Fact Checked

What are the Different Types of Discrimination?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

Discrimination can take place because of a person’s age, sex, or numerous other factors. Depending on the jurisdiction, some reasons for discriminating against a person are illegal. Age is one reason a person might be discriminated against, whether he or she is young or old. Sex is another reason; for example, an employer might prefer to hire men or refuse to hire people whose gender is not obvious. In some places, racial discrimination is rampant, meaning people prefer a certain race over another.

When people talk about age discrimination, they often refer to discriminatory actions against older people. Middle-aged to elderly people sometimes cannot get a job they are suited for or are fired from current jobs in favor of giving the position to someone younger. Young people can — and often are — discriminated against, however. For example, a young person might lose out on a job opportunity because the employer prefers to hire older people, believing someone older will do a better job overall.

Gender discrimination is accepted in some countries.
Gender discrimination is accepted in some countries.

At times, people may be discriminated against based on their gender or sexual orientation. Some employers may discriminate based on these facts due to their own personal feelings or ideas about what the job requires. For example, an employer in a restaurant might prefer female servers over male ones because he or she believes women make better servers. Another example might be that of an employer not wanting to hire a woman for a certain job, because he or she does not believe women are comfortable with physically demanding work. In other situations, an employer might simply dislike a certain gender or sexual orientation instead of believing that a certain gender or sexual orientation is inferior.

Misogyny is used to refer to any case in which women face discrimination.
Misogyny is used to refer to any case in which women face discrimination.

Racial discrimination can lead to limited housing opportunities, unemployment, and much more for the discriminated race. This type of discrimination is often based on physical appearance; for example, a landlord might refuse to rent to people with dark skin. While this type of discrimination is rarely seen in some jurisdictions, it is rampant in others.

There is also disability discrimination, which is where a qualified but disabled person applies for a job and is turned down because of the disability. Being denied based on a disability is normally not considered discriminatory if the disability prevents the disabled applicant from performing necessary job tasks, however. While disability discrimination usually refers to actions taken by an employer, there are also other ways to discriminate against the disabled.

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Discussion Comments


@literally45-- I'm Middle Eastern and I hear this a lot. And I know that many people think that it is because of Islam. But I don't agree.

Islam doesn't condone discriminating against women. Some parts of the Qur'an are often interpreted that way but I don't believe that any religious text gives a justification for discriminating against and mistreating women. I blame it on the patriarchal culture of the Middle East which gives more value to men. I think that sometimes men take advantage of religious beliefs to continue to discriminate against women. So the blame ends up going to the religion, especially in the international arena. But that's not the case, not in my view.


Gender discrimination is sill an issue in the US. Women still get paid less than men for the same jobs. We can definitely do a lot better and hopefully we will. But compared to some other countries, like countries in the Middle East, women are treated far more equally here.


Discrimination over sexual orientation has been a huge issue of debate. It had been an issue for a while, but with new laws passing in some states on same-sex marriage after 2010, these issues really came to the forefront. There are people who are completely against discriminating based on sexual orientation, while others have the exact opposite opinion.

I personally don't support same-sex marriage and I don't approve of homosexuality or bisexuality. But I do believe in equality and I believe that everyone has the right to be treated with respect and given the same opportunities. These are the principles upon which this country was established and to deny the same would be against the very essence of America.

When I see something that's contrary to my religious beliefs or morals, I understand that it is so, but I leave it to God to deal with it. I don't think we have the right to judge others, that right belongs to the one who created us. Our responsibility is to treat others the same as we would like to be treated and to be just and fair.

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    • Gender discrimination is accepted in some countries.
      By: Claus Mikosch
      Gender discrimination is accepted in some countries.
    • Misogyny is used to refer to any case in which women face discrimination.
      By: imtmphoto
      Misogyny is used to refer to any case in which women face discrimination.