Profiling Vs. Stereotyping

Profiling Vs. Stereotyping

Why profiling is not necessarily a bad thing, and where the line between profiling and stereotyping lies.
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pro·fil·ing: noun
"The recording and analysis of a person's psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a particular subgroup of people."

This is the first result that comes on screen when "profiling definition," is searched on Google. As you can tell, there is no mention of discrimination, racism, or bigotry. Simply put, profiling is observing, analyzing, and making a judgement about a person based upon their behaviors, actions, and image. So, essentially, it is an educated study or prediction of a person's capabilities and intentions.

The term "profiling," is all-too-often associated with stereotyping, which is much different. Stereotyping is judging someone based upon a generalized, oversimplified standard or prejudice set upon them. It does not take deep investigation to stereotype an individual. This is ignorant, unethical, and biased.

Here is an example of profiling:

An off-duty police officer is getting a fountain drink from a convenience store. While standing in the corner, he notices a man pacing up and down the aisles, glancing nervously at the various security cameras in the space. He also observes that the individual is shaking and has his right hand inside of his coat pocket. The officer deduces that this man may be out to cause harm, so he walks over to confront him. Sure enough, as the officer is walking over, the man reaches into his pocket and removes a ski mask - although he did not have time to put it on. The officer pulls his concealed weapon and demands the man get on his knees, with which he complies. After subduing the assailant, he searches him, finding a loaded handgun.

This police officer used profiling techniques to prevent a dangerous, and potentially deadly, crime. He chose to take action based upon the behaviors and activities of the individual. Race, gender, or sexual orientation never came to mind.

Here is an example of stereotyping:

A clean-cut, African-American male walks into a gas station. He's well-dressed, polite, and calm; however, the gas station attendant is only concerned with his skin color. Simply because this man is black, the attendant follows him around the store, ensuring he doesn't try to steal anything. He believes that "black people are thieves." After the African-American customer realizes he is being watched, he confronts the store attendant - in a respectable manner. "Is there a problem, sir?" He asks, to which the attendant responds, "Just making sure you are not like the rest of your kind." In an attempt to suppress this situation, the customer simply leaves without saying anything else.

In this scenario, the gas station attendant labels an individual as a threat simply because of his racial background. This is not profiling, but rather stereotyping. This attendant did not observe any behaviors or make any educational decisions, but simply acted on a prejudice.


There is a fine line between profiling and stereotyping; however, that line can sometimes become fuzzy. The term, "racial profiling," is the main cause of confusion. This term is predominately used to describe law enforcement targeting individuals based upon race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Racial profiling and stereotyping are essentially the exact same thing, making this term highly controversial and over-complicated.

Our modern society has made it a trend to place blame upon law enforcement, stating they "profile." Well that is true, they do profile. We all profile. Profiling is in human nature. We do it to identify threats, learn our environment, and read people. Profiling is a part of a police officers job. What law enforcement should not do is stereotype. There are good and bad people in this world, none of whom can be described by a single race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etcetera. We are all unique in our own ways, and that is what makes the world great.

Take this information and learn a thing or two about profiling and stereotyping. Keep in mind that profiling is not a bad thing, so long as biases and prejudicial opinions are left out of judgement, and be aware of the fine line between the two terms.

Stay informed and #StopStereotyping!

Cover Image Credit: assets1.bigthink.com

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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What Happened To My Country That I Love? The Radical Left Happened

They have made the young conservatives angry, and oh boy, will they regret that.
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What happened to the America I loved? What happened to the country that fought for liberties, not against them? What happened to my country? What happened?

I was terrified to enter the political world when I first began developing my own thoughts and opinions on many social and economic issues. I started to see this new side of the world that was boiling beneath the surface, ready to explode. I was unsure what to do with the information handed to me. But none-the-less, I fell in love with politics.

I found myself on the conservative side of the political spectrum. For anyone who knows me, this is not too much of a surprise. I was already incredibly pro-life and was one of the most outspoken people against the government being involved in my life. With a very conservative household, people tend to point at me and say that I have known no different. And maybe I haven’t.

What I have noticed in my time being incredibly active in politics is the increasing amount of worry and fear that has been radiating off the Right. They are afraid that they were the last generation of conservatives. They fear that free markets and our basic human rights are soon to head out the door.

But I am here to tell them, they are not the last wave of conservatism.

As I walked into the Midwest Regional Conference hosted by Turning Point USA (TPUSA) a couple weekends ago, I saw all I needed to see. One thousand college-aged conservatives, mingling around the room proud in their country and displaying their “Socialism Sucks” shirts.

One thousand does not sound like a lot, but each came from their college chapter representing another three or four students. Then, on top of that there are all the students on college campuses to afraid to say anything, and then there are those who simply are out of college or couldn’t come. This was only for the Midwest as well. There are numerous amounts of conferences hosted by TPUSA around the United States every year.

This was just one.

There is a new wave of conservatism that is coming, and I promise that we will not let our parents and grandparents down. We have already begun to speak out against the radical Left, that has left behind what our country was founded on.

We have grown tired of the ways of conservatives have always sat back and never spoken too loud. They have fought back in votes, petitions, and talk shows. This new wave is strong, and know that in order to fight back we have to be just as loud. It has begun already with organizations like Campus Reform, Lone Conservative, and Turning Point USA. All rooted in capitalism, free markets, and our civil liberties and rights.

We are here to fight for America, and to keep our lives and generations to come safe. We will not let the Left take away our defense, our speech, and the rest of what makes America, America. Because if we do, where else will we go?

What happened to the America I loved? It is still here and is here to stay.

What happened to the country that fought for liberties, not against them? It is still here and is here to stay.

What happened to my country? The radical Left happened.

What happened? They have made the young conservatives angry, and oh boy, will they regret that.

Cover Image Credit: aimeecustis / Flickr

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