Adoption Stories from Adopted the Movie - A Feature Film by Barb Lee

January 2, 2007

Asian Stereotypes

Richard Lee, a psychology professor at the University of Minnesota who specializes in the cultural socialization of Korean adoptees, discusses common Asian American stereotypes.

There are definitely stereotypes that men and women experience that are very different. For Asian American men, whether they are adopted or not, the stereotypes are that you are less masculine, nerdy, into technology and computers, you’re not athletic and you’re not attractive. You’re short and effeminate. The stereotype for Asian American women is not necessarily any better but it’s different. Women are perceived as exotic, as submissive, as care giving, also as sometimes conniving or too clever, tricky. So there are these different stereotypes that men and women have to manage. For Asian American men it’s a challenge because the prevailing Americans sort of pressure is for a man to keep their emotions inside, to not share or reveal the insecurities or struggles.

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