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The term double standard, coined in the early 1950s, refers to any set of principles containing different provisions for one group of people than for another.[1] A double standard may take the form of an instance in which certain applications (often of a word or phrase) are perceived as acceptable to be used by one group of people, but are considered unacceptable—taboo—when used by another group.

For example, it is often seen as socially acceptable for a member of a cultural group to jokingly call members of the same group by an ethnically derogatory name; however, anyone outside this ethnic group is viewed as intolerant or discriminatory when he/she calls a member of the group by that same derogatory name. Double standards between the sexes is also very common in many cultures[2].

A double standard, thus, can be described as a sort of biased, morally unfair suspension (toward a certain group) of the principle that all are equal in their freedoms. Such double standards are seen as unjustified because they violate a basic maxim of modern legal jurisprudence: that all parties should stand equal before the law. Double standards also violate the principle of justice known as impartiality, which is based on the assumption that the same standards should be applied to all people, without regard to subjective bias or favoritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or other distinction. A double standard violates this principle by holding different people accountable according to different standards. The proverb "life is not fair" is often invoked in order to mollify concerns over double standards.

There is a distinction to be made between double standards and hypocrisy, which implies the stated or presumed acceptance of a single standard a person claims to hold himself or herself accountable to, but which, in practice, may be disregarded.

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The term double standard, coined in 1912,[1] refers to any set of principles containing different provisions for one group of people than for another, typically without a good reason for having said difference.[2] A double standard may take the form of an instance in which certain applications (often of a word or phrase) are perceived as acceptable to be used by one group of people, but are considered unacceptable—taboo—when used by another group.

A double standard, thus, can be described as a sort of biased, morally unfair suspension (toward a certain group) of the principle that all are equal in their freedoms. Such double standards are seen as unjustified because they violate a basic maxim of modern legal jurisprudence: that all parties should stand equal before the law. Double standards also violate the principle of justice known as impartiality, which is based on the assumption that the same standards should be applied to all people, without regard to subjective bias or favoritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or other distinction. A double standard violates this principle by holding different people accountable according to different standards. The proverb "life is not fair" is often invoked in order to mollify concerns over double standards.

There is a distinction to be made between double standards and hypocrisy, which implies the stated or presumed acceptance of a single standard a person claims to hold himself or herself accountable to, but which, in practice, may be disregarded.

See also

References

  1. ^ DeVinney, Gemma; and Don Hartman. "Electronic Word Sleuthing". UB Reporter, Volume 32, Number 6, September 28, 2000. University at Buffalo. Retrieved on February 15, 2010
  2. ^ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/double%20standard

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