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Gender discrimination is the unfair treatment of a person, based on the sole criterion of his or her gender. It is based on prejudice—the judgment of a person’s worth based on his or her being a member of a certain class, race, religion, or gender—but differs in that the discrimination refers to an action or withholding of an action. Thus, having a negative view of women in the workplace is prejudice; refusing to hire a qualified woman for a position is gender discrimination. It should be noted that gender discrimination, though historically and at present primarily directed against women, can also be directed against men. This entry examines the nature and origins of gender discrimination and provides a historical view of its causes and ...

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