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Study finds that discrimination varies by gender and race
Date:4/2/2008

Men are more likely to tolerate discrimination than women, however both sexes tend to accept prejudice against poorly educated immigrants and Arab-American airplane travelers, according to a study by the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics.

In a survey of more than 3,300 people, researchers at USC Gould School of Law and USC College found that both men and women are less willing to tolerate discrimination against the genetically disadvantaged. The study, to be published in June in Political Research Quarterly, also found tolerance levels between the sexes vary depending on whether or not their response is anonymous: men tend to understate, and women to overstate, their tolerance for discrimination when speaking to a live interviewer, as opposed to answering questions over the Internet.

Edward J. McCaffery, a USC law professor, who co-authored the study, said that an individual who sees nothing wrong with certain kinds of biases will often find others objectionable.

Many political struggles of our time, in the United States as elsewhere, amount to clashes over the appropriate boundary between permissible and impermissible forms of discrimination, McCaffery said. We have found that, while discrimination in its traditional forms based on race and gender may be receding somewhat, discrimination in other domains, as based on appearance, persists. Here we found that people are more willing to accept discrimination against poorly educated immigrants, for example, than so-called genetic discrimination. Men are more willing to accept discrimination, but both men and women converge when we did a telephone survey and there was a live interviewer women became more, and men less, openly tolerant of discrimination.

Respondents to both a telephone and an online survey were presented with five scenarios, each of which dealt with a form of discrimination targeting a distinct class of individuals: Arab-American airplane
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Contact: Suzanne Wu
suzanne.wu@usc.edu
213-740-0252
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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