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Unformatted text preview: Statistics and Stereotypes Andrew Hockenbery Sociology 213 No one can argue that minorities in the United States are often placed under unfair and unfavorable stereotypes. They are seen as unfit mothers, avid drug and alcohol users, and overall irresponsible individuals. For many the first thought that may come to mind at the mention of drug use, lazy and unfit people, or people on welfare is of low class minority groups, mainly African Americans. Compared to statistics and other factual data however, we often find that minorities are really of equal or lesser guilt to these assumptions than those of Caucasian descent. In the book Killing the Black Body , by Dorothy Roberts, these issues, among others are tackled in the search for truth among these stereotypes. Much of Roberts work refers to reproduction and how black women are treated as opposed to white women. Several of the large issues Roberts tackled involved the use of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy as well as the treatment of the mothers themselves. Although the rates of all illegal substance use was higher among African Americans than whites, it has been statistically found that more white women than other minority groups tend to use crack cocaine, alcohol, and cigarettes during pregnancy (NIDA). These three substances also tend to be the most common threat to prenatal care. Pregnancy aside, we still see that the same trend can be found among those three main substances in a survey of society as a whole (Drug Use). When we move from statistical data to personal situations and experiences, we will often see that the minorities (again mostly African Americans) are given harsher repercussions than a white woman would receive. A scenario from Roberts research depicts how a black woman who had used crack was refused pain medication despite her cries for it. She was simply told that it was supposed to hurt because she had used crack. It has also been found that doctors will more readily reveal black patients who have used...
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course SOC 213 taught by Professor Cleeton during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Geneseo.
- Spring '08