Oh my goodness... step outside for a bit and look how many posts I missed! haha
People most often stereotype either because of bad personal experience with some of a group of people, or because of no experience and ignorant assumptions. Both are bad reasons to generalize.
I grew up in nowheresville, so I was never exposed to too much culture or diversity, nor heavy amounts of prejudice or stereotyping. I just jumped right into it when I moved into my husband's country at 18. "no.... not all americans are rich, leave me alone, my white skin doesn't mean I have money! I make less than you do! go away!" "Yes.. beleive it or not, some americans are capable of learning a foreign language" "no, my blonde hair does not feel like fluffy rays of the sun" "no, not all americans are arrogant and self centered" "no, we don't all hate everyone else in the world" lol
I was shocked at some of the things I was constantly asked, and one time I was in the market when a native girl in the market walked up behind me and started stroking my long blonde hair (by her clothing she probably was taking a trip here and was from a far away village and I was probably the first light skinned person that she had seen)
Then I return back to the usa with my husband, and I am much more aware of the stereotyping of latinos and the very unfriendly things said about them (as my husband is latino). So I just learned that most people in the usa really have no freak'n clue what they're talking about, and you really can't get a better perspective of the world than living outside of the usa for a few years. It really helps you understand how to be more open minded. I mean, I'm SURE there are a lot of open minded folk here, but it's one thing to say "yeah, I guess I can see how that can be acceptable somewhere else" but it's another thing to actually have experienced a culture very different from your own... to not only know, but UNDERSTAND the feeling of cultures having conflicting morals or view points on life.
And Aokashi, if there are sharks on either side of the boat.... dolphins are coming to the rescue :P so if there are pitbulls on either side..... I need a rescuer! maybe huskies? but then again, I had a husky who got attacked by a rotty and just did absolutely nothing.... so I should probably get better dogs to play the part of a dolphin, hahaha