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PSYC 3480 (233)
Chapter 14

PSYC 3480 Chapter 14: ch 14

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Chapter 14 “Women and Older Adulthood” — middle age begins around 40, old age around 60-65 — avg lifespan of w in north america is 80 Attitudes toward older women Ageism: bias based on age (mostly towards elderly people) .. many old w show ageism Older women and the media - older w invisible in media .. if do, age concealing products Double standard of aging — judge old w harsher than M PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS - ppl evaluate old w with less positive stereotypes than old m POTENTIALAS ROMANTIC PARTNER — aging w not desirable sex partner.. expected to show minimal interest in sex — lesbians report negative reactions when one partner older — old w downgraded when: how pleasant s/o is, whiter they would enjoy interacting w person — old m downgraded in judgements about competence Cross cultural Views of older women - some cultures, woman’s power > w age and are quite powerful (Nigeria) - China: elderly women show less memory decline where positive attitude toward old w - Hong kong, japan, south korea: judge elders as warm, good natured but not intelligent or competent Older women, retirement, and financial problems Planning for retirement - w retire bc personal health problems, appeal of free time, take care of relatives w health problems, fired when company downsizing - w < m to seek info about retirement benefits bc assume husband will be responsible Adjusting to retirement - some welcome retirement as chance to relax, pursue new interests, volunteer, social justice issues, hang w friends - w experience > retirement problems … need > time to adapt (to feel comfortable enjoying projects w/o guilt for being selfish) bc w < income so financial problems, > household work, professional w miss identity …. usually depends on reasons for retirement (if for self > fun, if for others.. to take care of sick relatives < enjoyable) Financial issues — men receive > in social security benefits (> income), not many w have pension plan - middle aged w have unexpected layoffs w/o source of income - w not compensated for work at home - w divorced/widowed so limited financial resources - w live longer so total savings have to spread across > years - w > chronic illnesses.. expenses of treatment & med Menopause: stop having period for 12 months … ovaries produce < estrogen & progesterone, ages 45-55 avg 51 Physical changes during menopause - hot flash: sensation of heat coming from w/in body, may be accompanied w heavy perspiration which can disrupt sleep.. intensity and frequency usually decreases after 1-2 years - osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, thinness of walls, headaches, urinary symptoms, fatigue Why hormone replacement therapy is no longer common Hormone replace therapy: combination of estrogen & progestin to relieve physical symptoms of mena — increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, blood clots, breast cancer but reduced risk of hip fracture but not enough to offset risks - now encourage W to eat healthy and exercise Contemporary attitudes about menopause - assume menopause has led to crazy mood swings, no sexual desire - when menopause mentioned, more negative attitudes: menopausal women < likely to have hobbies, be attractive, express > neg emotions Women’s psychological reactions to menopause - glad dont have period, no depression, life event that encourages to evaluate life and decide whether to change directions, may feel out of control - WOC: african- most positive, european & latina- intermediate, asian american - least positive - > positive if old w valued in culture Social relationships in older women’s lives Family relationships OLDER W AS DAUGHTERS - sandwich generation: middle aged ppl, esp w, w
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