In human social affairs, discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction towards, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong. These include age, colour, convictions for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspended, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, genetic characteristics, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Discrimination consists of treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, "in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated". It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual's actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making.
Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, including in territories where discrimination is generally looked down upon. In some places, controversial attempts such as quotas have been used to benefit those who are believed to be current or past victims of discrimination—but they have sometimes been called reverse discrimination.
Lesbophobia is a term which describes prejudice, discrimination, harassment or abuse, either specifically targeting a lesbian woman, based on her lesbian identity, or, more generally, targeting lesbians as a class. It has also been defined as including "the fear that women have of loving other women, as well as the fear that men have of women not loving them."
Some lesbians use the more general term homophobia to describe this sort of prejudice or behavior, but others believe that the terms homosexual and homophobia do not adequately reflect the specific concerns of lesbians. In particular, some lesbians argue that they experience the double discrimination of both classic homophobia and sexism. The term lesbophobia then distinguishes lesbian-specific discrimination from the male gay experience.
One stereotype that has been identified as lesbophobic is the notion that female athletes are predominantly lesbians. Lesbophobia can also be found among gay men, manifest in the perceived subordination of lesbian issues in the campaign for gay rights