Discrimination

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In human social behavior, discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction towards, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong. These include age, colour, criminal record, height, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, generation, genetic characteristics, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. [1] Discrimination consists of treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, "in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated". [2] It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual's actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making. [3]

Social behavior Behavior among two or more organisms, typically of same species

Social behavior is behavior among two or more organisms within the same species, and encompasses any behavior in which one member affects the other. This is due to an interaction among those members. Social behavior can be seen as similar to an exchange of goods, with the expectation that when you give, you will receive the same. This behavior can be effected by both the qualities of the individual and the environmental (situational) factors. Therefore, social behavior arises as a result of an interaction between the two—the organism and its environment. This means that, in regards to humans, social behavior can be determined by both the individual characteristics of the person, and the situation they are in.

Ageism is stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age. This may be casual or systematic. The term was coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against seniors, and patterned on sexism and racism. Butler defined "ageism" as a combination of three connected elements. Among them were prejudicial attitudes towards older people, old age, and the aging process; discriminatory practices against older people; and institutional practices and policies that perpetuate stereotypes about elderly people.

Employment discrimination against persons with criminal records varies from country to country. Commonwealth of Nations often prohibit the official disclosure of certain convictions that happened long ago and allow ex-offenders to legally conceal their criminal past.

Contents

Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, including in territories where discrimination is generally looked down upon. In some places, controversial attempts such as quotas have been used to benefit those who are believed to be current or past victims of discrimination—but they have sometimes been called reverse discrimination.

Institution structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behaviour of a set of individuals within a given community

Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Further, institutions can refer to mechanisms of social order, which govern the behaviour of a set of individuals within a given community. Moreover, institutions are identified with a social purpose, transcending individuals and intentions by mediating the rules that govern living behavior.. According to Geoffery M. Hodgson, it is misleading to say that an institution is a form of behavior. Instead, Hodgson states that institution are “integrated systems of rules that structure social interactions”.

Reverse discrimination is discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group, in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group. Groups may be defined in terms of disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, nationality, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation, or other factors. This discrimination may seek to redress social inequalities under which minority groups have had less access to privileges enjoyed by the majority group. In such cases it is intended to remove discrimination that minority groups may already face. The label reverse discrimination may also be used to highlight the discrimination inherent in affirmative action programs. Reverse discrimination can be defined as the unequal treatment of members of the majority groups resulting from preferential policies, as in college admissions or employment, intended to remedy earlier discrimination against minorities.

Etymology

The term discriminate appeared in the early 17th century in the English language. It is from the Latin discriminat- 'distinguished between', from the verb discriminare, from discrimen 'distinction', from the verb discernere. [4] Since the American Civil War the term "discrimination" generally evolved in American English usage as an understanding of prejudicial treatment of an individual based solely on their race, later generalized as membership in a certain socially undesirable group or social category. [5] The word "discrimination" derives from Latin, where the verb discrimire means "to separate, to distinguish, to make a distinction".

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

American English set of dialects of the English language spoken in the US

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States.

Social group two or more humans who interact with one another

In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity. Other theorists disagree however, and are wary of definitions which stress the importance of interdependence or objective similarity. Instead, researchers within the social identity tradition generally define it as "a group is defined in terms of those who identify themselves as members of the group". Regardless, social groups come in a myriad of sizes and varieties. For example, a society can be viewed as a large social group.

Definitions

Moral philosophers have defined discrimination as disadvantageous treatment or consideration. This is a comparative definition. An individual need not be actually harmed in order to be discriminated against. They just need to be treated worse than others for some arbitrary reason. If someone decides to donate to help orphan children, but decides to donate less, say, to black children out of a racist attitude, then they would be acting in a discriminatory way despite the fact that the people they discriminate against actually benefit by receiving a donation. [6] [7] In addition to this discrimination develops into a source of oppression. It is similar to the action of recognizing someone as 'different' so much that they are treated inhumanly and degraded. [8]

Based on realistic-conflict theory [9] and social-identity theory, [10] Rubin and Hewstone [11] have highlighted a distinction among three types of discrimination:

  1. Realistic competition is driven by self-interest and is aimed at obtaining material resources (e.g., food, territory, customers) for the in-group (e.g., favouring an in-group in order to obtain more resources for its members, including the self).
  2. Social competition is driven by the need for self-esteem and is aimed at achieving a positive social status for the in-group relative to comparable out-groups (e.g., favouring an in-group in order to make it better than an out-group).
  3. Consensual discrimination is driven by the need for accuracy[ clarification needed ] and reflects stable and legitimate intergroup status hierarchies (e.g., favouring a high-status in-group because it is high status).

The United Nations stance on discrimination includes the statement: "Discriminatory behaviors take many forms, but they all involve some form of exclusion or rejection." [12] International bodies United Nations Human Rights Council work towards helping ending discrimination around the world.

United Nations Intergovernmental organization

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.

United Nations Human Rights Council intergovernmental organisation

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. The UNHRC has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis. The 38th session of the UNHRC began June 18, 2018. It ended on July 7, 2018. The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Types

Age

Ageism or age discrimination is discrimination and stereotyping based on the grounds of someone's age. [13] It is a set of beliefs, norms, and values which used to justify discrimination or subordination based on a person's age. [14] Ageism is most often directed towards old people, or adolescents and children. [15] [16]

Age discrimination in hiring has been shown to exist in the United States. Joanna Lahey, professor at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, found that firms are more than 40% more likely to interview a young adult job applicant than an older job applicant. [17] In Europe, Stijn Baert, Jennifer Norga, Yannick Thuy and Marieke Van Hecke, researchers at Ghent University, measured comparable ratios in Belgium. They found that age discrimination is heterogeneous by the activity older candidates undertook during their additional post-educational years. In Belgium, they are only discriminated if they have more years of inactivity or irrelevant employment. [18]

In a survey for the University of Kent, England, 29% of respondents stated that they had suffered from age discrimination. This is a higher proportion than for gender or racial discrimination. Dominic Abrams, social psychology professor at the university, concluded that ageism is the most pervasive form of prejudice experienced in the UK population. [19]

Caste

According to UNICEF and Human Rights Watch, caste discrimination affects an estimated 250 million people worldwide. [20] [21] [22] Discrimination based on caste, as perceived by UNICEF, is mainly prevalent in parts of Asia, (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Japan), Africa and others. [20] As of 2011, there were 200 million Dalits or Scheduled Castes (formerly known as "untouchables") in India. [23]

Disability

Discrimination against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not is called ableism or disablism. Disability discrimination, which treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of 'normal living', results in public and private places and services, education, and social work that are built to serve 'standard' people, thereby excluding those with various disabilities. Studies have shown, employment is needed to not only provide a living but to sustain mental health and well-being. Work fulfils a number of basic needs for an individual such as collective purpose, social contact, status, and activity. [24] A person with a disability is often found to be socially isolated and work is one way to reduce isolation.

In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates the provision of equality of access to both buildings and services and is paralleled by similar acts in other countries, such as the Equality Act 2010 in the UK.[ citation needed ]

Language

Nationalists in Corsica sometimes spray-paint or shoot traffic signs in French. Corsican nationalism.jpg
Nationalists in Corsica sometimes spray-paint or shoot traffic signs in French.

Diversity of language is protected and respected by most nations who value cultural diversity.[ dubious ] However, people are sometimes subjected to different treatment because their preferred language is associated with a particular group, class or category. Notable examples are the Anti-French sentiment in the United States as well as the Anti-Quebec sentiment in Canada targeting people who speak the French language. Commonly, the preferred language is just another attribute of separate ethnic groups.[ dubious ] Discrimination exists if there is prejudicial treatment against a person or a group of people who either do or do not speak a particular language or languages.

Another noteworthy example of linguistic discrimination is the backdrop to the Bengali Language Movement in erstwhile Pakistan, a political campaign that played a key role in the creation of Bangladesh. In 1948, Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared Urdu as the national language of Pakistan and branded those supporting the use of Bengali, the most widely spoken language in the state, as enemies of the state. [25]

Language discrimination is suggested to be labeled linguicism or logocism.[ by whom? ] Anti-discriminatory and inclusive efforts to accommodate persons who speak different languages or cannot have fluency in the country's predominant or "official" language, is bilingualism such as official documents in two languages, and multiculturalism in more than two languages.[ citation needed ]

Name

Discrimination based on a person's name may also occur, with research suggesting the presence of discrimination based on name meaning, pronunciation, uniqueness, gender affiliation, and racial affiliation. [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] Research has further shown that real world recruiters spend an average of just six seconds reviewing each résumé before making their initial "fit/no fit" screen-out decision and that a person's name is one of the six things they focus on most. [31] France has made it illegal to view a person's name on a résumé when screening for the initial list of most qualified candidates. Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands have also experimented with name-blind résumé processes. [32] Some apparent discrimination may be explained by other factors such as name frequency. [33] The effects of name discrimination based on name fluency is subtle, small and subject significantly to changing norms. [34]

Nationality

Discrimination on the basis of nationality is usually included in employment laws [35] (see above section for employment discrimination specifically). It is sometimes referred to as bound together with racial discrimination [36] although it can be separate. It may vary from laws that stop refusals of hiring based on nationality, asking questions regarding origin, to prohibitions of firing, forced retirement, compensation and pay, etc., based on nationality.

Discrimination on the basis of nationality may show as a "level of acceptance" in a sport or work team regarding new team members and employees who differ from the nationality of the majority of team members. [37]

In the UAE and other GCC states, for instance, nationality is not frequently given to residents and expatriates. In the workplace, preferential treatment is given to full citizens, even though many of them lack experience or motivation to do the job. State benefits are also generally available for citizens only. [38]

Race or ethnicity

Anti-Arab sign in Pattaya Beach, Thailand Anti Arab sign in Pattaya Beach Thailand.jpg
Anti-Arab sign in Pattaya Beach, Thailand
German warning in German-occupied Poland 1939 – "No entrance for Poles!" No entrance for poles1.jpeg
German warning in German-occupied Poland 1939 – "No entrance for Poles!"
Antisemitic graffiti in Lithuania. The signs read "Jews out" and "Hate" 37431682 eb5832e644.jpg
Antisemitic graffiti in Lithuania. The signs read "Jews out" and "Hate"
An African-American child at a segregated drinking fountain on a courthouse lawn, North Carolina, US 1938. Segregation 1938b.jpg
An African-American child at a segregated drinking fountain on a courthouse lawn, North Carolina, US 1938.

Racial and ethnic discrimination differentiates individuals on the basis of real and perceived racial and ethnic differences and leads to various forms of the ethnic penalty. [39] [40] It has been official government policy in several countries, such as South Africa during the apartheid era. Discriminatory policies towards ethnic minorities include the race-based discrimination of ethnic Indians and Chinese in Malaysia [41] After the Vietnam war, many Vietnamese refugees moved to the United States, where they face discrimination. [42] Many studies report lower private sector earnings for racial minorities, although it is often difficult to determine the extent to which this is the result of racial discrimination. [43]

As of 2013, aboriginal people (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) comprise 4 percent of Canada's population, but they account for 23.2 percent of the federal prison population. [44] According to the Australian government's June 2006 publication of prison statistics, Aborigines make up 24% of the overall prison population in Australia. [45]

In 2004, Māori made up just 15% of the total population of New Zealand but 49.5% of prisoners. Māori were entering prison at eight times the rate of non-Māori. [46] A quarter of the people in England's prisons are from an ethnic minority. The Equality and Human Rights Commission found that in England and Wales as of 2010, a black person was five times more likely to be imprisoned than a white person. The discrepancy was attributed to "decades of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system". [47]

In the United States, racial profiling of minorities by law-enforcement officials has been called racial discrimination. [48]
Within the criminal justice system in the United States, minorities are convicted and imprisoned disproportionately when compared to the majority. [49] [50] As early as 1866, the Civil Rights Act and Civil Rights Act of 1871 provided a remedy for intentional racism in employment by private employers and state and local public employers. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 expanded the damages available in Title VII cases and granted Title VII plaintiffs the right to a jury trial.

Racial discrimination in hiring has been shown to exist in the United States and in Europe. [51] [52] Using a field experiment, Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan showed that applications from job candidates with white-sounding names received 50 percent more callbacks for interviews than those with African-American-sounding names in the United States at the start of this millennium. [53] A 2009 study by Devah Pager, Bruce Western, and Bart Bonikowski found that black applicants to low-wage jobs were half as likely as identically qualified white applicants to receive callbacks or job offers. [54] More recently, Stijn Baert, Bart Cockx, Niels Gheyle and Cora Vandamme replicated and extended their field experiment in Belgium, Europe. They found that racial discrimination in the labour market is heterogeneous by the labour market tightness in the occupation: compared to natives, candidates with a foreign-sounding name are equally often invited to a job interview in Belgium if they apply for occupations for which vacancies are difficult to fill, but they have to send twice as many applications for occupations for which labor market tightness is low. [55]

Region

Regional or geographic discrimination is discrimination based on the region in which a person lives or was born. It differs from national discrimination in that it may not be based on national borders or the country the victim lives in, but is instead based on prejudices against a specific region of one or more countries. Examples include discrimination against Chinese born in countryside far from city within China, and discrimination against Americans from the southern or northern regions of the United States. It is often accompanied by discrimination based on accent, dialect, or cultural differences. [56]

Religious beliefs

In the 1990s, Bhutan expelled or forced to leave its Hindu population in the name of preserving its Buddhist culture and identity. Lotshampa refugees in Beldangi Camp.jpg
In the 1990s, Bhutan expelled or forced to leave its Hindu population in the name of preserving its Buddhist culture and identity.

Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe or because of their feelings towards a given religion. For instance, the indigenous Christian population of the Balkans, known as the "rayah" or the "protected flock", was discriminated against under the Ottoman Kanun–i–Rayah. The word is sometimes translated as 'cattle' rather than 'flock' or 'subjects' in order to emphasize the Christian population's inferior status to that of the Muslim rayah. [57] [ further explanation needed ]

Restrictions upon Jewish occupations were imposed by Christian authorities. Local rulers and church officials closed many professions to religious Jews, pushing them into marginal roles considered socially inferior, such as tax and rent collecting and moneylending, occupations only tolerated as a "necessary evil". [58] The number of Jews permitted to reside in different places was limited; they were concentrated in ghettos and were not allowed to own land.

In a 1979 consultation on the issue, the United States commission on civil rights defined religious discrimination in relation to the civil rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Whereas religious civil liberties, such as the right to hold or not to hold a religious belief, are essential for Freedom of Religion (in the United States secured by the First Amendment), religious discrimination occurs when someone is denied "the equal protection of the laws, equality of status under the law, equal treatment in the administration of justice, and equality of opportunity and access to employment, education, housing, public services and facilities, and public accommodation because of their exercise of their right to religious freedom". [59]

Sex, sex characteristics, gender, and gender identity

Though gender discrimination and sexism refer 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 is considered a form of prejudice and in certain enumerated circumstances is illegal in many 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 by an employer not hiring or promoting, unequally paying, or wrongfully terminating, an employee based on their gender.

The gender gap in median earnings of full-time employees according to the OECD 2015. OECD gender wage gap.svg
The gender gap in median earnings of full-time employees according to the OECD 2015.

Sexual discrimination can also arise when the dominant group holds a bias against the minority group. One such example is Wikipedia. In the Wikipedian community, around 13 percent of registered users are women. [61] This creates gender imbalances, and leaves room for systemic bias. Women are not only more harshly scrutinized, but the representation of women authors are also overlooked. Relative to men, across all source lists, women have a 2.6 greater odds of omission in Wikipedia. [62] In an educational setting, there could be claims that a student was excluded from an educational institution, program, opportunity, loan, student group, or scholarship because of their 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 their 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. [63] As with other forms of unlawful discrimination, there are two types of sex discrimination – direct discrimination and indirect discrimination. Direct sex discrimination is fairly easy to spot – 'Barmaid wanted', but indirect sex discrimination, where an unnecessary requirement puts one sex at a disproportionate disadvantage compared to the opposite sex, is sometimes less easy to spot, although some are obvious – 'Bar person wanted – must look good in a mini skirt'. [64] Another setting where there is usually gender discrimination is when one is refused to extend their 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. 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. [65] [ not in citation given ]

Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by sex, race, and ethnicity, U.S., 2009. US gender pay gap, by sex, race-ethnicity-2009.png
Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by sex, race, and ethnicity, U.S., 2009.

Unfair discrimination usually follows the gender stereotyping held by a society. [67]

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. [68] The term "glass ceiling" is used to describe a perceived barrier to advancement in employment based on discrimination, especially sex discrimination. [69] In the United States in 1995, the Glass Ceiling Commission, a government-funded group, stated: "Over half of all Master's degrees are now awarded to women, yet 95% of senior-level managers, of the top Fortune 1000 industrial and 500 service companies are men. Of them, 97% are white." In its report, it recommended affirmative action, which is the consideration of an employee's gender and race in hiring and promotion decisions, as a means to end this form of discrimination. [70] As of 2010, women accounted for 51% of workers in high-paying management, professional, and related occupations. They outnumbered men in such occupations as public relations managers, financial managers, and human resource managers. [71]

In addition, women are found to experience a sticky floor. While a glass ceiling implies that women are less like to reach the top of the job ladder, a sticky floor is defined as the pattern that women are, compared to men, less likely to start to climb the job ladder. A sticky floor is related to gender differences at the bottom of the wage distribution. It might be explained by both employer discrimination and gender differences in career aspirations. [72]

Intersex persons experience discrimination due to innate, atypical sex characteristics. Multiple jurisdictions now protect individuals on grounds of intersex status or sex characteristics . South Africa was the first country to explicitly add intersex to legislation, as part of the attribute of 'sex'. [73] Australia was the first country to add an independent attribute, of 'intersex status'. [74] [75] Malta was the first to adopt a broader framework of 'sex characteristics', through legislation that also ended modifications to the sex characteristics of minors undertaken for social and cultural reasons. [76] [77]

Transgender individuals, whether male-to-female, female-to-male, or genderqueer, often experience transphobic problems that 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 transgender individuals or with women. Men are often the victim in certain areas of employment as 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. [78] The case actually involves alleged discrimination against both men and black people 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.[ needs update? ]

Discrimination in slasher films is relevant. Gloria Cowan had a research group study on 57 different slasher films. Their results showed that the non-surviving females were more frequently sexual than the surviving females and the non-surviving males. Surviving as a female slasher victim was strongly associated with the absence of sexual behavior. In slasher films, the message appears to be that sexual women get killed and only the pure women survive, thus reinforcing the idea that female sexuality can be costly. [79]

Sexual orientation

LGBT activists at Cologne Pride carrying a banner with the flags of over 70 countries where homosexuality is illegal. Cologne Germany Cologne-Gay-Pride-2015 Parade-17b.jpg
LGBT activists at Cologne Pride carrying a banner with the flags of over 70 countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Protests in New York City against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill protest.jpg
Protests in New York City against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

One's sexual orientation is a "predilection for homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality". [80] Like most minority groups, homosexuals and bisexuals are vulnerable to prejudice and discrimination from the majority group. They may experience hatred from others because of their sexual preferences; a term for such hatred based upon one's sexual orientation is often called homophobia. Many continue to hold negative feelings towards those with non-heterosexual orientations and will discriminate against people who have them or are thought to have them. People of other uncommon sexual orientations also experience discrimination. One study found its sample of heterosexuals to be more prejudiced against asexuals than to homosexuals or bisexuals. [81]

Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation varies by country. Revealing a lesbian sexual orientation (by means of mentioning an engagement in a rainbow organisation or by mentioning one's partner name) lowers employment opportunities in Cyprus and Greece but overall, it has no negative effect in Sweden and Belgium. [82] [83] [84] [85] In the latter country, even a positive effect of revealing a lesbian sexual orientation is found for women at their fertile ages.

Besides these academic studies, 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. [86] In the report, this is described as "State sponsored homophobia". [87] This happens in Islamic states, or in two cases regions under Islamic authority. [88] [89] 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. [90] 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. [91] Although gay marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006, same-sex unions are often condemned as "un-African". [92] Research conducted in 2009 shows 86% of black lesbians from the Western Cape live in fear of sexual assault. [93]

A number of countries, especially those in the Western world, have passed measures to alleviate discrimination against sexual minorities, including laws against anti-gay hate crimes and workplace discrimination. Some have also legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions in order to grant same-sex couples the same protections and benefits as opposite-sex couples. In 2011, the United Nations passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights.

Drug use

Global Marijuana March, Paris. JP Galland 492937382 4a0afd096d o d.jpg
Global Marijuana March, Paris.

Drug use discrimination is the unequal treatment people experience because of the drugs they use. [94] People who use or have used illicit drugs may face discrimination in employment, welfare, housing, child custody, and travel, [95] [96] [97] [98] in addition to imprisonment, asset forfeiture, and in some cases forced labor, torture, and execution. [99] [100] Though often prejudicially stereotyped as deviants and misfits, most drug users are well-adjusted and productive members of society. [101] [102] Drug prohibitions may have been partly motivated by racism and other prejudice against minorities, [103] [104] [105] and racial disparities have been found to exist in the enforcement and prosecution of drug laws. [106] [107] [108] Discrimination due to illicit drug use was the most commonly reported type of discrimination among Blacks and Latinos in a 2003 study of minority drug users in New York City, double to triple that due to race. [109] People who use legal drugs such as tobacco and prescription medications may also face discrimination. [110] [111] [112]

Ideas of self-ownership and cognitive liberty affirm rights to use drugs, whether for medicine [113] [114] [115] recreation, [116] [117] [118] or spiritual fulfilment. [119] [120] [121] Those espousing such ideas question the legality of drug prohibition and cite the rights and freedoms enshrined in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, [122] [123] the European Convention on Human Rights, [124] [125] and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, [126] as protecting personal drug choices. They are inspired by and see themselves following in the tradition of those who have struggled against other forms of discrimination in the past. [127]

Drug policy reform organizations such as the Drug Policy Alliance, [128] the Drug Equality Alliance, [129] the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, [130] and the Beckley Foundation [131] have highlighted the issue of stigma and discrimination in drug policy. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids also recognizes this issue [132] and shares on its website stories that "break through the stigma and discrimination that people with drug or drinking problems often face." [133]

A report issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, critical of the global war on drugs, [134] states, under "Undermining Human Rights, Fostering Discrimination":

Punitive approaches to drug policy are severely undermining human rights in every region of the world. They lead to the erosion of civil liberties and fair trial standards, the stigmatization of individuals and groups – particularly women, young people, and ethnic minorities – and the imposition of abusive and inhumane punishments. [135]

Although still illegal at the federal level, about half of U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use and several of those states have laws, or are considering legislation, specifically protecting medical marijuana patients from discrimination in such areas as education, employment, housing, child custody, and organ transplantation. [136] [137] [138]

Reverse discrimination

Students protesting against racial quotas in Brazil: "Quer uma vaga? Passe no vestibular!" ("Do you want a spot? Pass the entrance exam!") Protesto contra o sistema de cotas.jpg
Students protesting against racial quotas in Brazil: "Quer uma vaga? Passe no vestibular!" ("Do you want a spot? Pass the entrance exam!")

In the US, a government policy known as affirmative action was instituted to encourage employers and universities to seek out and accept groups such as African Americans and women, who have been subject to discrimination for a long time. [139]

Some attempts at antidiscrimination have been criticized as reverse discrimination. In particular, minority quotas (for example, affirmative action) may discriminate against members of a dominant or majority group or other minority groups. In its opposition to race preferences, the American Civil Rights Institute's Ward Connerly stated, "There is nothing positive, affirmative, or equal about 'affirmative action' programs that give preference to some groups based on race." [140]

Legislation

Australia

Canada

Hong Kong

Israel

Netherlands

United Kingdom

United States

United Nations documents

Important UN documents addressing discrimination include:

Theories

Social theories such as egalitarianism assert that social equality should prevail. In some societies, including most developed countries, each individual's civil rights include the right to be free from government sponsored social discrimination. [153] Due to a belief in the capacity to perceive pain or suffering shared by all animals, "abolitionist" or "vegan" egalitarianism maintains that the interests of every individual (regardless its species), warrant equal consideration with the interests of humans, and that not doing so is "speciesist". [154]

Labeling theory

Discrimination, in labeling theory, takes form as mental categorization of minorities and the use of stereotype. This theory describes difference as deviance from the norm, which results in internal devaluation and social stigma [155] that may be seen as discrimination. It is started by describing a "natural" social order. It is distinguished between the fundamental principle of fascism and social democracy.[ clarification needed ] The Nazis in 1930s-era Germany and the pre-1990 Apartheid government of South Africa used racially discriminatory agendas for their political ends. This practice continues with some present day governments. [156]

Game theory

Economist Yanis Varoufakis (2013) argues that "discrimination based on utterly arbitrary characteristics evolves quickly and systematically in the experimental laboratory", and that neither classical game theory nor neoclassical economics can explain this. [157] Varoufakis and Shaun Hargreaves-Heap (2002) ran an experiment where volunteers played a computer-mediated, multiround hawk-dove game (HD game). At the start of each session, each participant was assigned a color at random, either red or blue. At each round, each player learned the color assigned to his or her opponent, but nothing else about the opponent. Hargreaves-Heap and Varoufakis found that the players' behavior within a session frequently developed a discriminatory convention, giving a Nash equilibrium where players of one color (the "advantaged" color) consistently played the aggressive "hawk" strategy against players of the other, "disadvantaged" color, who played the acquiescent "dove" strategy against the advantaged color. Players of both colors used a mixed strategy when playing against players assigned the same color as their own.

The experimenters then added a cooperation option to the game, and found that disadvantaged players usually cooperated with each other, while advantaged players usually did not. They state that while the equilibria reached in the original HD game are predicted by evolutionary game theory, game theory does not explain the emergence of cooperation in the disadvantaged group. Citing earlier psychological work of Matthew Rabin, they hypothesize that a norm of differing entitlements emerges across the two groups, and that this norm could define a "fairness" equilibrium within the disadvantaged group. [158]

State vs. free market

It is debated as to whether or not markets discourage discrimination brought about by the state. One argument is that since discrimination restricts access to customers and incurs additional expense, market logic will punish discrimination. Opposition by companies to "Jim Crow" segregation laws is an example of this. [159] An alternative argument is that markets don't necessarily undermine discrimination, as it is argued that if discrimination is profitable by catering to the "tastes" of individuals (which is the point of the market), then the market will not punish discrimination. It is argued that microeconomic analysis of discrimination uses unusual methods to determine its effects (using explicit treatment of production functions) and that the very existence of discrimination in employment (defined as wages which differ from marginal product of the discriminated employees) in the long run contradicts claims that the market will function well and punish discrimination. [160] [161]

See also

Related Research Articles

Sexism prejudice or discrimination based on a persons sex or gender

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it primarily affects women and girls. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence. Gender discrimination may encompass sexism, and is discrimination toward people based on their gender identity or their gender or sex differences. Gender discrimination is especially defined in terms of workplace inequality.

Affirmative action, also known as reservation in India and Nepal, positive discrimination in the United Kingdom, and employment equity in Canada and South Africa, is the policy of promoting the education and employment of members of groups that are known to have previously suffered from discrimination. Historically and internationally, support for affirmative action has sought to achieve goals such as bridging inequalities in employment and pay, increasing access to education, promoting diversity, and redressing apparent past wrongs, harms, or hindrances.

Anti-discrimination law refers to legislation designed to prevent discrimination against particular groups of people; these groups are often referred to as protected groups or protected classes. Anti-discrimination laws vary by jurisdiction with regard to the types of discrimination that are prohibited, and also the groups that are protected by that legislation. Commonly, these types of legislation are designed to prevent discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other areas of social life, such as public accommodations. Anti-discrimination law may include protections for groups based on sex, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, mental illness or ability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, sex characteristics, religious, creed, or individual political opinions.

LGBT rights in Canada

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Canada are some of the most advanced in the Americas and in the world. Same-sex sexual activity has been lawful in Canada since June 27, 1969, when the Criminal Law Amendment Act came into force upon royal assent.

Human rights in Switzerland

Human rights are comprehensively guaranteed in Switzerland, one of Europe's oldest democracies. Together with other European states, Switzerland is often at or near the head in international civil liberties and political rights rankings. Switzerland places human rights at the core of the nation's value system, as represented in the Federal Constitution and political model. Promotion of peace, mutual respect, equality and non-discrimination are central to the country's democratic election.

Employment discrimination law in the United States derives from the common law, and is codified in numerous state and federal laws, particularly the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as in the ordinances of counties and municipalities. These laws prohibit discrimination based on certain characteristics or protected categories. The United States Constitution also prohibits discrimination by federal and state governments against their public employees. Discrimination in the private sector is not directly constrained by the Constitution, but has become subject to a growing body of federal and state law. Federal law prohibits discrimination in a number of areas, including recruiting, hiring, job evaluations, promotion policies, training, compensation and disciplinary action. State laws often extend protection to additional categories or employers.

Employment equity, as defined in federal Canadian law by the Employment Equity Act, requires federal jurisdiction employers to engage in proactive employment practices to increase the representation of four designated groups: women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, and visible minorities. The act states that "employment equity means more than treating persons the same way but also requires special measures and the accommodation of differences".

Equality Act 2010 UK Act of Parliament codifying anti-discrimination law

The Equality Act 2010 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, and has the same goals as the four major EU Equal Treatment Directives, whose provisions it mirrors and implements.

Equality and diversity is a term used in the United Kingdom to define and champion equality, diversity and human rights as defining values of society. It promotes equality of opportunity for all, giving every individual the chance to achieve their potential, free from prejudice and discrimination.

LGBT rights at the United Nations

Discussions of LGBT rights at the United Nations have included resolutions and joint statements in the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), attention to the expert-led human rights mechanisms, as well as by the UN Agencies.

LGBT rights in Vanuatu

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Vanuatu may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex married couples.

LGBT rights in Idaho

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the U.S state of Idaho may face some legal challenges not faced by non-LGBT people. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Idaho, and same-sex marriage has been legal in the state since October 2014. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity isn't banned in the state, leaving an estimated 31,800 LGBT workers in Idaho vulnerable to employment discrimination.

Section Nine of the Constitution of South Africa guarantees equality before the law and freedom from discrimination to the people of South Africa. This equality right is the first right listed in the Bill of Rights. It prohibits both discrimination by the government and discrimination by private persons; however, it also allows for affirmative action to be taken to redress past unfair discrimination.

The right to sexuality incorporates the right to express one's sexuality and to be free from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. In specific, it relates to the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and the protection of those rights, although it is equally applicable to heterosexuality. The right to sexuality and freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is based on the universality of human rights and the inalienable nature of rights belonging to every person by virtue of being human.

The regulation of LGBT employment discrimination in the United States varies by jurisdiction. Many states and localities prohibit bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, and compensation, as well as harassment on the basis of one's sexual orientation. Fewer extend those protections to cover sexual identity. Some cover government employees, but do not extend their protections to the private sector. Protections at the national level are limited. There is no federal statute explicitly addressing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) interprets Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to cover discrimination against LGBT employees, as "allegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex". This interpretation in essence bars employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow gender identity-based employment discrimination because it is a form of sex discrimination. Then in 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow sexual orientation discrimination in employment because it is a form of sex discrimination. However, these rulings, while persuasive, may not be binding in courts.

Transgender inequality is the unequal protection transgender people receive in work, school, and society in general. Transgender people regularly face transphobic harassment. Ultimately, one of the largest reasons that transgender people face inequality is due to a lack of public understanding of transgender people.

Since the 1990s, a series of laws have gradually been affording more rights and protections to transgender people in the United Kingdom in the areas of identity documents, right to marry, and anti-discrimination measures in the areas of employment, education, housing, and services.

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