Age discrimination

By Luc Loranhe

Many countries have passed legislation that prohibits the discrimination of other people on the basis of race. For this reason, the race of a person is not recorded in his passport, or birth certificate, or anywhere else. Actually, it is usually not officially established at all.

Now the time has come to outlaw the discrimination because of age, especially because of advancing age. No, I am not concerned with whether I as a person of advancing age will be allowed on young-only public means of transport, or whether I will make it past the doorman in the modern equivalent of the color bar, the young-only disco.

My concern isn't even the discrimination of those with an advancing age when they apply for work (though one could make a strong case here). My concern is the discrimination as it relates to a person's sexual market value. That one starts to decline when one is in the end 20s for a man, and even earlier for a woman. Even if you look 20 years younger because of successful cosmetic surgery and other interventions, once your true age is revealed, your sexual market value plummets, especially in a modern rich society.

Therefore, some radical anti-age discrimination measures should be implemented: the age of a person should not be recorded in his passport, and not even should a date of birth be indicated on a so-called birth certificate. In fact, the age of a person should not be officially established.

A person's maturity should be established not by counting years, but by a physical and psychological assessment. A corresponding test should be available to take for any person at any time. To establish identity and nationality, they can, if they want to, device a genetic fingerprint that is integrated with a citizenship document such as a passport. Not that it should be stored for other purposes on government computers. It should really just match a person to a specific nationality.

A person's age should never be asked for any official transaction so that anybody really can either say "I don't know" or "I'm 23", just as anybody nowadays can claim to be of mixed French-Albanian-Malay-Bantu ancestry. Who cares?

Sooner or later, people will then no longer attribute any value to age specifications. And a person's sexual market value will depend on more salient features, such as looks, brains, and wealth.


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1 Laurie A. Rudman, Janell C. Fetterolf, Diana T. Sanchez, What Motivates the Sexual Double Standard? More Support for Male Versus Female Control Theory, Department of Psychology, Tillett Hall, Rutgers University New Brunswick, 53 Avenue E, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8040, USA

2 Adela de la Torre, Arthur Havenner, Katherine Adams, Justin Ng, Premium sex: Factors influencing the negotiated price of unprotected sex by female sex workers in Mexico, Journal of Applied Economics Volume 13, Issue 1, May 2010, Pages 6790