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For decades, women and various minorities were barred from some of the most desirable institutions and positions in the United States. Discrimination persisted in many quarters even after various activities were judged to be either illegal or ethically unacceptable. Continuing discrimination led to a demand for effective policies of preferential treatment or affirmative action (today often restyled as diversity policies) to provide justice for those individuals or groups previously, and perhaps presently, discriminated against. The effect of preferential policies that advantage women and minorities in admission and employment likely will decrease opportunities for some percentage of nonminority males and likely of Asian Americans as well. If this disadvantaging occurs, the direction of discrimination is reversed: The properties of race, sex, nationality, religion, or culture ...

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