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A double standard is the application of different sets of principles for similar situations.[1]

It is most commonly seen as a decisive psychological tool used to defend one's ego or subconscious from the shortcomings of one's own set of values or contrasting principles.[2] It is the employment of a hypocritical and biased standpoint, with which to separate the seemingly bad in others from the bad in oneself by having two sets of rules for the same concept. Margaret Eichler, author of The Double Standard, explains that a double standard “implies that two things which are the same are measured by different standards” (Eichler 1980:15).


Gender double standardsEdit

A gender based double standard is considered a same behavior exhibited by a man or woman which is evaluated differently. Types of these judgements include sexual behaviors such as premarital-sex, in which there is a need to protect a daughter's sexual purity and not the son's. Other behaviors sometimes judged differently for each gender include dating, cohabitation, age of marriage, extramarital sex, sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, hypergamy, bigamy, remarriage, and remaining single.


A double standard can develop in a person's mind for a multitude of reasons including; finding an excuse for oneself, emotions clouding judgement, twisting facts to support beliefs such as confirmation biases, cognitive biases, attraction biases, prejudices, or the need to be right. Human beings have a tendency to evaluate the actions of the people they interact with based on who did them.


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 one group of people, but are considered unacceptable—taboo—when applied by another group. A double standard can therefore be described as a biased or morally unfair application of the principle that all are equal in their freedoms. Such double standards are seen as unjustified because they violate a basic maxim of modern legal jurisprudence: that all parties should stand equal before the law. Double standards also violate the principle of justice known as impartiality, which is based on the assumption that the same standards should be applied to all people, without regard to subjective bias or favoritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, or other distinctions. A double standard violates this principle by holding different people accountable according to different standards.


A policy of double standards is a situation when the assessment of the same phenomenon, process or event in the international relations depends on character of the relations of the estimating parties with assessment objects. At identical intrinsic filling of action of one country get support and a justification, and other – is condemned and punished.[citation needed]

The following phrase became an example of policy of double standards: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter",[3] entered into use by the British writer Gerald Seymour in his work Harry's Game in 1975.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Double standard"
  2. ^ "double standard Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  3. ^ Satish Chandra Pandey. International Terrorism and the Contemporary World. Sarup & Sons, 2006. С. 17.

Further readingEdit