Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Double standard
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Double standard

A double standard is an ethical rule applied more stringently to one party than to others. Such an application is generally viewed as hypocrisy, but is more often condemned in the abstract, if it is condemned at all, while being simultaneously excused in the particular. When accused of using a double standard, advocates of that particular line of thinking typically either deny such an application altogether or claim that there are special, over-riding concerns which justify such an approach.

A traditional example in many societies is adultery, if it is socially more acceptable for a husband than a wife to have a lover. Similarly a man who has sex with many different women may be considered a "stud", while a woman who has sex with may different men may be considered a "slut" or a "whore".

In the context of religion many argue that accusations of blasphemy are an especially common example of double standard in that the very concept of blasphemy relies on applying or seeking to apply different standards to the theology seeking protection than to other, matters.

Specific political examples are harder to give, because almost no one, be they liberal or conservative, will admit to hypocrisy, although both sides are quick to point fingers at the "liberal media" or "conservative media" for giving a "pass" to one side of the political spectrum while virtually slandering the other.