As sexism is to women, adultism is to children and young people. Some confusions about the term and some problems that adultism can amplify are considered in this entry. From the 1960s onwards, the campaign for women’s rights was advanced by two useful words. First, sexism succinctly identified the root of the problem of discrimination against women. It transferred the blame for women’s inferior status and their seeming lesser ability and lower intelligence when compared with men away from women themselves and onto powerful social structures of prejudice. Gradually these sexist structures are being identified and dismantled, and women have growing opportunities to show that they can be at least equal to men.

The second useful word, feminism, turned what might have been a weak negative ...

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