Stigma refers to the disapproval and shame felt by people exhibiting characteristics that society considers wrong or unusual. These characteristics may be related to racial or cultural identity, sexual identity, social status, physical appearance, disease or disability, or other personal traits. For example, unwed teenage mothers, ex-convicts, mental health patients, and obese people are all groups that face stigma. Members of these groups often experience stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination that can be difficult to overcome.

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