Essay Example: The Double Standard of Aging

Published: 2023-05-23
Essay Example: The Double Standard of Aging
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Women Stereotypes Social issue Lifespan development
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 994 words
9 min read

The double standard of aging principle stands out to be more prevalent on women than men. The policy portrays that as men and women ages, they become less attractive, although the rate at which women become less attractive when they advanced in age is more rapid as compared to men. This principle also gives out evidence on how both of the two genders face different masculinity and femininity judgment as far as age is concerned. As men approach the old age, they hardly face masculinity judgment, and this is different from women who face all manner of femininity judgment as they advance to their grey older ages (Sontag 172). The essay majorly discusses how society perceives men and women as they ages to the double standard of aging. In Sontag's concluding remarks, she says that "there is a far higher pressure applied to women concerning age, which leads to higher psychological costs for them" (Sontag 190). From, asocial capital point of view, old age is not something that anyone becomes happy when it catches up with them, especially when they feel that they still have a lot of things unattended to or achieved and also since it involves diminishing someone's sexual attractiveness. However, for men as they age, they get lots of respect and honor as they are perceived to be wiser and more attractive; therefore, the negative aspects against them do not match the kind of respect they receive as they age. But for women as they age is like they face a curse of their life, they do not get any honor, they become less attractive, and in most cases, they fail to get any compensation since they are full of wrinkles all over their face.

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Over various past generations, being old has always created different perceptions for both men and women; therefore, growing old has led to multiple psychological processes and costs. Women start to have apperception that they are growing older much faster compared to men, this happens even to women who are still at their mid-twenties, and they begin to feel like this is something that must be fought against. They begin to collect and uses a large number of resources in trying to keep their youthful appearances, which takes much of their energy, time, resources, and well-being. And always these women end up being defeated with the fight because even if they manage to extend the appearance of the wrinkles for a half-decade, they still lose at long last as it comes a time when the wrinkles have just to appear (Wilcox 552). This knowledge has a painful experience, and it hurts them. Sontag argues that "the double standard of aging is a consequence of the different standards for beauty and, indeed, worth, we have for men and women." For example, the beauty of women is linked with grace, frailty, innocence, and accomplishments that women are expected to passive. This has led to women being expected to look in a certain way and also to be able to do or not to do certain things or jobs in society. However, much these women qualities in women are expected to wither with time, the masculinity in men, on the other hand, linked to energy, force, and accomplishments, which are only enhanced by time and age.

The double standard of aging is very evident, specifically on how marriages between older women are perceived. For example, a marriage between older people is almost 20 years older than their juniors may be considered taboo in the modern days. However, the vice versa of the same situation is considered to be way much more natural and subject to sympathetic gossip rather than outrage and scandal. Of course, this is not enforced by any law or by any deliberate decision by the public, when people say that they find older women quite repulsive, this is not to be part of women-hating schemes, but it is because that is their taste and what they mean. However, their revulsion also leads to oppression among women. Although some studies show that women do age faster compared to men and that women have the attendance to hold younger age identities to protect themselves from devaluation, some studies show how older women are evaluated in terms of competence and appearance, and there are also some domains and areas that older women are perceived more favorable (Wilcox 148). Also, some studies portray that their some domains where older women are being held conveniently. For example, older women are considered and rated more positives when it comes to nurturance and social competence, neatness, and care (Wilcox 156). The argument is established on the fact that those characteristics represent traditional warm gender roles. However, it is unfortunate that all these qualities are never considered when evaluating older women, who are just judges based on competency compared to men.

In conclusion, therefore, this topic on the double standard of aging is essential in societies today. It is very vital to note that several people today or in the modern world live in self-denial and the illusion of evading old age. We are in times where a sixty-year-old lady would do everything possible in her power to look twenty years younger, and this form the primary reason as to why people ought to understand this topic critically. The most important lesson that ought to be learned by young adults concerning the principle of double standards of aging is that it helps the society, in general, to change their perceptions and attitudes towards older women and men, especially when they have the wrong impression of being old. Therefore this topic serves an essential role in helping young adults to differentiate between the repercussions of aging in women and men.

Works Cited

Sontag, Susan. "The double standard of aging." The other within us: Feminist explorations of women and aging (1997): 19-24.

Wilcox, Sara. "Age and gender in relation to body attitudes: Is there a double standard of aging?." Psychology of Women Quarterly 21.4 (1997): 549-565.

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