Ageism: Is it acceptable in today's society?

Topics: Old age, Gerontology, Ageing Pages: 3 (867 words) Published: August 4, 2014
Ageism in Today’s Society: Is it Acceptable?
Why is society ageist? Research would indicate that we stereotype older people because we fear old age. We fear the loss of physical and mental ability, of attractiveness, learning power, status, and independence. We seek to distance ourselves from what we worry might be our own future when we are older and so we create what we fear. This is especially true for women.

Our ageist society can greatly effect and impact negatively on a woman’s self-perception as stereotypes about age is ingrained in us during youth and further reinforced by society and media. This is done through magazine ads, billboards, television, commercials, and movies, newspapers and videos. Women are the predominant victims of age discrimination and are burdened with the negative effects. It is very common that as women age they should try to retain a youthful appearance. The biggest negative impact that women deal with is a negative body image. “Body image is important to a woman’s self-concept and provides a basis for her own identity, for her ability to perform different activities, and for the goals she has set her for herself” (Unit 2, pg. 37). According to Tunaley, et al., (pg.743) women in our society continue to be valued for their sexual attractiveness and their physical appearance which they define as being crucial for attracting and maintaining a relationship with a male partner. A second example of how an ageist society can negatively impact a women’s self-perception is from the article “Ageing as a Feminist Issue” by Cherry Russell stating that “old women face a host of problems which include greater poverty, higher rates of aloneness, institutionalization, loneliness, disadvantage in work and remarriage, ill health and medicalization” (Unit 1, pg. 9). Even comparing different statistics on Stats Canada will show you that men generally do well and better in ageing. The lack of research that has been done on ageing women compared to...

Bibliography: Aging is a Woman’s Issue. (2013, May). In Study Guide and Course Manual:
Women and Aging Unit One, pg. 1-20.
Friedan, Betty. The Fountain of Age. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.
Society’s View on Older Women. (2013, May). In Study Guide and Course Manual:
Women and Aging Unit Two, pg. 21-40.
Tunaley, J. R., Walsh, S. and Nicolson, P. (November 1999). 'I 'm not bad for my age '; the meaning of body size and eating in the lives of older women. Aging and Society, 19(6), 741-759.
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