The News Media Must Stop Stereotyping Priests

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A social problem can be described as conditions that affect the quality of life of a large number of people, effect cherished values, and is something that can or should be remedied. One major issue in society today that concerns me is something called singular classification. Every person is different. We have our own views and opinions, and we come from different backgrounds and upbringings. Singular Classification, or stereotyping, however takes every trait about a person and makes it disappear by grouping people together by race, social class, or religion. In short, singular classification is making general opinions about someone based on what one person does, and few facts. When the scandal came out about the Catholic clergy and abuse of minors, many people began to put all priests in the same category as those who were guilty, and began to doubt the vows that all priests took. This affected me and hit very close to home because I was born Catholic, and after being confirmed, my religion was something that shaped my life and gave it meaning. Throughout the decades, people have targeted groups of individuals based on acts they may or may not have been responsible for. Out of fear, people think it is fitting to separate these individuals in order to protect themselves and their family. In doing this, many are missing out on what they are in fact shielding themselves from. As writer Amartya Sen put it, “civilizational categories are crude and inconsistent…and there are other ways of seeing people” (405). It is ignorant and unjust to blame a group of individuals for something one person has done. Every time a crime is committed, people naturally begin to wonder if maybe it wouldn’t have happened had something been different abo... ... middle of paper ... ...Prejudice against Minority Groups Affects Support for Public Policies. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 21(1), 85-97. Retrieved April 7, 2010, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1659901601). Kornblum, W., & Julian, J. (2009). Social Problems (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Publishing, Inc. MacLin K. M., & Herrera V. (2006). The Criminal Stereotype. North American Journal of Psychology, 8(2), 197-207. Retrieved April 7, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1213258821) Reynolds, L. R. (2004). COMING OUT & COVERING UP: CATHOLIC PRIESTS TALK ABOUT SEX SCANDALS IN THE CHURCH. Retrieved April 7, 2010, from . Victim tells pope of altar boy robbed of youth. (18 Apr. 2008). Retrieved April 7, 2010, from

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