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Red-haired children need more protection from gingerism and prejudice, a human rights charity has claimed.

Bullying people for their barnet was not ‘harmless banter’ and leads to abuse and suicide, Equalities and Human Rights UK said.

They said the discrimination has been present for thousands of years across the world but was ‘particularly acute’ in Britain.

It comes after a teaching assistant was fired for bullying including one case where he joked about a child’s hair colour.

Red-haired children need more protection from gingerism and prejudice, a human rights charity has claimed. Pictured: Actress Karen Gillan

Red-haired children need more protection from gingerism and prejudice, a human rights charity has claimed. Pictured: Actress Karen Gillan

Red-haired children need more protection from gingerism and prejudice, a human rights charity has claimed. Pictured: Actress Karen Gillan

Bullying people for their barnet was not 'harmless banter' and leads to abuse and suicide, Equalities and Human Rights UK said. Pictured: Harry Potter star Rupert Grint

Bullying people for their barnet was not 'harmless banter' and leads to abuse and suicide, Equalities and Human Rights UK said. Pictured: Harry Potter star Rupert Grint

Bullying people for their barnet was not ‘harmless banter’ and leads to abuse and suicide, Equalities and Human Rights UK said. Pictured: Harry Potter star Rupert Grint

They said the discrimination has been present for thousands of years across the world but was 'particularly acute' in Britain. Pictured: Ed Sheeran

They said the discrimination has been present for thousands of years across the world but was 'particularly acute' in Britain. Pictured: Ed Sheeran

They said the discrimination has been present for thousands of years across the world but was ‘particularly acute’ in Britain. Pictured: Ed Sheeran

Another famous redhead, Julianne Moore, is pictured in New York City in November

Another famous redhead, Julianne Moore, is pictured in New York City in November

Another famous redhead, Julianne Moore, is pictured in New York City in November

CEO of Equalities and Human Rights UK Chrissy Meleady slammed the idea of it being a ‘laugh to belittle, demean and abuse’ red-haired children.

She claimed it can be ‘very harmful stripping these children of their positive self-identity and confidence’ and could lead to ‘trying to die by suicide’.

She told the Sheffield Star: ‘Bullying red-haired people is one of the last socially accepted forms of prejudice against people for a trait they were born with, researchers say.

‘It’s not ‘harmless banter’ researchers say, due to the consequences and adverse impact of the bullying.

‘Whilst it might be seen as a laugh to belittle, demean and abuse these children for being red haired or their phenotyical characteristic, it can be very harmful stripping these children of their positive self-identity and confidence and worse it can lead to school refusal, health problems, self-injurious behaviour and even children wanting and trying to die by suicide.’

CEO of Equalities and Human Rights UK Chrissy Meleady (pictured) slammed the idea of it being a 'laugh to belittle, demean and abuse' red-haired children

CEO of Equalities and Human Rights UK Chrissy Meleady (pictured) slammed the idea of it being a 'laugh to belittle, demean and abuse' red-haired children

CEO of Equalities and Human Rights UK Chrissy Meleady (pictured) slammed the idea of it being a ‘laugh to belittle, demean and abuse’ red-haired children

Ms Meleady told how a family physically abused their baby for its her ginger hair because they thought it was the ‘mark of the devil’.

She said another was thrown down the stairs and was hit with a brick by other girls during bullying.

She added: ‘There needs to be more done to protect red haired children, not just from gingerism or anti-red haired prejudice and abuse from other children, but from school and other settings members who model the bullying and abuses to red haired children.’

Last week a teaching assistant from St Wilfrid’s Primary School in Sheffield was dismissed from his job after 13 years over bullying complaints.

The man, who has not been named, allegedly ‘humiliated’ a young vulnerable boy when he gave him a girl’s name in the classroom.

He was also accused of searching the internet for ‘Gingerphobia’ during a lesson on Vikings, which saw a red-haired child teased by his friends.

Despite Ms Meleady’s claims, a study in October found redheads were enjoying more romantic encounters.

An October survey found redheads are enjoying more romantic encounters – perhaps because they are in greater demand. The study's authors noted that women with red hair – up to nine per cent of European females – 'tend to be the subject of various stereotypes about their sexually liberated behaviour' (file photo)

An October survey found redheads are enjoying more romantic encounters – perhaps because they are in greater demand. The study's authors noted that women with red hair – up to nine per cent of European females – 'tend to be the subject of various stereotypes about their sexually liberated behaviour' (file photo)

An October survey found redheads are enjoying more romantic encounters – perhaps because they are in greater demand. The study’s authors noted that women with red hair – up to nine per cent of European females – ‘tend to be the subject of various stereotypes about their sexually liberated behaviour’ (file photo)

The study’s authors noted women with red hair – up to nine per cent of European females – ‘tend to be the subject of various stereotypes about their sexually liberated behaviour’.

And in Britain, the report said, has more redheads than any other European country.

The Czech researchers wanted to find a connection between red hair and sexual behaviour, collecting data from 110 women (34 per cent red-headed) and 93 men (22 per cent).

The academics from Charles University, Prague, found redheaded women – but not men – reported greater sexual desire and activity over the past year.

Redheads had more sexual partners, ‘higher sexual submissiveness’ and started sex at a younger age.

The academics said: ‘The apparently more liberated sexual behaviour in redheaded women could be the consequence of frequent attempts of potential mates to have sex with redheaded women.’

Katerina Sykorova, who compiled the report, said: ‘The intensity of their sexual activity was relatively higher than the intensity of their sexual desire. 

‘This suggests that it is not the redheaded women’s own initiative but higher demand for them which might be responsible for their higher sexual activity and higher number of sexual partners.’

The study said redheadedness was determined by ‘the quantity, ratio, and distribution of the two main types of the pigment melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin’.

Source: Daily Mail

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