What is double standards?

The Double standards Is the application of different sets of principles for similar situations. That is, it is behavior that some people are expected to follow or achieve, and other people do not.

A double standard may take the form of an instance in which certain concepts (often, for example, a word, phrase, social norm or rule) are perceived as acceptable to be applied by a group of people, but are considered unacceptable- Taboo when applied by another group.

Double standards

Therefore, it can be described as a partial or morally unfair application of the principle that all are equal in their freedoms. These double standards are considered unjustified because they violate a basic maxim of modern jurisprudence: that all parties must be equal before the law.

Double standards also violate the principle of justice known as impartiality, which is based on the assumption that the same rules should apply to all people, regardless of subjective bias or favoritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity , Sex, religion, sexual orientation, age or other distinctions.

It is present in practically all areas, in political sciences, journalism, economics, social sciences and others, which means that daily events reflect different attitudes and assessments according to interests, pressures, preconceptions, emotional state and Many other factors.

Double morals in politics

A double moral policy is a situation in which international relations evaluate the same phenomenon, process, or event, depending on the character of the relations between the estimating parties and the elements under evaluation.

The double standard in politics is widely used as an instrument of pressure by public opinion. The action of a country may have at one point support and justification, and that of another country be condemned and punished, even if it is identical.

The following phrase became an example of a policy of double standards:"The terrorist of one man is the fighter of another man's freedom." Gerald Seymour, in his work Harry's Game (1975).

One of the typical manifestations of the policy of double morality is the use of terms with a significantly different connotation for the same objects, actions or phenomena, depending on convenience. For example:

• Spy - Intelligence Agent

  • Occupy - Release (depends on which troops have entered the country)
    • Informers
    • Separatism - National Liberation Movement
    • Intervention - Military aid
    • Cowardice - Caution

Double gender morality

A growing awareness of the changing roles of women was evident in the 1920s. It was not only that women were now able to vote but that, according to some authors, an assault was being made against the principle of male supremacy.

Since that time, and despite all the advances towards gender equality, there is what is called the double gender morality, and is generally used to refer to the application of different moral norms for each sex. Certain rules and principles are accommodated unequally or conveniently, because many people still expect different things from men and women.

According to a study by Marks and Fraley (2007), people are more likely to exhibit a sexual double standard when asked to make judgments against a group. In their research, they asked participants to assess a situation first individually and then assigned to three groups of people of the same sex.

The groups arrived to assess the situation and reached a consensus on the statements, which showed a double standard. However, this did not arise in the individual evaluations, it was only evident when they were accompanied. Once the group evaluation was carried out, an individual evaluation was returned, where it was evident that the group's opinion influenced its new responses, and in which a double standard was evidenced.

The authors of the study think that it is possible for people to have their own deep moral convictions independently, but in the context of a group they are pressured and influenced. However, it seems reasonable to assume that not all men and women exhibit double standards in the same degree and that the characteristics of people, such as their personality traits, may play a role in their judgments about others.

Example of double gender morality:

Promiscuous men are considered virile, while promiscuous women are considered prostitutes.

Men have more time to decide if they want to have a child, while women are usually pressured to have them young.

Although many women believe in gender equality, they do not consider marrying men who earn less than women.

Double moral of the aging

Attractiveness represents an important component in the individual, as a potential mating partner. Perceptions of attractiveness are expected to vary according to age-related changes in health, reproductive value, and power.

The principle of double standards can be applied to age, among many other distinctions. This phenomenon is called"double morality of aging"and prevails more in women 35-55 years.

It is a complicated process that takes into account the gender of the observer and the observed, as well as the social context of the situation.

When judging a person with no one around, both men and women will judge differently than they judge the same person when they are in a group. The physical changes that women undergo through the process of aging affect much more how they are perceived, than the changes that men experience.

Empirical support

As illustrated in a study by Berman, O'Nan, and Floyd, it is likely that a woman will be judged more strongly in a private social environment by both men and women than in a group social environment.

In a separate study by Deutisch, Zalenski and Clark, in all age groups studied, there was a double standard on the subject of aging.

Both men and women were found to be less attractive as they age. However, the difference in attractiveness ratings due to age was much higher for women than for men.

This study also found a difference in judgment, in terms of masculinity and femininity. For men, as they age their appeal was judged slightly, and on the judgment of masculinity there was no change.

Women, on the other hand, were judged much less attractive with age, as well as being less feminine.

Parents in the formation of double standards

Researches such as Axinn and Thornton (1993) or Barbero (2000), point to the assertion that parents' attitudes have a particularly powerful force in shaping their children's behaviors with respect to sex, coexistence , Marriage and motherhood.

These same authors show that men and women respond in a manner similar to their parents' attitudes, so there are no substantial gender differences in correlation with parental attitudes and the subsequent behavior of children.

Many scholars argue that the inequality of treatment of men and women can be traced back to childhood, suggesting that gender differences, which are later observed in life, are the direct result of the different behaviors, attitudes and expectations that Are maintained for boys and girls.

Throughout childhood, it is observed that historically defined male behaviors tend to be forced or allowed on children, and more feminine behaviors are encouraged in girls.

According to Thornton and Young-DeMarco (2001), in the 1990s, despite the previous three decades of social change toward more permissive attitudes about sex and more egalitarian attitudes towards the role of men and women, they found that There was a strong double standard on gender.

It seems, according to the authors, that the norms of behavior that parents prefer have not changed, nor have they been eradicated towards more permissive and egalitarian changes.

For example, we document the trends that parents prefer their daughters to marry at a younger age than their children.

Possible reasons for a double standard

1- Beliefs

Generally human beings do not think rationally when it comes to their personal beliefs, and instead of testing or questioning them, when faced with a contradiction, they look for excuses to stay connected to them.

2- Emotional Attachments

Emotional attachment may be another reason. People can judge a person for doing something wrong, but if that person likes it, they try to find excuses to justify it.

3- Avoid future judgments

They prefer not to accuse others of doing things wrong, so that in the future they will excuse them if they do the same thing.

4- Self-deception

A person can lie to himself to reinforce a lie and thus achieve a certain goal.

5- Justify actions

When a person feels guilty because he did something wrong, double standards can be a very useful way of thinking about cases that justify their actions.

6- Selective Memory

Human memory is highly selective. A person may choose not to remember something he did and then point to another by a similar act, without feeling remorse.

7- Race

Race can promote double standards. A person may judge a particular race, but be more forgiving when it comes to his own.

8- Selfishness

A selfish person can have a double standard, because he usually thinks better than others.

Famous Phrases on Double Morality

  1. "I do not like to hear you speak of all women as if they were fine ladies, rather than rational creatures. None of us wants to be in calm waters all our lives." Jane Austen.
  2. "It is forbidden to kill; Therefore, all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and with the sound of trumpets." - Voltaire.
  1. "As long as she thinks like a man, no one objects to the thought of a woman." Virginia Woolf.
  2. "We can not negotiate with people who say what is mine is mine and what is yours is negotiable."John F. Kennedy
  3. "For the powerful, crimes are what others commit."Noam Chomsky.
  4. "Perhaps there is no phenomenon that contains so much destructive feeling as"moral indignation,"which allows envy or hatred to act under the guise of virtue."Erich Fromm.
  5. "If a man is very sexual he is manly, if a woman is, she is a nymphomaniac. With them is power, but with us is a disease. Even the sexual act is called penetration. Why do not you call it an enclosure? "Gemma Hatchback.
  6. "Woman is the most fragile, or even more offensive vessel, woman is a divine creature... a woman is an ordinary human being as much as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with the same right to the tastes and preferences of An individual."Dorothy L. Sayers
  7. "They are all innocent until proven otherwise. But not me. I am a liar until I am proved innocent." Louise O'Neill
  8. "Wherever there is a great man, there is a great mother or a great wife behind him, or so he said. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great parents and husbands behind them." Dorothy L. Sayers.
  9. The"barbarian"of one person is that of another person because he is"doing what everyone else is doing."- Susan Sontag.
  10. "A beast will always enjoy the feast in a land full of sheep and wolves doing the work less hard."- Anuj Somany.


  1. Maestripieri, Klimczuk, Traficonte, and Wilson (2014). A major decline in female facial attractiveness during middle age reflects women's loss of reproductive value. Front Psychol. Retrieved from: hncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  2. Mary Harris, Growing Old Gracefully (1993). Age Concealment and Gender. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, Volume 49, Number 4, pages 149-158. Retrieved from: academic.oup.com.
  3. Marks, M.J., & Fraley, R.C. (2005). The sexual double standard: Fact or fiction. Sex roles. Pages 52, 175-186. Retrieved from: digitalcommons.iwu.edu.
  4. Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved from: dictionary.cambridge.org.
  5. William G. Axinn (2011). Double gender morality in parenting. Soc Sci Res. Retrieved from: sciencedirect.com.

Loading ..

Recent Posts

Loading ..