Definition: Sex discrimination refers to behavior toward or consideration of people on the basis of whether they are male or female, usually referring to unfair treatment. The term sex discrimination is most often used to mean behavior that leaves members of one sex at a disadvantage. Discriminatory decisions based solely on sex do not consider the skills or individual merit of the people involved.
Sex discrimination was outlawed by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That U.S. law prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Later in the 20th century, it became increasingly common to discuss “gender discrimination” both in addition to and instead of “sex discrimination.”
- Sexism, which can mean either the discriminatory behavior or the belief system behind sex discrimination