Discrimination is the prejudicial or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on his or her membership - or perceived membership - in a certain group or category. It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction, influencing the individual's actual behavior towards the group or the group leader, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making. Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices, and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world. In some places, controversial attempts such as racial quotas have been used to redress negative effects of discrimination—but have sometimes been called reverse discrimination themselves. Though gender discrimination refers to beliefs and attitudes in relation to the gender of a person, such beliefs and attitudes are of a social nature and do not, normally, carry any legal consequences. Gender discrimination, on the other hand, may have legal consequences. Though what constitutes gender discrimination varies between countries, the essence is that it is an adverse action taken by one person against another person that would not have occurred had the person been of another gender. Discrimination of that nature is considered a form of prejudice and in certain enumerated circumstances is illegal in many countries. Gender discrimination can arise in different contexts. For instance an employee may be discriminated against by being asked discriminatory questions during a job interview, or by an employer not hiring or promoting, unequally paying, or wrongfully terminating, an employee based on her (or his) gender. In an educational setting there could be claims that a student was excluded from an educational institution, program, opportunity, loan, student group, or scholarship because of her/his...
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