Discrimination and its effects
Discrimination is something that is felt by everyone. It spans across ages, races, genders, a type of spite that isolates and corals people into groups that seem to determine who they are and how they are seen. Although children are said to be open-minded, discriminatory behaviour can start even in early youth. This type of negativity can also affect the way that we see ourselves and the way that we look or are. At a time where mental health is increasingly volatile and discrimination can a large impact on that, it is an important thing to discuss.
Discrimination can be based on many different things, one of which is race. Surveys show that while roughly 30% of all people have experienced some form of discrimination, this number increases by 15% when the subjects are all black people meaning that 45% of black adults have experienced discrimination in their lives. Racial discrimination is a huge problem despite the 2010 Equality act within the UK that should stop all forms of discrimination, from direct discrimination to victimisation. This, however, is not a foolproof system. Only 82.6% of black people report discrimination and significantly less is reported by Latinx people at 64.2%. Even though both indicate that more than half of discrimination is reported, that still means that there is some that are not, which means people are getting away with discriminatory behaviour. Although discrimination has a greater effect on the mental health of white individuals than those who are black, researchers attribute this to the fact that they are raised to expect this type of treatment.
Discrimination is also common among people of the LGBTQ+ community. In 2008, a survey was found that of the lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who responded, 27% had experienced some form of sexual-orientation based discrimination in the five years prior to the survey. Not only that, but 7% had even lost a job because of their sexuality. 38% of openly lesbian, gay or bisexual individuals experienced at least one of the four types of discrimination. When surveyed separately in 2011, transgender people shared that 78% of them had experienced at least some form of mistreatment due to their gender identity. In a study done in California in 2009, 70% of transgender individuals experienced employment discrimination. Statistics that take the whole community into account state that one in ten LGBTQ+ individuals for houses and apartments because of their orientation. Additionally, within a year, 17% of LGBTQ+ were discriminated against in places such as cafes, nightclubs and restaurants as well as 28% who experienced discrimination in a place of worship or religion. This can be mentally damaging for those who experience it.
Discrimination can be very harmful to our own personal mental health, especially those who are vulnerable such as children. When children are discriminated against, it can cause several mentalities and habits to develop. Example of this are that they will struggle to reach their full potential and will have lower self-esteem than other children. As children are young and impressionable, this can become a part of their long term behaviour. Discrimination in adults has been known to lead to things such as increased stress, depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and mortality, meaning that it not only affects our mental health but also our physical health to the point where it can shorten our lives and even the quality of the life that we get to live.
It has been said that human life is one of the most improbable things in the world. All human life should be treated equally. Every life is precious and uncertain. For people to be treated with such cruelty as disrespect is wrong and the frequency of it in the real world is something horrifying. Humanity is all equal. We are all born naked.