Age and Other Protected Characteristics

Age discrimination links to other forms of discrimination- 

  • Older people, especially older women are often on low incomes. This is caused by a combination of factors including the state pension not being linked to earnings and women being less likely to have occupational pensions of sufficient level.

  • Disability increases with age, especially visual impairment and blindness. In 2005, 78% of those registered blind or partially sighted in Scotland were over the age of 65.

  • Young people may be discriminated from exploring their sexuality by their family, at school or in hospital. Homosexual young people may be less likely to express their sexuality due to fear of discrimination from family, friends and other young people. This can lead to low self-esteem and serious long-term negative health effects e.g. attempted suicide.

  • Peer pressure can pressure young people into concealing their religious beliefs or practices, while overt symbols of faith make young people more likely to be victims of religious provocation.

  • Ageing may further reduce the ability to communicate for those for whom English is not their first language.

  • Teenage girls who live in areas of deprivation are three times more likely to become pregnant; terminations are less likely in poorer areas and young women are ten times more likely to become teenage mothers.

  • The health of older people in Scotland varies according to social circumstances. The gap in life expectancy between the most affluent and deprived communities has widened significantly in the last 20 years, particularly among males.

  • Death rates from unintentional injuries are three times higher for children living in most deprived sections of the population.
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