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Discrimination is a sociological term referring to the treatment taken toward or against a person of a certain group in consideration based solely on class or category. Discrimination is the actual behavior towards another group. It involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups [1]. The United Nations explains: "Discriminatory behaviors take many forms, but they all involve some form of exclusion or rejection."[2] Discriminatory laws such as redlining have existed in many countries. In some countries, controversial attempts such as racial quotas have been used to redress negative effects of discrimination.

Sex and Gender discriminationEdit

Though gender discrimination and sexism refers to beliefs and attitudes in relation to the gender of a person, such beliefs and attitudes are of a social nature and do not, normally, carry any legal consequences. Sex discrimination, on the other hand, may have legal consequences.

Though what constitutes sex discrimination varies between countries, the essence is that it is an adverse action taken by one person against another person that would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. Discrimination of that nature in certain enumerated circumstances is illegal in many countries.

Currently, discrimination based on sex is defined as adverse action against another person, that would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. This is considered a form of prejudice and is illegal in certain enumerated circumstances in most countries.

Sexual discrimination can arise in different contexts. For instance an employee may be discriminated against by being asked discriminatory questions during a job interview, or because an employer did not hire, promote or wrongfully terminated an employee based on his or her gender, or employers pay unequally based on gender.

In an educational setting there could be claims that a student was excluded from an educational institution, program, opportunity, loan, student group, or scholarship due to his or her gender. In the housing setting there could be claims that a person was refused negotiations on seeking a house, contracting/leasing a house or getting a loan based on his or her gender. Another setting where there have been claims of gender discrimination is banking; for example if one is refused credit or is offered unequal loan terms based on one’s gender.[3]

Another setting where there is usually gender discrimination is when one is refused to extend his or her credit, refused approval of credit/loan process, and if there is a burden of unequal loan terms based on one’s gender.

Socially, sexual differences have been used to justify different roles for men and women, in some cases giving rise to claims of primary and secondary roles.[4]

While there are alleged non-physical differences between men and women, major reviews of the academic literature on gender difference find only a tiny minority of characteristics where there are consistent psychological differences between men and women, and these relate directly to experiences grounded in biological difference.[5] However, there are also some psychological differences in regard to how problems are dealt with and emotional perceptions and reactions which may relate to hormones and the successful characteristics of each gender during longstanding roles in past primitive lifestyles.

Unfair discrimination usually follows the gender stereotyping held by a society.

The United Nations had concluded that women often experience a "glass ceiling" and that there are no societies in which women enjoy the same opportunities as men. The term "glass ceiling" is used to describe a perceived barrier to advancement in employment based on discrimination, especially sex discrimination.

Transgender individuals, both male to female and female to male, often experience problems which often lead to dismissals, underachievement, difficulty in finding a job, social isolation, and, occasionally, violent attacks against them. Nevertheless, the problem of gender discrimination does not stop at trandgender individuals nor with women. Men are often the victim in certain areas of employment as the traditional "male" job-field opens to women, the influx of millions of illegal aliens take many jobs in construction, highway work, etc., and men begin to seek work in office and childcare settings traditionally perceived as "women's jobs". One such situation seems to be evident in a recent case concerning alleged YMCA discrimination and a Federal Court Case in Texas.[Citation needed] The case actually involves alleged discrimination against both men and blacks in childcare, even when they pass the same strict background tests and other standards of employment. It is currently being contended in federal court, as of fall 2009, and sheds light on how a workplace dominated by a majority (- women in this case) sometimes will seemingly "justify" whatever they wish to do, regardless of the law. This may be done as an effort at self-protection, to uphold traditional societal roles, or some other faulty, unethical or illegal prejudicial reasoning.

Sexual Orientation DiscriminationEdit

See: Heterosexism, Heteronormativity, and Homophobia

In 2009, ILGA published a report based on research carried out by Daniel Ottosson at Södertörn University College, Stockholm, Sweden. This research found that of the 80 countries around the world that continue to consider homosexuality illegal, five carry the death penalty for homosexual activity, and two do in some regions of the country.[6] In the report, this is described as "State sponsored homophobia"[7] This happens in Islamic states, or in two cases regions under Islamic authority.[8][9]

On February 5, 2005 the IRIN issued a reported titled "Iraq: Male homosexuality still a taboo." The article stated, among other things that honor killings by Iraqis against a gay family member are common and given some legal protection.[10] In August 2009 Human Rights Watch published an extensive report detailing torture of men accused of being gay in Iraq, including the blocking of men's anuses with glue and then giving the men laxatives.[11]

South Africa has one of the world's most progressive constitutions, but same-sex unions are often decried as "un-African."[12] Research shows 86% of black lesbians from the Western Cape live in fear of sexual assault.[13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Introduction to sociology. 7th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc, 2009. page 324. Print.
  2. Template:PDF
  3. Wilson, F. (2003) Organizational Behaviour and Gender (2nd Edition), Aldershot: Ashgate.
  4. Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2008) "Gendering, Courtship and Pay Equity: Developing Attraction Theory to Understand Work-Life Balance and Entrepreneurial Behaviour", paper to the 31st ISBE Conference, 5th-7th November, Belfast
  5. Hyde, J. S. (2005) “The Gender Similarities Hypothesis”, American Psychologist, 60(6): 581 592.
  6. "New Benefits for Same-Sex Couples May Be Hard to Implement Abroad". ABC News. June 22, 2009.
  7. ILGA: 2009 Report on State Sponsored Homophobia (2009)
  8. ILGA:7 countries still put people to death for same-sex acts
  9. Homosexuality and Islam - ReligionFacts
  10. IRIN Middle East | Middle East | Iraq | IRAQ: Male homosexuality still a taboo | Human Rights |Feature
  11. "They Want Us Exterminated". Human Rights Watch. August 16, 2009.
  12. "South African gangs use rape to "cure" lesbians". Reuters. March 13, 2009.
  13. "Raped and killed for being a lesbian: South Africa ignores 'corrective' attacks". The Guardian. March 12, 2009.


Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Discrimination. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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