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Blondes are dumb
For years American culture has hyper-feminized the blonde women. Blonde hair was seen as a sign of purity and youthfulness. Also potentially childishness. A small number of blonde women did in fact act tremendously stupid at time and the stereotype developed-- out of truth.

Women are bad drivers
Women were not allowed to drive carriages and had to ride horses sidesaddle to be considered "proper" when cars came along it took time for women to take to the wheel. There was a period in history when women were bad drivers because they had less experience. Also women are not encouraged to be fascinated with machinery so they tend to have less interest in cars this could also contribute to the truth behind the stereotype. (though I think there was a study that showed that women are now better drivers than men -- these things change but the stereotypes linger on.)

Natives are lazy
Of course they aren't but if you apply the western definition of industriousness to what people (say pacific islanders) do during a day they are in fact lazy. If your definition of human achievement is building cities and conquering other countries there is truth in the stereotype.

Blacks are criminals
Black people still commit more crimes per-capita than white. This is because black people tend to be poor. Still there is truth in the stereotype

Some stereotypes outlive the truths they developed out of and some developed out of truths that were only true from a small segment of the stereotyped population-- but these ideas are not fantasy. They are there for a reason, and without understating the reason there will be no way to change them.


The stereotypes aren't there because they developed out of truth, they're there because a few people selectively witness a few examples of the stereotype and blindly applied it to an entire group. This is how the human brain naturally works to simplify the world around it, and it's also wrong. They'd be just as selectively true if you applied them to any other group.

You can't change a stereotype. You have to replace it with facts.

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