When did you last use a stereotype? What was it?
It is important to stress that stereotypes are heavily influenced by mass media and pop-culture. Also, stereotyping is about thoughts, and not only about actions or spoken words. I am sure many of us use stereotypes on daily basis. After all, our society is becoming all about data processing, compartmentalizing and archiving. This is exactly when/where we end-up using stereotypes unconsciously as a mean to save time from active thinking. this by no means justify such use. I, as someone who is stereotyped being an Arab in airports for example, I find it funny that i catch myself sometimes looking suspiciously at a heavily-bearded young man who fits the arab "bad guy" image (that usually appears in many hollywood films) boarding a plane with me. Even-though I just shared the same "extra security lane" with that same guy before boarding just few minutes before that.
Can stereotypes serve a function?
In short, they save time for those who do not want to use their brains.