Ageism is manifested in many ways, some explicit, some implicit, such as the presumption that older persons are undesirable, because of the values embraced by society that youth is better and more flattering, in terms of looks, ideals, freshness, etc. Part of the problem that people who are confronted with ageism face, almost mirror the terms “has-been,” “stale,” and “out of date.”
Ageist attitudes are perpetuated in popular culture with birthday cards, lamenting age advancement, as well as the negative images of older adults in advertisements and on TV programs, and the widespread use of demeaning language about old age. Simply the word “old,” connotates unflattering colloquialisms such as "geezer," "old fogey," "old maid," "dirty old man," and "old goat."
In the workplace, institutions frequently reinforce ageist stereotypes by not hiring or promoting older workers. In our society, The American health care system focuses on acute care and cure rather than chronic care which most older adults need. The government engages in ageism by way of federal laws such as a higher federal poverty standard for older persons, job training targeted for younger age groups and the use of state welfare funds which are often targeted at children and adolescents.
Underlying the attitudes, are myths and stereotypes about old age which are deeply entrenched in American society.
On a social level, in terms of dating and relationships, it is unusual that a male, for example, finds much worth or value in “older women.” And when they do find that an older woman is appealing, she usually resembles a woman much younger than she actually is, or there is some financial or other type of gain, associated with the younger man’s interest in the older woman.
And yet, of course, the ultimate double standard, since time began, of men dating, involving themselves, and marrying, women young enough sometimes, to be their granddaughters, continues, without so much as an eyebrow raise....
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