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Old 05-27-2005, 11:57 AM   #16
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I take especial care when driving behind someone with a license plate from ____ (certain state here in Malaysia) because I believe they are more likely to be aggressive/inconsiderate (depends on how you view this behaviour) drivers.


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Old 05-27-2005, 12:03 PM   #17
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Neuberg and Cottrell are both adamant to point out that just because prejudices are a fundamental and natural part of what makes us human, that doesn't mean that learning can't take place and that responses can't be dampened.
Does this mean that other genetic aspect of human behavior can be changed?
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Old 05-27-2005, 12:15 PM   #18
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they didn't suggest that prejudice is genetic, but rather a part of how humans process information, how we think.

i agree that we all hold prejudices. it's simple information reduction, identifying perceived similarities. the key is to be aware of what they may be, to question their rationality and purpose, and to find better ways to relate to the people around us.
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Old 05-27-2005, 12:17 PM   #19
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They are suggesting a nature, not nurture, core. Isn't that part of our genetic make-up?
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Old 05-27-2005, 01:52 PM   #20
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I would say some genetic things can be changed, and others can't. I was born with autism, and that's something that can only be controlled, not cured. You're born with the predisposition towards being prejudiced, and in a sense you could say that only can be controlled by parental instruction and self-examination. Some people are actually raised in racist environments and "rebel" when they grow up. It's interesting that this was the case with Diane McWhorter, the writer of "Carry Me Home" about the civil rights movement in Birmingham.
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Old 05-27-2005, 02:01 PM   #21
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As embarrassing as this is to admit, I had a grandfather who was so racist - he used to even use the N word in front of me all the time. As he died when I was still fairly young, I think he might have been the major factor in the beginnings of my hatred for racism. That and the moral beliefs I developed on my own and was taught.

I would never believe for one second that his racism was "bred" into me.
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Old 05-27-2005, 05:50 PM   #22
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Oh, my grandparents were unbelievably racist, my paternal grandfather in particular was always using the word "nigger" around me. My parents rebelled against their parents and taught us differently.
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Old 05-27-2005, 05:52 PM   #23
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My grandparents can be incredibly racist too. Ah, good times at Thanksgiving dinner.
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:52 AM   #24
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here's an article about that weight study-depressing I'd say..

Women's weight found to affect job, income
Study indicates bias in marriage, career

By Raja Mishra, Globe Staff | May 28, 2005

Weight can have startling consequences for women's financial well-being, careers, and marriage prospects, according to research that found that women -- but not men -- suffer economic harm from being overweight.

The first-of-its-kind study found that the heavier the woman, the worse her financial situation will be 13 to 15 years in the future.


In fact, the effect of weight on women's fortunes was so strong, that women with high school diplomas will have the same future household income as women with a four-year college degree but who weigh twice as much, according to the study.

For men, extra weight had no impact on their earnings, careers, or marriage prospects.

Much of the economic effect of weight on women's fortunes, the study found, occurs not because of job discrimination but marriage discrimination: Heavier women are more likely to end up marrying lower-income men or to be single. In addition, the heavier the woman, the less prestigious her job is likely to be.

The data appear to underscore what social scientists and many women themselves have long asserted -- a double-standard when it comes to weight. The study for the first time gives the economic costs of this phenomenon, showing heavy women can pay a steep personal and financial price for their weight, in addition to the more widely publicized health effects.

''This is one of the core fundamental bases of gender inequality in the United States. Women are held to standards of objectified physical appearance that men are not," said New York University sociologist Dalton Conley, the study's lead author. He explained that weight worked against women as they competed to get married and secure their financial futures.

''The marriage market is where physical capital, if you want to call it that, gets converted into economic capital," said Conley. ''Marriage is an exchange relationship where men provide income, and women, in addition to child rearing, provide sexual status."

The life of Caryn McCormack, 37, of Bridgewater illustrates Conley's findings.

She battled weight from an early age, topping 200 pounds by the time she graduated from high school. She never dated and was acutely self-conscious. After high school, she obtained an associate's degree in nursing and started work at Milton Hospital. She temporarily lost weight, but then ballooned to 385 pounds and developed rheumatoid arthritis, forcing her to quit her job.

McCormack, who is 5-foot-5 wore XXXXXL-sized pants and shirts and lived on a monthly disability payment she received from the state. Teenagers would snicker as she walked by. Strangers would give her unsolicited advice to diet. A few times, people on the street made oinking noises as she passed, she recalled in an interview.

''I wished people would take the time to see that I was a decent person," she said. ''I really am a nice person."

In 1996, she married a heavy-set man, who worked in a low-paying warehouse job and later in data entry. She has since filed for divorce. And in the last two years, a dramatic change: she has lost more than 250 pounds.

The new study finds that women in McCormack's situation face grimmer prospects than their thinner counterparts over the long run.

Conley and a graduate student, Rebecca Glauber, crunched data that tracked about 1,300 women and 1,100 men for up to 15 years. It is the first study to look at the socio-economic effects of body mass index, a ratio of weight to height that is the standard measure of obesity, over such duration. They looked at subjects' BMI in 1986, and then how those people fared as of 1999 and 2001.

They were able to compute that each 1 percent increase in women's BMI means a .6 percent decrease in future family income. So, a 60-pound weight difference between two 5-foot-4 women would account for a 30 percent difference in their future family incomes, such as $100,000 annually compared with $70,000. Much of this income difference occurs because the heavier women are, the poorer their spouses are likely to be, the research found. Also at work is the fact that heavier women are less likely to marry: For each 1 percent BMI increase, the prospects of matrimony decrease .35 percent. Single women tend to have lower incomes.

Likewise, for every 1 percent increase in BMI, they found a .4 percent decrease in future job prestige, with prestige measured by public surveys long used by sociologists. So, a 100 percent difference in BMI -- a 5-foot-4 woman weighing 120 pounds versus one weighing 240 -- meant the difference between becoming a lawyer, a high prestige job, and an insurance agent, a medium prestige job or between a medium-prestige secretary and a low-prestige housekeeper.

The paper has not been published yet, though it has been presented at academic conferences and circulated to economists by the Cambridge-based National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit clearinghouse for some of the nation's most influential economics research. Conley and Glauber analyzed data collected by the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a long-running survey of families run by the University of Michigan that includes data on BMI, income, careers, and marital status.

The researchers said they could not rule out that women's socio-economic status at the start of the study affected their weight, though they said their analysis indicated that was highly unlikely.

Social scientists said the results were strong evidence of a double standard in this country.

''In general, appearance is used more as a way of evaluating women than men. Men are more often evaluated by their achievements, while women are judged more on their appearance," said Marlene B. Schwartz, codirector of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders.

Steven Gortmaker, a Harvard School of Public Health professor who has studied obesity, said pop culture imagery perpetuates this double standard.

''There are large-size males who play sports who are honored for that. Large-sized males aren't viewed negatively. For females that's not the case at all. The norms for female beauty are much leaner," he said.

That, said Janie Victoria Ward, who studies female psychological development at Simmons College, leads to prejudicial attitudes toward heavier women.

''We assume they have failed in some way, that they're damaged," she said.

Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of nutrition and weight management at Boston Medical Center, said she sees the result in her clinic every day: 80 percent of the patients are female, despite the fact that federal statistics indicate that a higher percentage of men are overweight or obese than women.

''Men are obese, too. But women are suffering more psychological pain," she said. From talking to patients about their lives, Apovian said she long ago concluded what Conley's study found: ''Obese women are discriminated against in marriage."

One of the women who walked into Apovian's clinic two years ago was McCormack.

The BMC team helped her shed 119 pounds in one year through diet and exercise. But with a history of heart disease in the family, McCormack wanted to protect her health, so she opted for gastric bypass surgery, or stomach stapling. The procedure, done a year ago, dramatically diminished her appetite. She lost another 135 pounds.

Family and friends congratulated her, the taunts and insults abruptly ended, and men began to take notice. But shedding the overweight mentality was not so easy.

''I think my brain hasn't caught up with my body. I'm still trying to get my mind around the fact I'm not fat," said McCormack. She now weighs about 130 pounds, and wears a size 8. She is thinking of getting a job. And she is ready to make her first true foray into the singles scene.

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Old 05-28-2005, 09:45 AM   #25
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Does this mean that other genetic aspect of human behavior can be changed?
I disagree that the article suggested that prejudices where part of genetic make-up. I think it is certainly more then an environmental thing. More ignorance and perhaps fear of the unknown more then anything else.

I grew up in a small town in Ohio. No African Americans, no Hispanics. I moved to Washington DC. And my initial reaction to these groups, I'm sorry to say was fear. And while it isn't outright dislike based on race, it was a prejudiced reaction to a new environment just the same. And I was ignorant of the cultures. It went hand in hand. I know longer feel that way.

Although, maybe I've ventured into something completely different here. I'm not sure.
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Old 05-28-2005, 10:00 AM   #26
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I think people are missing the point of the article I posted. I think the point is that we're instinctually xenophobic (fear of strangers), and while our instinct towards xenophobia will likely never go away, we can work on turning "strangers" into "neighbors"--hence, we're no longer scared of people we consider to be "neighbors."

I definitely think that "homophobia," "racism," and "anti-Semitism" is mostly in the realm of "xenophobia," and it's been proven time and time again that bigotry is eased when you can put a human face on groups you previously didn't know or understand.

Massachusetts is a prime example. With gay marriage now going on for over a year, the Massachusetts Legislature is now generally friendly to it and polls have since shown that even if it was put to a vote, a "Defense of Marriage Act" would likely fail.

I think that America, in particular, is ripe for rampant xenophobia, since America was founded on small, insular communities in fairly isolated regions of our very large country. Urban areas, however, I think are more liberal for a reason.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenophobia

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Old 05-28-2005, 12:32 PM   #27
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Originally posted by melon
I think people are missing the point of the article I posted. I think the point is that we're instinctually xenophobic (fear of strangers), and while our instinct towards xenophobia will likely never go away, we can work on turning "strangers" into "neighbors"--hence, we're no longer scared of people we consider to be "neighbors."
Instinct. That's the key word. Human beings, as I understand from various reading (and anyone who knows more can feel free to correct me, I don't mind learning) are born with few instincts. One of them is an instinctive fear of heights--but people live in high rise buildings anyway.

If we can go to work in skyscrapers and fly on airplanes, we should damn well be able to live in a community with people of different colors, religions, cultures, and beliefs. We can learn to recognize our instincts, recognize the behaviors they cause, and overcome them.

I sometimes think that part of the reason intolerance, predjudice, and bigotry have such a foot hold in this country is that many of us are to nice and too timid, to simply say--and directly, one-on-one, and face to face, "That's not right."

And we love our rights in America: "I have the right to think what I want, do what I want, live where I want, and hold the opinion that I hold, and if you suggest that I'm wrong, you're trampling on my rights."

But (you just knew there was going to be a 'but') giving in to xenophobia, racism, religious intolerance, etc., is so a**backwards--the instinct to fear the unknown served, at one time in human development, to protect the community. Now, in this age, blindly following that same instinct can tear a community apart. Our community today is not just the people who share our religion, or our skin color, or our sexuality, or our shoe size. Today, our community is our nation. And all the people in it. Not just the ones that look/act/talk/think/believe/behave just like you.

So, how screwed up is humanity? An instinct that once served to protect and perserve us is now (I believe) threatening to destroy our country.

And hate me if you will, but this is an item of faith with me; I believe that somebody who will pull up stakes and move housekeeping just because they don't like the change in the 'tone' of the neighborhood is helping to perpetrate that damage, by giving in to an outmoded instinct, by failing to try to overcome the fear within themselves.

I don't believe we can afford this anymore. The world is too small, these days. The community is too large. And what little peace there is among us is too fragile.
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Old 05-28-2005, 04:31 PM   #28
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All right, Echo!!!
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:57 PM   #29
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awe, shucks...
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Old 05-28-2005, 06:37 PM   #30
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Missing the point of the article, or missing the point you were trying to make by posting the article?
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