Q:I know some are biased about gender, skin color, and sexual orientation, but I think we are a pretty equalitarian society other than that. Wouldn’t you agree? In my case, I don’t think I have any biases.

A: The three examples you have given are core characteristics of human beings. When you are talking about an equalitarian society and three fundamental factors are basically discounted, that does not meet my understanding of equalitarian.The brain can create a bias about almost anything. Here are a few examples (in alphabetical order):

  • Age
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Abortion
  • Art forms
  • Beliefs
  • Birth control
  • Birth defects
  • Careers
  • Clothing styles
  • Competition
  • Creatures
  • Cross-racial/cultural marriages
  • Cultures
  • Divorced
  • Drag queens
  • Education
  • Environments
  • Foods, beverages
  • Friendships
  • Gender
  • Hair styles
  • Homelessness
  • Ideologies
  • Language
  • Marriage
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Odors
  • Ordination
  • Ordination of females
  • Perfumes
  • Piercings
  • Politics
  • Poverty
  • Prostitutes
  • Race
  • Recreation
  • Relationships
  • Religion
  • Sexual preference
  • Same-sex marriages
  • Single
  • Skin color sports
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Tattoos
  • Vacations
  • Wealth

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Having a bias is not necessarily bad or undesirable. It is what you do about that bias, what you say, and how you act. That’s one reason I believe it is very important to identify your own biases. Everything after the brain’s initial bias assessment related to safety tends to represent a learned response—based on personal experience, reports from others you trust, what you read or hear on the news…. If it is a valid and appropriate learned response, great. If not, there may be undesirable consequences.