EDGEWATER, NJ–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, to mark International Women’s Day 2022, the non-profit organization The Stereotype Project Foundation (TSPF) announced plans to create the world’s most comprehensive database of stereotypes, starting with the stereotypes associated with women. This database will serve as an educational resource and is designed to help drive cultural change within society.
This database is part of TSPF’s overall mission to challenge cultural stereotypes and improve perceptions of diverse cultural and social groups around the world. TSPF seeks to deconstruct the way we learn about people and cultures, while highlighting both the gaps and the biased portrayal of social groups in the media. The TSPF has decided that the first area of stereotyping it intends to tackle is that of women, as they make up nearly half of the world’s population, and stereotyping affecting most other groups will also impact women. Once this initial project is underway, TSPF plans to expand the database to cover diverse cultural and social groups, including groups based on race and sexual orientation.
This first version of the database will index the various stereotypes associated with women, including the history, language, contemporary usage and social impact of each. It will be built in collaboration with a series of academic partners, using validated scientific methodology that studies the images and descriptions of women disseminated in the media. The aim is that it can be used to change thinking about stereotypes associated with women and change perceptions of women in society.
Gian Franco, Founder and President of TSPF, explained, “We want to create a tectonic shift in the way individuals see and relate to each other. In our society, the media play a major role in the way individuals construct their perception of cultural and social groups. For many people, the images and descriptions they see in the media are their main point of reference for the various characteristics of people from other social groups and cultures. Our goal is to change the data they use to make judgmental decisions when personal contact cannot be made. »
Once completed, the database will be available online to serve as a resource for content creators, students, researchers and the general public. This will help educate people about stereotypes, the language used to describe them, how inaccurate the stereotype can be, and how its use has changed over time or impacted society.
The database will create opportunities for people within cultural and social groups to question, correct and add to the general understanding of their group. It will also help educate people outside of these groups and ensure that the language used in society does not propagate existing stereotypes. For example, the database will be used to create a program that analyzes problematic language content before it is published and prevents organizations and media companies from inadvertently perpetuating stereotypes.
Gian added, “We felt there was no better place to start than stereotypes associated with women and we are proud to announce our plans to create our first iteration of the database in this area. The theme for IWD2022 is Break The Bias and we believe that is exactly what this database can help to do. By providing the tools to help educate people and businesses about female stereotypes and the language used to portray them, we can challenge perceptions of women in society and help promote women’s equality.
Initial funding for the Female Stereotypes Database was provided through a donation from community leader and philanthropist Sara Morgan. This will allow TSPF to begin development of the Female Stereotypes Database, while at the same time actively seeking additional donors and partners for this and expansion into other cultural and social groups.
Sara Morgan said, “We are delighted to be the first supporter and anchor donor for TSPF. We live in a society that is filled with inappropriate stereotypes and no more than those associated with women. I believe there is a real need to help people understand what is considered a stereotype about women in order to create a world with a better perception of women.
“This is essential work that needs to be done to overcome the negative stereotypes about women that exist today,” said Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient (FQ). “The FQ is proud to partner with TSPF on this initiative and once this database is built, we will share it with as many organizations as possible to help drive change.”