Stereotypes and how to Remove them

Stereotypes have long played a part in daily social interaction.  They can be
related to the most innocent of topics, and can lead to changes in our thinking and in
extreme cases can begin to influence certain people’s decision making.  From an early age
we pick up on the stereotypes believed by the family members and friends that surround
us, and learn to adopt with without even questioning these new point of views.  These stereotypes can then begin to influence many aspects of your life from religion, fashion, and hobbies all the way to your outlook on sexuality and wealth.  
    Gender based stereotypes influence the toys, colors, even hobbies and friends that you pursue.  Boys and girls are divided from an early age in all of these areas by their parents as well as society.  In this way gender division creates an ingroup of their own gender and and outgroup out of the opposite.  The ingroup is the group the person identifies with most and feels a strong sense of belonging and similarity.  The outgroup in this case would be the opposite gender, of which the person begins to feel he does not relate to and cannot identify with.  Actions between the two groups can be strongly influenced based on the outgroup homogeneity effect, in which a young boy will be less likely to pursue his hobbies with a girl, and a girl will be less likely to pursue her hobbies with a boy.
    These groups can expand to almost every aspect of a persons day to day life.  Sexuality, location, wealth, race, education, and countless other factors are used to create stereotypes about certain people in which we have little to no daily contact with.  Even within one group other groups can be seen to clash, as in todays gay rights fight many people have now been outcasted and frowned upon by the same religious groups they previously belonged to.    The outgroup homogenity effects are very common around the world for two key reasons.  We tend to overlook the differences among the members of an outgroup, such as to some people the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese are all grouped in their mind as asian.  But there are vast differences among these different countries and cultures that are overlooked by a lacking of contact and communication with these outgroups.  Also, with very little contact with outgroups we tend to only see them in small samples and very specific situations, in which people then hold their actions in one situation to be true and relevant overall for the outgroup.
    In one of the most famous attempts at desegregation the Dodger’s owner Branch Rickey turned to a social scientist for answers about the possibilities of merging two outgroups.  His plan to integrate baseball was assured to work if he could manage to create the necessary conditions for the contact hypothesis to reduce prejudice.  Contact hypothesis states that under a specific set of conditions members of rival groups can reduce stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.  The social scientist told Branch that he would need to provide equal status among the teammates, personal interaction, dedication to a common goal, and a positive climate for the owner, manager, and coaches.
    Thanks to the determination of Branch Rickey and his guided use of social science, the world of sports began a major trend in integration.  What was before seen as impossible became a quickly growing reality that spread from sports and school all the way to every aspect of todays society.  What we now take for granted is all due to the hard work and dedication of the open minded coupled with the practices of the social science field.