TV, movies, videogames and the Internet often show people in an overly simple way, giving an inaccurate idea of what they are allowed to say and do and how important or unimportant they are. This often takes the form of stereotypes - recognizable but inaccurate views of one group of people by another. Some common stereotypes show women as weak and certain ethnic groups as lazy or scheming. Challenge your child to question what she sees and hears, so she develops an eye for sexism, racism and other prejudices in mainstream media portrayals.

" />
A E T N Logo
Support The Programs You Love DONATE NOW

Stereotypes

  • Posted by
  • on

familyday

TV, movies, videogames and the Internet often show people in an overly simple way, giving an inaccurate idea of what they are allowed to say and do and how important or unimportant they are. This often takes the form of stereotypes - recognizable but inaccurate views of one group of people by another. Some common stereotypes show women as weak and certain ethnic groups as lazy or scheming. Challenge your child to question what she sees and hears, so she develops an eye for sexism, racism and other prejudices in mainstream media portrayals.

Ideally, your child will come to realize that images on TV or in movies are not reality. Instead, they are the result of a producer's, a writer's or an actor's point of view. Whenever possible, encourage your child to question limiting views of people and cultures by looking for more information.

7 Ways to Fight Stereotypes
  1. Talk to your child about multiple cultures.

    Be on the lookout for media that uses accents or skin colors to connect negative behavior with a certain cultural group. Are some cultures made out to be dumb? Unimportant? Aggressive? What does this reveal about our attitudes toward a given culture?

  2. Help your child identify gender stereotypes in media.

    Point out differences in the ways males and females are shown in media. Ask why men are often the heroes, whereas women frequently play less important roles. What does it mean to "act like a man?" To "behave like a lady?" Who makes these decisions in each program? How do you think they make them?

  3. Keep an eye out for stereotypes about age.

    Use TV and movie characters to help your child see that not only the young are capable and not only the old are wise. Teach your child that elderly people are not always feeble or easily duped.

  4. Talk to your child about how he sees himself.

    Find out what comparisons your child is making between his appearance or actions and those of a character. Talk to him about the difference between feeling good about himself and feeling superior to others. Encourage him to take pictures or write stories that express his individuality.

  5. Introduce your child to story characters and real people who take part in all kinds of activities.

    Ask librarians, media specialists, friends and your family to recommend books, TV shows, videos and software programs that feature a variety of cultures or present men and women in nontraditional roles. Also seek out stories that show a wide range of body types, personal traits and talents.

  6. Teach your child that images of beauty are often illusions.

    Your child may not realize how much work hair stylists, make-up artists, clothing designers and personal trainers do to make one person look like a star. She also may not know how easy it is to manipulate images to make models and actors look much better on the page or the screen than they do in person. Break the spell of TV shows and advertising by suggesting what goes on behind the scenes.

  7. Speak out against stereotypes or absences in the media.

    By pointing out negative portrayals based on race, gender or ability, you teach your child not to accept inequity. He will begin to appreciate that characters don't have to be portrayed in a narrow way, and that many behaviors and roles have value. If possible, point out when representations of certain cultures or people are missing.

This article is from the "Children and Media" section of the PBS Parents website.

AETN ENGAGE BLOG

“Back Road Barns” - Viewer Photos
Coming to AETN on Thursday, Aug. 25, “Back Road Barns” travels through rural Arkansas on a visual road trip to classic barns that have long been a part of our culture. See a preview of what you have to look forward to by scrolling through viewer photo submissions for a special segment of the AETN original film.

CONTINUE READING

AETN Night at Dickey-Stephens Park - Win Tickets!
Celebrate AETN’s 50th Anniversary with our staff members and friends from “Super Why” on Friday, Aug. 5, with the Arkansas Travelers in North Little Rock! “Exploring Arkansas” host Chuck Dovish will throw out the first pitch as the Travs take on the Springfield Cardinals at Dickey-Stephens Park. But the fun doesn’t end there! You can win tickets to join us for the game and following fireworks show by entering our Facebook contest through Wednesday, Aug. 3.

CONTINUE READING

Arkansas STEM Girls Camp
AETN is proud to host Arkansas STEM Girls Camp Thursday, July 21, and we have some exciting sessions with outstanding presenters slated! Read on for a preview of the amazing material our expert guests will explore, and discover for yourself just a few of the phenomenal STEM career paths available to young women across the state.

CONTINUE READING

Win Tickets to See “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live” in Fort Smith
Looking for a grr-ific family treat? We’re giving away four tickets to “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live” on Sunday, Oct. 2! Enter to win four seats to the show by telling us about your family’s favorite Daniel Tiger lesson by midnight on Sunday, July 31.

CONTINUE READING

FOI Notice: AETN Commission Conference Call July 25
Members of the will meet via conference call Monday, July 25, at 4 p.m. to discuss current events and activities. This is an open meeting, and the public may request teleconference information.

CONTINUE READING
MORE POSTS ]