Ageism and Sexism:
This is last class looking at targets of discrimination: two forms of bias or prejudice: bias towards
people aof a certain age or bias directed towards gender.
Ageism: what is evidence of ageism, where does it come from and what are the fefcts of holding
ageist self stereotypes …how it affects you. Ageism is that one day you are going to be old, but
what does it mean when you hold these stereotypes today?
Sexism: bias against women, effects of it and moderant forms of sexism: ambivalent and
Ageism and Sexism
Iclicker: People are very overt in saying I prefer the young dudes. This is scary as ageism in
society does exist but it is in certain industries. In law, bar at old is at 35. Young people grew up
with computers, internet is more active, someone who is 45 does not have these same type of
skills, but totally wrong. Someone who was 50 was a head of 3 or 4 multimillion dollar
companies in IT.
In some industries it is more prevalent than other industries.
In academia, its also very different. You hit your peak in academia when you are 50.
Ageism: what do we mean by ageism: stereotypes prejudice and discrimination based on age.
Unlike other isms; you don’t have to scratch too deep to find it. White woman in a car, say it
says black women should stick towards hitting on black women. In this case, ageism is
acceptable; you can make fun of older people.
Ageism occurs and it manifests, can apply to older people; can also apply to younger people.
Between 18 and 20, you are not growing anymore, but maturity, you are a full adult physically
and mentally, yet we still have rules about what young people can or cannot do. In the US, army
age is 21, but they cannot drink alcohol. This is ageism, but it is usually to older people. How
you define old, depends on what field you are looking at. When we study elderly, it is important
and studying ageism is more generally important. Because of large amount of people turning
old, number of people considered elderly will be double soon, and so it is important to know how
attitudes about older people affect them and how doe sit affect you as an older person.
Ageism unlike other prejudices, elderly are outgroup that at one day were the ingroup. So
having ideas today, how does it affect your attitudes you when you grow old. These attitudes
can affect how long you live, how healthy you are.
How does ageism occur? How does it manifest itself: Patronizing language, baby talk, and infantalization, condescending
treatment and physical and mental treatment, overaccomodation. Proff’s wife’s grandfathers
passed away a while ago and he looked frail. Proff felt like he had to speak more slowly, he was
not hard of hearing and had his wits with him. So his attitude was infantilized, and this attitude
comes out even when you are trying to be nice to older people. Say you are 70 years old, and
you have a genetic makeup that you have a lot of wrinkles, say you lost most of your hair and to
someone young, you look ancient, and when you learnt to walk whenyou are 2, and you are still
able to walk, yet when you go to some busy downtown corner, and out of nowhere, a boy scout
comes about and walks you across the street, This is very nice, but it makes you feel like you’re
a child and makes you feel like someone is looking down at you, and you start feeling
deteriorating, can’t remember, and this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and you really do start
self selecting and forgetting things. So you have different attitudes about the elderly. This also
depends on culture to culture.
One study looked at a pattern of ageism. Perdue and Gurtman, 1990, people might not answer