Monetary standard or system based on the use of two metals, traditionally gold and silver, rather than one (monometallism). In the 19th century, a bimetallic system defined a nation's monetary unit by law in terms of fixed quantities of gold and silver (thus automatically establishing a rate of exchange between the two metals). The system provided a free and unlimited market for the two metals, imposed no restrictions on the use and coinage of either metal, and made all other money in circulation redeemable in either gold or silver. Because each nation independently set its own rate of exchange between the two metals, the resulting rates of exchange often differed widely from country to country. When the ratio of the official prices proved different from the ratio of prices in the open market, Gresham's law operated in such a way that coins of only one metal remained in circulation. A monometallic system using the gold standard proved more responsive to changes in supply and demand and was widely adopted after 1867. Seealso exchange rate; silver standard.
Learn more about bimetallism with a free trial on Britannica.com.
When judicial processes are applied more strictly to some people than others, such double standards are seen as unjust because they violate a basic maxim of modern legal jurisprudence: that all parties should stand equal before the law. Double standards also violate the principle of justice known as impartiality, which is based on the assumption that the same standards should be applied to all people, without regard to subjective bias or favoritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity, gender or other distinction. A double standard violates this principle by holding different people accountable according to different standards.
There is a distinction to be made between double standards and hypocrisy, which implies the stated or presumed acceptance of a single standard a person claims to hold himself or herself accountable to, but which in practice may be disregarded. For example: a man who believes it is his right to have extramarital affairs, but that his wife does not have such a right holds a double standard. A man who publicly condemns extramarital affairs while maintaining his mistress is a hypocrite.
Identity, Peer Relationships, and Adolescent Girls' Sexual Behavior: An Exploration of the Contemporary Double Standard
Sep 01, 2011; The double standard is a well-recognized cultural phenomenon. However, some researchers have suggested that gendered sexual...