PREVENTION CORNER - May
We all use stereotypes to define the world around us. Stereotypes may be used to talk about different groups, like gender or ethnicity. However, since stereotypes are a generalization, they can incorrectly portray that group. For example, the sweeping statement that all feminists are bra- burners and hate men ignores the realistic array of individuality that makes up our world.
There are even certain untrue stereotypes about sexual assault and domestic violence. Someone might say only women can be sexually assaulted when in fact 1 in 6 men under the age of 18 also face this abuse. Someone might think that since an individual chooses to stay in an abusive relationship, they deserve the abuse. This statement incorrectly addresses the issue; there are an infinite number of reasons why an individual may choose to remain in an abusive relationship. But no one ever deserves to be abused.
Fighting negative stereotypes begins at home. Even though society has made giant strides towards eliminating stereotypes, they still survive. Parents can act as positive role models by being mindful of their words and actions around their children. Address the issue if the child brings it up. Ask the child why they think that, and listen to their answer. Then address how that statement does not correctly reflect that person or group of people. It’ll be a learning experience for both parent and child. By teaching the younger generations the importance of acceptance and diversity, we can tear down negativity and prejudice.