The most common form of prejudice in the world

• The most common type of prejudice in the world

Today on our planet lives more than 600 million people over the age of sixty years. According to forecasts, by 2025 this number will double. Science and medicine are constantly striving to extend human life, but surprisingly little is being done to explore attitudes towards aging as such and to the elderly. This is especially true with regard to age discrimination or ageism, which, according to some, is the most common form of prejudice.

The most common form of prejudice in the world

Unfortunately, the true extent of this phenomenon is difficult to assess, for the simple reason that this topic has been devoted very little research. Last month, a review of scientific papers published, which showed that the study of the question of how many people hold eydzhistskih beliefs, lead to contradictory results, but even the most modest figures may shock: figures range from 50 - These data were obtained in Sri Lanka in a survey among students of medical schools, which train nurses - to 100 percent, the survey showed more than 300 people in the United States. However, it should be noted that not all the prejudices were negative. Thus, the majority of US respondents said that they do not judge people by their age, but at the same time, their responses indicated the presence eydzhistskih beliefs and stereotypes.

"Ageism now considered the most common form of prejudice, - says study co-author Donna Wilson - and the problem is that we do not even realize how it is spread and how far its impact on society." Often people with eydzhistkimi beliefs may be guided by good intentions, but the effect of ageism is not as harmless as it may seem. For example, a survey conducted in 2001 showed that more than 77 per cent of older people believe that in varying degrees, suffer from discrimination based on age, which ranges from unpleasant jokes about age to unacceptable treatment by doctors.

Moreover, young people with negative views eydzhitskimi can grow up to be one elderly with the same views, and these lessons lifelong beliefs can lead, according to a study at Yale University, to disastrous consequences. Researchers found that older people who have a negative attitude to aging, most likely will live an average of 7, 5 years less than those who viewed aging in a more positive light.

Part of the problem may lie in the fact that by ageism are not only well tolerated, but often do not notice. This leads to the fact that many of its forms are generally considered normal. According to Laura Robbins in an article for the American Association on Aging: "We can not even imagine the" anti-women "or" anti-African-American "products, but in the country advertised and sold anti-aging creams and other cosmetic products to many billions of dollars.

Robbins also points out that even the simple definition of "elderly" can be considered eydzhistskim. "Older people - a category that covers about 40 years of life, from about 60 to 100 years of age or older. Our society will never unite 10-year-old and 50-year-old in the same category, but easily integrates the elderly, based on the fact that the 60-year-old - it's the same thing as 100-year-old. " Fortunately, some work to eradicate this harmful trend is still underway. In 2012, eight major non-profit organizations have joined forces to discuss the most effective ways to combat ageism. Since then, they are working hard on in order to rethink many of the questions and preconceived beliefs associated with aging and ageism. However, these efforts have the desired effect, people should do everything they can, at the individual level.

One of the ways to get involved in the fight against age discrimination - to reconsider their own beliefs. In the aforementioned review eydzhistskih American belief states that, according to many people, to tell someone that he or she looks younger than his age, or to praise them for what they keep well in spite of old age - this is a positive behavior.

However, as the researchers noted, it speaks of the deep-rooted notion that old age is essentially something negative. Similarly, you can recognize the logical, when the doctor believes that the human disease linked to his advanced age, however, is devoid of scientific meaning: on its own chronological age does not cause disease, and this belief may hide the real problem. Every person is valuable, and prejudice against older people actually shrug off their real contribution to society.