What is Ageism?
Ageism is discrimination against and stereotyping of groups or individuals because of their age. It can be either systematic or casual. Physician and psychiatrist Robert Neil Butler first used the term in 1969 to refer to discrimination against older people, similar to racism and sexism. He defined it as a mixture of three related elements: prejudice toward the aging process, old age and older people; discriminatory practices aimed at old people; and institutional policies and practices that continue or reinforce stereotypes regarding the old people. Although the term has been applied to treatment of children and teens, it primarily is used in reference to old people.