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For decades, women and various minorities were barred from some of the most desirable institutions and positions in North America. Discrimination persisted in many quarters even after it was declared unconstitutional. Continuing discrimination led to a widespread demand for effective policies of preferential treatment or affirmative action to provide justice for those individuals or groups previously (and often presently) discriminated against. The effect of policies that advantage women and minorities in admission and employment is to decrease opportunities for nonminority males. The direction of discrimination is reversed: The properties of race and sex once used to discriminate against members of groups are now used to discriminate in their favor and against the interest of those not of the right race, sex, nationality, and the like.

Preferential ...

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