Originally published June 18, 2014.
Revised and republished August 9, 2017 after a web host transfer.
The research into gossip goes back at least to the middle of the 20th century. Both men and women research gossip. Putting all of their research together, gossip is talk and writing about people — both other people and ourselves — in family, social, workplace, and public settings.
Both men and women gossip. I have more than one article stating that men gossip more than women. One source was a replication of an earlier study’s finding that old men gossiped the most. The replicated study found that old men do indeed gossip the most. However, old men gossip the most because they have the time and opportunity to gossip. Women who’ve spent their lives caring for others still do the work of daily living when they are old. Old men — especially in the middle of the 20th century — never faced cooking and cleaning and laundry expectations.
As a child in the 1950s, I lived next to a Protestant minister and his wife. Both were elderly. The minister had time and opportunity to gossip while his wife took in extra laundry to pay bills. When the minister felt like having a piece of pie, he would get his wife into the car and drive to a restaurant. No matter what the weather, the minister made his wife stay in the car while he went inside for pie and gossip. When the wife needed glaucoma surgery, the minister insisted she return to her household duties days later instead of six weeks later. The minister’s mid-20th century religious belief assured him that his desire for pampering was more important than his wife’s need for recovery. You can see how this elderly wife had little time and opportunity for gossip. The entire neighbor sighed in relief when the minister died first.
Much of the research shows that gossip is both positive and negative. I define gossip as good, bad, or ugly. Good gossip ignores or breaks stereotypes while bad and ugly gossip are based on negative stereotypes.
Negative stereotypes exist about everyone, no matter their age, gender, race, religion, profession, etc. These stereotype blog posts will help you understand the negative stereotypes about you. Each post will focus on one or two or a few characteristics.
My collection of stereotypes comes from books, magazines, newspapers, movies, television shows, radio programs, news shows, conversations, etc.
Stereotypes and categories overlap at times. I create categories of stereotypes as I have stereotype examples to put into those categories.
I started collecting stereotypes for an appendix in a book on gossip power.
I recorded many of the citations in the index for the gossip book. As of today, I have 22 typed pages of just stereotypes and a cardboard box with more stereotypes. Eventually, I will separate the stereotype citations from the gossip book index and create a master list of all stereotype citations. It will be awhile, however.
I am publishing the stereotypes without citations because the sooner you know about them the sooner you can take action to counter the stereotypes other people use about you. Also, knowing about the stereotypes can help you avoid the negative consequences of using bad and ugly gossip. If you use negative stereotypes about other people, you are inviting other people to use negative stereotypes about you.
All stereotypes will be listed on this blog rather than in my book. There are just too many stereotypes to include all of them in the book.
After I finish posting my 22 pages of stereotypes, I will start on my box of stereotypes. The date for the most recent update will be at the top of each post. New stereotypes will be in blue font. When I am caught up on my stereotype file, I will start working on more complicated forms of stereotypes.
My stereotype posts will alternate with blog posts about other topics.
Make sure to read the Points to Ponder at the end of this post.
Negative Stereotypes about People in General
Listed in no particular order
The Relationship Between Men & Women
too impatient to work at relationships
Physically Unattractive People
political radicals (which stereotypes political radicals negatively)
homosexual (which stereotypes homosexuals negatively)
can’t be taken seriously
unable to control self
unable to maintain personal health
take up too much space
lack will power
lack will power
Women In Jane Austen’s Time
laughing is a sign of sexual availability
showing teeth is a sign of being garrulous, plebeian, vulgar
extensions of women
bubble gum chewers
hormone laden slobs
An Unhealthy Old Age Is…
a punishment for living “wrong”
Single Parent Families
Children From Single Parent Families
end up in trouble
cover up the truth
engage in conspiracies to deprive citizens of their liberty
People Not Part Of organized Religions, Conspicuous Consumption, Car Culture
People Who Report Being Abducted By Aliens
inclined to fantasize
have a propensity to daydream
enthralled by novels
represent everyone in their ethnic group or religion
Arab terrorist attacks against Israel
come from racism and hatred without reason
gum-chewing ditzy snobs
want to be homeless
People Dependent An Others
Newspaper Readers, Television News Audience, & Radio News Audience
uninterested in good news
uninterested in hard facts
want soft news, uninterested in world news
only interested in crime
Television Audience To Advertisers
Points to Ponder
Did you notice that heavy men, heavy women, and thin men are all stereotyped as having few friends? Thin women, on the other hand, are stereotyped as flirtatious. Stereotypers believe heavy men, heavy women, and thin men are socially unsuccessful because their weight gives them little value. But stereotypers give thin women some social value. The other stereotypes about thin women are negative. To stereotypers, thin women have limited social value and limited social success.
Pay attention when stereotypers pick the same stereotype for opposite characteristics. They will do the same thing to you if it gives them what they want. Clues to what stereotypers want come from the situations in which they use stereotypes. Stereotypes satisfy a need within a situation. Those needs include superiority, control, and self-protection.
Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
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Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.
Standards For Success Posters
Resource Rock Star Details