Date of Graduation
Problematic stereotyping of women, minorities, and gays in the United States may become justification for prejudicial attitudes that lead to political intolerance toward members of these marginalized groups. While images of others and a sense of political tolerance develop through childhood and preadult socialization, education beyond high school can have a significant impact on one's reliance on stereotypes when considering the granting or withholding of basic civil rights from marginalized members of society, and may also affect the position one takes towards policies created to benefit women, minorities, and gays. During the fall semester of 2000, an investigation of these relationships was undertaken. This study represents the exploration and results of an Internet administered survey used to assess the stereotypes, intolerance and policy positions taken by college students attending institutions of higher education located in the 15 states comprising the Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB), during the fall semester of 2000. The findings suggest that the overall stereotyping and general intolerance responses of students indicating completion of a diversity course are similar to those of students not reporting diversity course completion. There is, however, less stereotyping of African Americans and the inclusion of more marginalized groups in Hate Crimes protections by those students having a diversity course. Nonetheless, religious identity (Christian) and sex (male) are reoccurring significant indicators of more stereotyping, high intolerance, and excluding women, minorities, and gays from Affirmative Action and Hate Crimes policy protections. The results of this study provide a snapshot of current images and intolerance for women, minorities, and gays. Future research on stereotyping and intolerance, using a combination of techniques (surveys using open-ended questions, face to face interviews, detailed analysis of courses taken in high school as well as college), will provide richer contextual understanding of the growth, shrinkage, stagnation, or shift in target groups falling short of applied American political tolerance.
Brehm, Christine J., "Stereotypes, intolerance, and policy supports for women, minorities, and gays: The diversity course impact on students pursuing higher education in the SREB states." (2002). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8529.