Biases affect almost every aspect of one’s life. Biases range from harmless acts such as favoring one’s kids over others to dangerous or problematic biases such as racism and racial discrimination. Bias implies the likelihood of a person to unfairly favor a thing, person, point of view or group over another. Thus, biases can be personal viewpoints or more public viewpoints such as news stories which only project facts that seem to support one opinion.
Biases are either regarding treatment or behavior. Biases in treatment are usually portrayed in the negative way that people treat one another, either in perception or reality. For instance, bias in treatment is evident in the way women and men are treated or the way other religions treat the Muslims in the society. The society views the women as a weaker gender as compared to the men. As a result, women experience bias in the society because of their gender according to System justification intergroup relations theory (Moghaddam, Harré & Lee, 2008).
According to system justification theory, gender is usable in organizing social groups in hierarchies since the societies consider men as beings of higher status and power than women. The female gender tends to occupy lower levels of social hierarchies. Gender as one of the biases has limited many women from achieving their aspirations or making their opinions heard as they face strong oppositions. Commonly, women associate with simple tasks such as being secretaries or assistants to the men. Moreover, women are also charged with a duty of taking care of the family hence meant to stay at home, carry out house chores, raise kids and attend to their husbands. The media has propelled the gender bias as women in media are mostly portrayed in assistant or secretarial positions or doing adverts concerned with cleaning and household items. Consequently, women get trapped by the bias and are unable to break free.
From a different perspective, according to social dominance theory, bias can also exist because of religion. Other religions are growingly considering themselves as superior to other and strive to outdo others. For instance, Islam considers itself to be the superior and pure religion over Christianity and other religions. As a result, it is seeking to wipe out other religions by carrying out attacks in the name of spiritual purification. Consequently, because of the attacks, the public now view all Muslims as dangerous people. Other Muslims who are not even Islam find it difficult to move freely or secure employment. As a result, all Muslims get trapped too just like women and are unable to break free (Akyol, 2017).
Bias affects various aspects of one’s life whether consciously or unconsciously. The clear definition of bias is not only complicated but also varies greatly from individual to individual. However, bias is commonly considered as an unfair inclination to a certain point of view which consequently impairs one from making logical or rational decisions regarding something or someone. Bias means that one is inclined to one side. Biases hinder the society from growing or moving forward. Therefore, for any society to prosper, it must treat its members equally regardless of gender, religion or age.
- Akyol, M. (2017). The Problem with the Islamic Apocalypse. The New York Times. Retrieved 8 February 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/opinion/the-problem-with-the-islamic-apocalypse.html
- Moghaddam, F. M., Harré, R., & Lee, N. (2008). Global Conflict Resolution through Positioning Analysis. New York: Springer.