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PSYC 3480 (233)
Chapter 14

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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

1 Psychology of women Chapter 14 Women and older adulthood  Intro o Feminist research pays little attn to elderly women o As women live longer need to delve into their lives too  Attitudes toward older women o Ageism- bias on age  Negative emotions, discrimination, myths, stereotypes,  Treat them as children; don’t talk; don’t research o Believe the elders complain all too much o Many ageist assumption are false; studied less than racism and sexism  Older women and media o Missing from advertisements; don’t portray the real elder women of accomplishments o Underrepresented in movies,; 34% older than 40  Even though 54% of pop is in this stage o Men more represented  45% older than 40 ; 51% of pop fall in this age group o Age is only seen in magazines for age concealment o Not limited to recent yrs but common throughout literature, fairy tales...  Double standard of aging o Negative views ; then on women elderly even more o Double standard- wrinkles in man ok, in women no o Personality characteristics  Pics and stereotypes test showed how most show the negativity  Found larger drop in females in 2 conditions  Rated the target males and females on characteristics such as generosity and friendliness  And when ppl rated how willing they would talk with the person  When intelligence and memory tested; bigger drop for male targets than for females; ppl rated old men worse than younger men(but rated older women and younger women about the same)  Most women become optimistic about future aging; anticipated stability rather than change  Perceive negative stereotypes apply to other but not to selves o Potential as a romantic partner  Older women more critical than men about own bodies  Older men in films in a romantic lead 2  Ppl think older women younger men doesn’t work; even in lesbian relationship age gaps  Like men’s sexuality not elder woman’s  Stereotyped to be undesirable sex partners  Expected to show no sexual desire  Cross cultural views of older women o Some African countries like Nigeria and Kenya have more power in elderly women o Elder women showed little memory decline in china which has elderly high o Expectations may hurt their performance o In Japan, hk, south Korea they emphasize their qualities but not their intelligence o Hence modernization can bring abt change for worse  Older women retirement and financial problems o Intro  Invisible in media/research  45-65 65% employed; many out of home too o Planning for retirement  Personal health  Free time  Less likely to look up health benefits before retirement unlike men o Adjusting to retirement  Vary in reactions to retirement  Relax, pursue, volunteer, friends , social justice  More retirement probs than men  Time to adapt  Feel selfish doing own projects  Some find no diffs in adjustments  Women have lower incomes, financial problems arise  More housework than men  When married couple retire; women do housework  When retire; miss job identity  Depends on reason for retirement of course  Forced to care for someone vs. fun and leisure  Divorce and death effects too  When retired for 2 yrs; men and women feel better o Financial problems  lower social security than men do  worse for women of colour; more than half of black and Latinas live in poverty when old  Canadian women; only 9% in low income 3  Most employed do not have a pension plan  30% over 65 and 47% men over 65 have pension plan  African women and Latinas are especially unlikely to have pension plans  Canada however shows little sex difference in pensions   Reasons:  1. Lower salaries; avg 250 g’s less in lifetime; layoffs without source of income  2. Women are not compensated for unpaid work at home  3. Worked at home; divorce, widowed; less money; husbands health care depleted funds; lose job’s health care stability  4. Women live longer, annual income is much lower than men’s annual income from savings  5. Women are more likely to have chronic illnesses and decreases income  Menopause o Ovaries gradually produce less estrogens and progesterone; don’t menstruate regularly o Menopause-stopped having cycle for 12 mos.; between 45-55; 51 most common o Physical changes:  Hot flash most common; heath within body;perspiration;disrupt sleep  Frequency and intensity decrease over time  Include osteoporosis, low vaginal secretions, thinning vaginal tissues, urinary, fatigue  Few experience all of them o Current status of hormone replacement therapy  90-2001- used to recommend taking hormones  Hormone replacement therapy- estrogens and progestin  Relieves some physical; symptoms like hot flashes  Believed it used to reduce heart risks; proven not to; increased  Increased heart attacks, clots, hip fractures  Now encourage women to eat nutritiously o Attitudes about menopause  No longer taboo; yet don’t discuss with friends; little info  Represent it negatively; as a chronic illness  Self help book echo this negativity  Grouchy, anxious, depressed  Media also give negative view about sex drives  Shapes views and stereotypes even to their hobbies etc... o Psychological /cultural
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