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Boston University Recognizing Our Biases Essay

Boston University Recognizing Our Biases Essay

Question Description

Write an essay by following instruction. (APA format)

Here is an instruction:

Each of us can be defined or classified in many ways. Our race, age, gender, sexual-orientation, religion, education, social class and ethnicity are some ways we identify with others.

Think of your life as a pie chart based on demographics. If you were to divide the circle into different components or segments, which pieces are most important to how you identify yourself? For some, their religion plays the greatest part into who they are. For others, their gender identity or race is the most defining characteristic.

Create your own circle (computer generated) with the percentages of what is most important to you and a key that defines what each percentage represents.

You MUST include these demographics (even if the percentage is 0; please assign a numerical value to each component) :

  • Gender identity (do not confuse with sexual orientation–they are different)
  • Age
  • Race
  • Religion/faith/spiritual beliefs
  • Feel free to include other demographic categories (i.e., socioeconomic status, education level) as you deem appropriately relevant to your own identify and diversity.

Take some time to really think about this. Many students have said, “age is just a number,” but is it? Would you feel different having a 25 year old professor compared to a 50 year old, compared to an 85 year old? With race, many students say they don’t see color, but do others see your skin color and treat you one way as a result or have you ever made a conclusion about someone based on their race? Would your life be different if you were of a different race? With religious beliefs, do you find yourself looking for those who share your faith or prefer those who do not practice any religious beliefs? Do you struggle in any way connecting with others who are different from you for example: who do not share your racial background; religion or are there certain religions that make you uncomfortable or nervous? Are you or do you treat others a certain way based on their sex? If you were the opposite sex would you be treated differently? Lots of things to really consider…

Finally, how do you think these biases have or will influence your preferences:

  • in friendships
  • choosing a mate

Really think about it? What would you look for in a mate or a friend based on your pie chart? If you currently are in an intimate relationship or married, what factors based on your identity influenced your attraction to your partner? Think about your current friendships: was it a shared faith or similar backgrounds in race or age that helped form a relationship?

In conclusion, after addressing all the components of your pie, what do you think has been the greatest influence that has shaped your perception of yourself and others the most–is it your demographics, your family upbringing or culture, your faith, and/or past experiences?