Why do many people prefer to view others through stereotypes rather than approaching each other person as individuals?

Anonymous
Is this due to brainwashing from media and society? Why is it so hard for people to think for themselves? I say this in relation to the sexual racism existing nowadays. You can't tell just by looking at someone what their interests are or how they are as people. Also, I don't understand how one can have rigid notions about beauty, either, to the point that someone cannot envision love beyond specific physical preferences.
Why do many people prefer to view others through stereotypes rather than approaching each other person as individuals?
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