I wanted to write a small blog about a video that I saw recently about how stereotypes affect our perceptions of others.
It was such an inspiring video organized by inspiring-women organization in an Asian country where they invited kids from age 5 to7 years old in a classroom to draw how they picture certain people doing certain jobs, like a car racer, a naval officer, a surgeon, and an astronaut. The class was a mix of girls and boys in primary schools, but surprisingly more than 70% of the students’ drawings came representing only men in the jobs mentioned before, which clearly shows how stereotypes influence these kids who perceive certain careers are male-dominated from an early age.
Hearing those kids saying you cannot be a women surgeon because you have to have short hair like guys and wear glasses because these are the most successful and efficient type of surgeons-although a very innocent and childish view- it shows how much these kids are influenced by certain stereotypes advertised in the media. The teacher of the class, let the kids freely express their views and listened carefully to their opinions, and afterward, she invited live examples of women leaders in these sectors to interact on a school day with the students and explain to them how they got into their careers and how can women get into any job they want. I noticed that the female young students were particularly blown away that women do exist in these unusual career paths and how they didn’t picture that women are capable of being leaders in these sectors.
At the end, this experimental class showed us how people’s perceptions are formed from an early age, and that cultural stereotypes are embedded in people’s minds from childhood. We can clearly state that cultural perceptions and stereotypes don’t give us a comprehensive picture of a community or society. Though stereotypes may be true of some people, they wrongly impact our perception of others.