Social Psychology

Psychology Vignettes
April 23, 2024
Cognitive Psychology
April 23, 2024
Show all

Social Psychology

Prejudice has become a common societal issue since it is not only prevalent but also, it takes several forms and presents adverse effects on many individuals. I remember one time when I felt that others were discriminating me and indeed, I was surprised. The experience was dramatic since I found myself in a situation I was not sure how to respond to other people based on such prejudice. When I joined high school, I desired to play on the football team. Despite my passion for the sport, I was not that talented. Consequently, whenever I played, I could hear my teammates saying that my performance was that of a girl, a comment that hurt my feelings and self-esteem.  Later, I learned that sociologists term such prejudice as sexism (Daniels, 2005). Such a phrase was common for those players like me who had a bad play, bad throw, or could nor score. Throughout my life, I have played and watched American football and have heard such expression several times. I knew that such a phrase was intended to abuse the player, and it made me wonder if it was okay for me to play in the team. What I realized is that such prejudice did not make me feel a part of the group or encourage me. Instead, it separated and mocked me since the others viewed me as an opponent and not a teammate.

People follow several processes to nurture, sustain, and apply their prejudice. In my case, prejudice might have formed because of the ingrained gender stereotypes and differences in society. In high school, most students that play sports view that since a boy cannot play with stamina, he has feminine qualities. They base such behavior or attitudes on the traditional categorization of gender roles or devaluation or discrimination founded on an individual’s feminine and masculine qualities. Prejudice also emerges from the stereotypes that people develop over time, which differ in the viewpoints of women and men (Daniels, 2005). It is why individuals develop negative views and mockery to another person since he or she cannot fulfill the roles, behaviors or attributes that society assigns to that individual’s gender.

The prejudice that my teammates directed at me did not only affect me alone but also those that were involved. Mainly, it diminished my desire to play the sport. It also had a significant psychological impact on my life given that the perpetrators extended their prejudice to the classroom setting. Some other students who were not involved in the sport joined in the insult. My teammates did not realize that what they were doing was wrong. Instead, they continued with their prejudice in the subsequent years subjecting the other teammates to such awful treatment. People with this prejudice prevent others from engaging in sport. I loved football and competed since I was young to excel. However, in high school, reputation is vital  (Pelak, 2008). In effect, many students like me try to avoid such incidents, limiting their potential in sport.

School stakeholders can take several actions to resolve the prejudice. One thing I realized is that teachers and administrators are unaware of prejudice, and when they do, they overlook it. Many teachers are also not aware that such discrimination could hinder some students from excelling in sports or class. Clearly, this shows the seriousness of this issue in high school. Given these reasons, the state should train educators on the on way to recognize the incidents of prejudice in the school setting. Educators should realize the significance of ending sexism in schools. With sexism, education and training can prove ineffective among the victimized students. When teachers fail to label sexism as a serious issue, they cannot end it; hence, it will not help students. It is also essential to educate students about sexism, how it occurs, and its effects among students (Pelak, 2008). By ending such prejudice, students will have the freedom to join the sport.

Given that I have no prejudice towards any group, my IAT results do not indicate how implicit my assumptions might be a factor in prejudice.




Daniels, D. B. (2005). You throw like a girl: Sport and misogyny on the silver screen. Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies, 35(1), 29-38. Doi:10.1353/flm.2005.0009

Pelak, C. F. (2008). The relationship between sexist naming practices and athletic opportunities at colleges and universities in the southern United States. Sociology of Education, 81(2), 189-210. Doi:10.1177/003804070808100204