One of the core values in a variety of helping professions entails recognizing and being aware of our own biases and addressing WHY we feel the way we do. We ALL have an unconscious bias(es).

It is important to know what areas you may need more exposure or a better understanding in order to best serve your clients and really interact with others regardless of one’s profession because this concept also applies to teaching, business, medicine and other fields in which you must know and understand your client or customer to be effective.

This assignment is designed to help you reflect, share, and practice some of your ideas when it comes to who you choose to interact and have relationships with: in particular choosing friends, your current partner/spouse and/or future partner/spouse. The goal is to create awareness of our biases and how they influence our relationship choices/interactions and mate selection.

Each of us can be defined or classified in many ways. Our race, age, gender, sexual-orientation, religion, education, social class and ethnicity are some ways we identify with others.

Think of your life as a pie chart based on demographics. If you were to divide the circle into different components or segments, which pieces are most important to how you identify yourself? For some, their religion plays the greatest part into who they are. For others, their gender identity or race is the most defining characteristic.

Create your own circle (computer generated) with the percentages of what is most important to you and a key that defines what each percentage represents.

You MUST include these demographics (even if the percentage is 0; please assign a numerical value to each component) :

  • Gender identity (do not confuse with sexual orientation–they are different)
  • Age
  • Race
  • Religion/faith/spiritual beliefs
  • Feel free to include other demographic categories (i.e., socioeconomic status, education level) as you deem appropriately relevant to your own identify and diversity.

Take some time to really think about this. Many students have said, “age is just a number,” but is it? Would you feel different having a 25 year old professor compared to a 50 year old, compared to an 85 year old? With race, many students say they don’t see color, but do others see your skin color and treat you one way as a result or have you ever made a conclusion about someone based on their race? Would your life be different if you were of a different race? With religious beliefs, do you find yourself looking for those who share your faith or prefer those who do not practice any religious beliefs? Do you struggle in any way connecting with others who are different from you for example: who do not share your racial background; religion or are there certain religions that make you uncomfortable or nervous? Are you or do you treat others a certain way based on their sex? If you were the opposite sex would you be treated differently? Lots of things to really consider…

Finally, how do you think these biases have or will influence your preferences:

  • in friendships
  • choosing a mate

Really think about it? What would you look for in a mate or a friend based on your pie chart? If you currently are in an intimate relationship or married, what factors based on your identity influenced your attraction to your partner? Think about your current friendships: was it a shared faith or similar backgrounds in race or age that helped form a relationship?

In conclusion, after addressing all the components of your pie, what do you think has been the greatest influence that has shaped your perception of yourself and others the most–is it your demographics, your family upbringing or culture, your faith, and/or past experiences?

Write a 3-4 page summary of why you ranked the categories the way you did and your responses to the questions posed.

Here is an example of a former student’s reflection for your convenience and assistance:

Upload your pie chart and reflection paper as an attachment after you have met the criteria.

  • Be sure to follow the criteria outlined above and the expectations for written work.
  • Include application from chapter 5 as you share your reflections.
  • Remember for Turnitin: No paper will be accepted that is above a 10% match in the originality report.
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