Effects of Attitudes and Prejudices on People Who Use Services

People's attitudes and beliefs can be discriminating towards different groups of people.   Discrimination can be defined as the negative treatment taken towards or against a person of a certain group which can be on the basis of sex, religion, class, gender, race, marital status, beliefs, disability, and sexual orientation.   This is known as direct discrimination; for example, a female working in a male dominated environment is overlooked for a job promotion because of her gender.
In contrast, indirect discrimination occurs when there are rules, regulations or procedures in place that have a discriminatory effect on certain groups of people. This is a less obvious form of discrimination.   For example, a refuge which is for women fleeing domestic violence may choose to only employ female staff due to the sensitive nature of the work.
Attitudes and prejudices can affect professionals and services users. For example, care workers may be quick to make assumptions about the people they are caring for. It is important in any caring tasks that the views and feelings are considered continuously. That is, the carer should not stereotype people they are working with into one client group. For example, that all older people have difficulties with their memory and assume because they cannot remember, they cannot express their wishes. Similarly, misjudgements should not be made about people because of the way they look. For example, if a person is in a wheelchair, it cannot be assumed that they are unable to participate in sports or that they don't enjoy playing sports. Stereotyping is harmful when it becomes damaging to the other person. It is important that all care workers who work in health and social care settings do not hold prejudices or negative attitudes.