.

The present article looks more closely into the academic self-concept of a special group of females: university students in a STEM-LPF subject with a notable underrepresentation of women (equal to or less than 30% females). It can be expected that these females would tend to be confident regarding their academic self-assessments in STEM fields, and less prone to stereotypical attributions concerning females' lack of abilities here. Therefore, the research question will investigate:

To what degree do STEM-LPF students' own stereotypes in comparison to school- and family- related factors contribute to their academic self-concept in STEM?

Regarding this research question, we would still expect a negative effect of stereotypes. However, due to a lack of research in the field, we cannot provide hypotheses about its strength within the context of the ambiguous effects of school and family factors.

The focus of this paper is primarily on a quantitative study with 296 female STEM-LPF students. For strengthening these results, we will also provide evidence from a qualitative study with STEM students that took part in an earlier stage of the project. Students of the qualitative study were also invited to participate in the quantitative one but as this was an anonymous survey there was no control of participation.

Quantitative Study

The sample employed in the quantitative study is part of a larger sample that was gathered in the EU research project SESTEM in six European countries. Five hundred and sixty seven female university students in STEM fields participated in Germany. Ertl et al. (2014) analyze the entire German sample (including students in STEM areas without female underrepresentation) with a focus on motivation and the academic self-concept.


The present study focuses on a sub-sample of 296 female STEM-LPF students: females who studied one of these STEM subjects that have a proportion of equal to or lower than 30% females. This sample includes 296 students in subjects including mechanical engineering ( n = 97), computer sciences ( n = 48), physics ( n = 39), metal engineering ( n = 36), civil engineering ( n = 34), electrical engineering ( n = 32), and other STEM subjects ( n = 10).

A specific questionnaire was developed for the study. Items were deducted from theory and adapted for the field of the study. During this process, all six partners of the SESTEM project consortium brought in aspects within their field of expertise. Seeking and including expert judgment on the content of a questionnaire, on item formats, item contents, and scoring systems enhance content validity of a measurement instrument. Then, the consortium negotiated about the inclusion of the different scales weighting between satisfying the needs of the different partners, adopting existing scales, and keeping the questionnaire as short as possible for maintaining students' motivation for answering the questions. This resulted in a final questionnaire in an English language version, which was translated into further five national languages including German. These six language versions were implemented as a LimeSurvey multi language questionnaire. The students reported in this paper answered the German language version. They were asked about:

1. Their majors or the subject combination they had chosen for their degree. Based on the data from the German Federal Statistical Office [ Destatis (Statistisches Bundesamt), 2013 ], majors were classified with respect to the proportion of females.

2. Their parents' professions . These were classified according to whether they were from the field of STEM (coded as STEM/not STEM).

3. Their academic self-concept in STEM on a five-point Likert scale (4 items, see Table 1 ). Higher values indicate a more positive self-concept.

4. Their internalization of gender stereotypes was measured by three scales: interests (7 items), abilities (5 items), and conformance (2 items). Each of these scales was based on a five-point Likert scale (see Table 1 ). Higher values indicate stronger stereotypes.

5. School factors . Here the following variables/scales were measured: First, a score was derived from students' STEM favorites (derived from students' three most favorite subjects at school. Subjects from the field of STEM that are known for association as a “male domain” were summed up to a score. This means that the score includes subjects such as mathematics, physics, or computer sciences, but not subjects like biology). Higher values indicate more favorite STEM subjects. Second, STEM support in school was operationalized by teachers' and school activities that facilitated the interest in STEM (e.g., “Were there activities in secondary school that encouraged your interest in STEM?” These answers were also summed up and mapped onto a range between 0 and 5) with higher values indicating more support. Third, a five-point Likert scale regarding students' perception of teachers' stereotyped behavior (4 items, see Table 1 ).

6. Family factors with respect to family support. This was surveyed by different areas in which students may have received support and the persons that supported the students (e.g., “Who supported you in mathematics: father/mother?”) Answers were distinguished with respect to the supporting person and the supported field and summarized into a score for support by parents generally, as well as for support in specific areas (mathematics/science). These scores were mapped regarding their theoretical maxima and minima on a range between 0 and 1. Altogether three variables were derived: Parents' support in math, parents' support in STEM, and parents' general support. Higher values indicate stronger support.

Table 1. Overview on the scales used for the study with the number of items, an exemplary item, and the internal consistency .

Table 1 gives an overview of the different Likert scales including the number of items, an exemplary item, and the internal consistency of the scale. The reported consistency measures relate to the whole sample of 567 students. Missing items of single scales were imputed; missing scales were treated as missing. Table 2 provides an overview of all scales including their value range, their means, and their standard deviations.

Table 2. Ranges, means, and standard deviations for the reported scales .

Qualitative Study

The quantitative study was complemented by a qualitative study. It comprised interviews based on a semi-structured interview protocol (for the complete set-up of the qualitative studies see Mok and Ertl, 2011 ). Interviewees were contacted by personal contact, email, and via STEM-related distribution lists. A sample of 11 female students of STEM subjects like mathematics, physics, engineering, and STEM-related teacher training from three different universities participated in the qualitative study; five students studied a LPF subject (civil engineering n = 2, physics n = 3).

In the following, we will first report results of the quantitative study. The results section will first provide insights into the descriptive outcomes. Then it will describe the results of the confirmatory factor analysis for the factors of stereotypes, school, and family. It will finally present a structural equation model that provides insights into the impacts of each of the factors onto the students' academic self-concept in STEM and illustrate these afterwards by the interviews with these five students of the qualitative study.

Descriptive Statistics

Of the 296 students, nearly the half of the students (139) had a father working in a STEM profession, while more than 10% (31) had a mother in STEM.

Most students showed a very positive self-concept ( M = 4.58; the means described in the following relate to a scale of 1–5, with 1 as the lowest and 5 as the highest value). We could find distinctive occurrences with respect to the internalization of stereotypes between the students. The students agreed mostly that girls and boys have different interests ( M = 3.14). They agreed less about stereotypes regarding a stereotype distribution of abilities ( M = 2.20), and least of all about the need for conformance ( M = 1.64; see Table 2 ).

With respect to school factors, 26 students had three favorite subjects from STEM at school, 129 students two, 121 just one, while 20 had favorite non-STEM subjects ( M = 1.54). They received a moderate amount of STEM support in school ( M = 2.55 of a maximum of 5), and also perceived a moderate amount of stereotyped teacher behavior ( M = 2.51 of a maximum of 5).

Considering family factors, the amount of parents' support in math ( M = 0.15 of a maximum of 1) and STEM ( M = 0.14) was low. General support by the parents was low to medium ( M = 0.36).

To analyse the distribution of the data, we used the values of the skewness and kurtosis. West et al. (1995) set the criteria for indicators used in structural equation models at a value >2 for skewness and >7 for kurtosis for deviation from normal distribution. All scales meet the requirement of normal distribution.

Latent Regression Analysis

Latent regression analysis was used to test relationships between the variables in a multivariate, multiple regression context. Structural relationships between multiple dependent variables and multiple independent variables can be analyzed simultaneously. Regression analyses are specified at the latent level and are corrected for measurement error at the level of the independent and dependent variables. Latent regression analysis has the advantage that the relationship between variables in the regression model can be estimated more accurately. At least two manifest variables (or indicators) are required for each latent variable (factors) in a latent regression model ( Geiser, 2013 ). The data were analyzed with Mplus 6 using a maximum likelihood estimator. The goodness of fit of the data to the hypothesized model was assessed using the following indices: χ 2 /df, comparative fit index (CFI), root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), and standardized root mean square residual (SRMR).

The model fit indices suggest a good fit of the latent regression analysis model (χ 2 /df = 1.422; CFI = 0.979; RMSEA = 0.038; SRMR = 0.049). Generally, values of χ 2 /df <2, CFI > 0.95, RMSEA < 0.05, and SRMR < 0.05 are considered as indicators of good model fit ( Papousek et al., 2012 ).

Table 3 displays the standardized solutions for the latent regression analysis with three the factors of stereotypes, school, and family. Each factor comprises different variables that describe stereotypes rooted in the culture or encountered in school or the family.

Table 3. Standardized coefficients for the latent regression analysis .

The model shows that the three indicators of stereotypes about interests (β = 0.274), stereotypes about ability (β = 0.590), and stereotypes about conformance (β = 0.379) are positively related to the factor stereotypes. Three indicators are related to the factor school: STEM favorites in school (β = 0.614), school support (β = −0.326), and stereotyped teacher behavior (β = −0.274). The three indicators support in mathematics (β = 0.784), support in STEM (β = 0.806), and support by parents (β = 0.787) are high positively related to the latent factor family.

The regression coefficients between the three factors stereotypes, school, and family and self-concept in STEM of students show the following result: Students with higher levels of experienced stereotypes (e.g., females have fewer skills or interest in STEM subjects, females in STEM have to be like men) report lower self-concepts in STEM domains (β = −0.405). The model shows a moderate relationship between the latent factor school and students' self-concept (β = 0.279). Students who reported a higher number of favorite STEM subjects in school have a higher self-concept whereas higher levels of school support and teachers' stereotypes indicate a lower and less positive self-concept in STEM. There was a weak relationship between the latent factor family and the self-concept of students (β = −0.149, p = 0.053). A higher level of support (math, STEM, parents) indicates a lower self-concept. The total variance of self-concept that can be explained by the factors is R 2 = 0.304. Figure 1 gives an overview of indicators and factors of the latent regression analysis model.

Figure 1. Latent regression analysis self-concept .

Correlations between the three latent factors were allowed in the model specification. We found low to moderate, but non-significant correlations between the three latent factors.

Evidence from the Qualitative Study

The analysis of the qualitative study aims to illustrate the latent variables of the quantitative one. Students' statements can give evidence for the latent factors of the quantitative study with respect to the impact of stereotypes and family. School factors were just mentioned in a few words, e.g., that students had taken advanced courses in mathematics (I57) or physics (I30, I57) or that they had enjoyed mathematics in school (I54). We will present the English translation of the statements; the German original version can be found in the project report ( Mok and Ertl, 2011 ).

Impact of Stereotypes

With respect to the impact of stereotypes, students mentioned that they were taking an untypical career path and that their social environment was surprised by this kind of career choice. A civil engineering student mentioned that surprise with respect to her friends: “ They were quite surprised,” I54, L.99. She further elaborated this untypical career with respect to the lack of acceptance of women in the construction area: “ The problems are bigger for women [in STEM] e.g., to be accepted in particular in the construction domain. There you need particularly technical knowledge and you have to know how to behave,” I54, L.124ff. This aspect was also emphasized by I1: “ As a woman you'll be seen different in a technical profession,” I1, L.16f. These untypical career choices also result in a perceived lack of role models and contact persons, e.g., female professors (“ There are few female professors,” I30, L.69). Thus, also the interview data highlights that students are aware that they are studying an untypical subject and name surprise of their friends about their study choice, obstacles for working in the untypical field, as well as missing role models.

Family impact . With respect to family impact, all students mentioned either that their father (I1, I54, I57) and/or mother (I1, I54) is in a STEM profession (“Both of my parents are teachers but my father has also studied physics and got a diploma […],” I57, L.47f.)—or that their parents supported their specific interest in STEM, e.g., by books (I35) or electronic construction toys (“ That my parents had already impacts on me because I also had got electronics experiments kits as a child,” I30, L.19f.). Most parents, particularly those in a STEM field, encouraged their daughters' pursuing a STEM career: “ The parents enhance the STEM-career because they are working in this field themselves” (I1, L.41). Some students further elaborated their parents' pleasure at their daughters' career wish “ My father was happy for me and my mother too.” (I57, L.59).

Parents also supported their children in case of difficulties, e.g., with homework (“[…] I had the opportunity to ask my father of course if I had e.g., pretty problems in mathematics or physics and he was able to help me,” I54, L.28ff.) or by providing stimulating tasks (“My father had written a computer program that provided us arithmetic problems when we attended primary school,” I57, L.36f.).

Yet, some students also described that their parents were doubtful about their ability for pursuing a STEM career (“My dad told me afterwards that he hadn't thought that this is the right thing for me […] because I have an already an understanding for logical relations but I have not an all-embracing one,” I54, L.105ff.) or that they questioned their decision (“my father appreciated my decision but my mother mentioned—although she was also working in the STEM field herself—that I should really think about my decision.” I35, L.56f.).

The results of the interviews stress the ambiguity of the family factor: Firstly, all parents had a STEM-affine background. They could provide content-specific support and foster their daughters' cognitive development in STEM. However, such support may also evoke an attribution of lower abilities in STEM. For example, one participant first mentioned that her father was very helpful when dealing with problems in STEM—but later she described how her father didn't trust her the ability for pursuing a STEM career. Thus, parents' support may be connected to implicit assumptions about their daughters' ability and these assumptions may influence their daughters' academic self-concept in STEM.

The results of the quantitative study were able to show that the model presented is appropriate for explaining students' self-concept. This is indicated by the good model fit indices, as well as by the amount of explained variance: The model explains 30.4% of the total variance of students' self-concept, which is nearly a third of the variance. Results of the qualitative study could furthermore give insights how to interpret the effects of the latent variables. In the following, we will discuss the relationships between stereotypes, school, and family factors, the self-concept, as well as the limitations of the study.

Relationships Between Stereotypes, School, and Family Factors, and the Self-Concept

All three facets of stereotypes (stereotypes about females' abilities, interests, and need for conformance) contributed negatively to the academic self-concept. Remarkably, stereotypes regarding females' abilities in STEM subjects were most strongly related to their self-concept. This is particularly important because the females of this study were already studying a so-called “male” STEM-LPF subject. The descriptive data showed that even these students share stereotypes, indicating that stereotypes even affect students who are already enrolled in a very gender-untypical course of study. Stereotypes about a need for conformance in the work environment and the different interests of females and males also contributed to the factor stereotypes. Also, result from the qualitative study indicate that there is a special need to behave in the domain. This result is of particular interest because it means that the STEM-LPF students acknowledge different interests of females and males, while they at the same time see the context of the “male” work environment and the need for showing conformance. They appear to use conformance to the work environment as a part of their identity construction (see Kessels and Hannover, 2004 , p. 400). This may also be an aspect of identity bifurcation (see Pronin et al., 2004 ) in how females in these subjects disavow some of their own characteristics that are, stereotypically, negatively associated with success in STEM careers.

In contrast, the three indicators of the latent factor school differ in their contribution. Students' favorite subjects in school, which could be seen as an indicator of their interest in STEM, or beneficial role modeling by teachers, were positively related to the self-concept. This stresses the importance of school factors for career choice. These may relate to interesting and gender-sensitive classes ( Faulstich-Wieland et al., 2008 ; Ertl and Helling, 2011 ), role modeling ( Kessels and Hannover, 2008 ), and providing appropriate attribution patterns ( Dresel et al., 2007 ). However, specific support at school and teachers' stereotypes had a negative relationship with the factors of school and self-concept. Teacher stereotypes, e.g., teachers encouraging boys to choose STEM subjects more strongly than girls, can be seen as a specific occurrence of the stereotype threat with the respective consequences (e.g., Good et al., 2008 ; Owens and Massey, 2011 ). It's fairly obvious that these kinds of actions provide a counterpart to students' interests in STEM. In contrast, teachers supporting their female students have the intention that they make further progress in STEM subjects. Nevertheless, these activities may in fact run counter to their interests in STEM, which may be the result of different reasons: The first aspect relates to the development of the self-concept in STEM. If students receive special support in STEM, they may interpret this action as a compensation for their lacking ability and therefore reduce their self-concept ( Pomerantz and Eaton, 2001 ). This is certainly the case when students receive intrusive support (see Bhanot and Jovanovic, 2005 ). From this line of argumentation, it is essential to investigate methods and implementations of support that are not detrimental to a students' self-concept. This result might also be explained by the “doing gender” approach: When giving specific support to females in STEM, their gender will be overemphasized, evoking a stronger identification with the stereotyped group of females in STEM (see Faulstich-Wieland et al., 2008 ). What this means is that supporting activities may in fact unfold their detrimental effects via two different mechanisms: one by giving supported students the message that their individual ability is not sufficient enough to succeed without support; and the other by overemphasizing their affiliation to a stereotyped target group.

Family factors were negatively related to the students' self-concepts, i.e., they impair a positive self-concept. This factor consisted of support by the parents and support in mathematics and STEM. Notably, all three aspects showed rather dysfunctional effects. With respect to family factors, the qualitative study could provide a several hints for interpretation. All students mentioned that their parents were very helpful and supportive. However, one student explicitly mentioned her father attributing her as not gifted enough for a STEM career while giving her support. This is in line with research about intrusive support patterns that are detrimental to a student's self-concept (see Bhanot and Jovanovic, 2005 ). Furthermore, one student reported her mother encouraging her to re-think her career decision for STEM which stresses the impact of significant others in career decisions (see also Xu, 2016 ).

The results generally suggest that the school environment provides more positive impacts than the family. This may relate to the different attribution patterns of teachers and parents ( Dresel et al., 2007 ). Teachers can provide much better attribution patterns in the context of the reference frame of a class's performance than parents who are primarily focused on their child with their beliefs as the key frame of reference. This stresses the need to focus on both school as well as on home environments as essential factors in facilitating students' self-concept (see also Eccles and Wang, 2016 ).


A strength of this study lies in the more ecological approach as foreseen in the Bronfenbrenner (1977) model. This approach provided more insights into stereotypes as well as interactions at school and at home. It at the same time included a major challenge for research that relates to the issue of how the study variables were self-reported by the students, with some of the variables even being reported retrospectively. It would have been desirable to research these issues in a longitudinal design in an effort to achieve greater insight into causal relations and the development process of stereotypes, interests, achievements, and the individuals' self-concepts. However, such a design would raise the issue of the necessary sample size at the primary school level to gain the respective number of students at the university level. A further aspect relates to the implementation of the Bronfenbrenner (1977) model in the latent regression analysis. Here, it would have been desirable to provide more interactions between the different levels this model proposes, even though such an approach would also require a longitudinal study design. In contrast, our research can provide insights into different dimensions influencing a STEM-LPF student's self-concept.


The results of the study provide important aspects for science education. Even though the students participating in the study almost certainly had good grades in STEM, stereotypes still corrupted their self-concept. One of the reasons for this might lie in stereotypes that attribute achievements of girls to diligence instead of talent (see Kessels, 2015 ). STEM subjects, particularly these with a low proportion of females, are stereotyped as requiring an extremely high level of talent to succeed. Good grades, although they are seen as a prerequisite for a STEM-LPF course of study (see Ihsen, 2009 ), are not sufficient to support a self-concept necessary for females to choose STEM-LPF subjects. This means that even students with good grades need support in developing efficient attributes for success ( Ziegler, 2002 ; Dresel et al., 2007 ). This may be implemented e.g., via support for a student's decision about what to study (see Ertl et al., 2014 ). This kind of support provides the implicit attribution pattern that a female student is “gifted enough” to study a male-associated STEM subject (see Dresel et al., 2007 ) and could thereby be seen as a specific method for strengthening an individual's self-concept. It can also be seen from a systemic point of view as an example of appropriate role modeling when it opens perspectives for identification with a subject or with a professional within a subject (see Hannover and Kessels, 2004 ).

A further aspect relates to interests at school. These may positively influence students' self-concepts and career choices if they have the chance to recognize a STEM subject as their favorite. This stresses the need for gender-sensitive teaching and a careful attention to gender-specific group processes in the classroom (see Ertl, 2010 ). Didactic measures that incite interest are, for example, hands-on activities that are oriented toward the students (see Paechter et al., 2006 ), or research clubs that allow students to obtain actual experiences about STEM-LPF professions (see Prenzel et al., 2009 ). The results of the last PISA studies confirm these results and assumptions while pointing out the necessity to overcome gender gaps and support females' interest in STEM subjects ( OECD, 2016 ).

Direct support, particularly by parents, had a negative impact in the present study. This result suggests that activities that are meant to support students directly may achieve the opposite effect and transport stereotypes instead (see e.g., Tiedemann, 2000 ). This stresses the need for indirect support during socialization, e.g., by providing opportunities for children to have positive experiences ( Sonnert, 2009 ) or by giving them the chance to meet role models who are enthusiastic about their STEM professions (see e.g., Mok and Ertl, 2011 ). One particular aspect of this may lie in the provision of mentoring programs (see Stein, 2013 ) that allow students to accompany their mentors over a longer period of time.

Ethics Statement

The study was performed in accordance with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and the American Psychological Association's Ethics Code. Review and approval was not required for this study in accordance with the national and institutional requirements. Participants gave consent to participate in the study at the beginning of the qualitative interviews and by submitting the online questionnaire for the quantitative study.

Author Contributions

All authors listed, have made substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication.

Parts of this paper were funded by the EU (LLP-Program, Project SESTEM 505437-llp-2009-GR-KA1-KA1SCR).

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


Particular acknowledgments to Ms. Sog Yee Mok for her support in implementing this study.

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Keywords: female STEM students, impacts, self-concept, stereotypes, support

Citation: Ertl B, Luttenberger S and Paechter M (2017) The Impact of Gender Stereotypes on the Self-Concept of Female Students in STEM Subjects with an Under-Representation of Females. Front. Psychol . 8:703. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00703

Received: 11 January 2017; Accepted: 21 April 2017; Published: 17 May 2017.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2017 Ertl, Luttenberger and Paechter. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Bernhard Ertl, [email protected]

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