Prejudice and Discrimination

Critical Thinking Questions

Some people seem more willing to openly display prejudice regarding sexual orientation than prejudice regarding race and gender. Speculate on why this might be.


In the United States, many people believe that sexual orientation is a choice, and there is some debate in the research literature as to the extent sexual orientation is biological or influenced by social factors. Because race and gender are not chosen, many Americans believe it is unfair to negatively judge women or racial minority groups for a characteristic that is determined by genetics. In addition, many people in the United States practice religions that believe homosexuality is wrong.

When people blame a scapegoat, how do you think they choose evidence to support the blame?


One way in which they might do this is to selectively attend to information that would bolster their argument. Furthermore, they may actively seek out information to confirm their assertions.