Originally Posted by Quath
I agree that it is too easy for people to be prejudice based on ignorance and small correlations.
I tend to look this as more of identifying trends. If you took a poll on a group of people with characteristic X, do you get a bias on viewpoint Y? If the answer is "yes" then something is going on. Now, it may be a small or large bias. For example, men will be more likely to admit to being a sports fan than women (75% to 50%). Understanding this is not easy. It could be cultural. It could be genetic (some analogize that watching sports is to war what porn is to sex). But there is something to "maleness" here to describe the bias. It marks a trend, but it doesn't mean that all men like to watch sports (I don't and my best friend is a female that does).
Funny enough, I did look these trends, specifically. So I'll repeat myself with this context to make it clear.
The difference among men and the difference among women is significantly greater than the difference between men and women. Even for those traits culturally associated with the gender, like sports, and even for those physical traits that really do have something to do with gender, like strength.
The same goes for monogamous people, poly people, religious people, atheists, people who like rock music, etc.
One of the big problems with this particular issue here is that we are not a group of sociologists objectively studying trends. The comment was made (repeatedly in various contexts) in a forum of regular people with a range (but I'd be willing to bet very little on average) understanding of how trends and statistics and correlations work.
If you wanted to go off and discuss this somewhere as an act of curiosity among folks who have studied statistics and the psychology and biology of relationship orientation, that's one thing. But comments made in a place like this, in the context in which they were given, are not idle curiosity of learned specialists, they are statements that reveal an ignorance of statistics, of trends, of correlations, of the impact that stereotypes have on cultural behaviour, of the actual research being done to determine what is "nature" and what is "nurture", of logical fallacies, and seemingly designed to relieve himself of the responsibility for changing.
People do actually admit to being close-minded, but they tend to do it in a way that they think is most flattering to themselves and they tend to excuse it. My grandfather is racist, and he and everyone else in my family excuse it by saying "it's just the generation he grew up in". Here's an example of something that was "wired" culturally and not biologically, btw.
Sorry, but that's no excuse. It might be the explanation for why he is racist, but that's little more than interesting factoid. It might also illustrate a trend towards racism in a particular demographic. It doesn't mean that he shouldn't learn why the things he says are wrong and that he shouldn't work to change them, nor does it mean that people like me shouldn't point out when he does it. My grandmother grew up in the same era and the same location and she's not racist. That's probably one of the reasons why they divorced when my dad was a kid.