Gingerism in Utah: The Most Obscure Discrimination


Adam Durfee

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Brooke Lambert


There are many reasons people are discriminated against. Bodily appearance, clumsy acts, sexuality and race are a few. One reason that is often over looked is being a ginger; a person with red hair, light skin and freckles. In 2005 the TV show South Park came out with the episode "Ginger Kids" that said, among other things, that gingers were sick, evil, and had no souls. "You have no soul!" has become a common accusation directed towards redheads that is often viewed as acceptable in normal society, even at schools and work. This discrimination against redheads is often overlooked, ignored, or discounted because most redheads are white and part of a racial majority in the areas where they are persecuted. Even if it is acknowledged it is treated as a joke. In the state of Utah there are an above average amount of people with red hair. One reason could be that Utah was founded by the Mormons which encouraged religious migration to Utah from the northern European countries that have a larger than normal percentage of people carrying the redhead gene. Another reason could be that evolution is making the MC1R ("ginger") gene mutate more than average in order to help deal with northern Utah's cold and long winters. As there is a larger than average population of redheads in Utah and it is known that redheads often face discrimination, this poster will examine this question: is there gingerism at Utah State University? According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 no person shall be discriminated against because of the color of their skin. This poster will explore the available data and examine whether or not redheads do in fact face discrimination at Utah State University, and if there is discrimination, what can be done to prevent it?

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