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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Types of Ageism From Palmore

Types of Ageism [1]

Negative Stereotypes:

  1. Illness:  A lot of people, almost half, believe that poor health is a bad problem for people older that 65.  In fact  “ Most elders, about 78% of those 65+) are healthy enough to engage k  in healthy activities.
  2. Impotency: Stereotypes hold that most seniors “no longer have any sexual activity. However research shows that most elders say that “…sex after 60 was as satisfying or more satisfying than when younger.”
  3. Ugliness: “Beauty is usually associated with youth, and many people, especially women, fear loss of their beauty as they age. The fact is “While our culture tends to associate old age with ugliness, and youth with beauty other cultures admire the characteristics of old age. For example in Japan silver hair and wrinkles are often admired as signs of wisdom, maturity and long years of service.”
  4. Mental Decline: “Another common stereotype is that mental abilities begin to decline from middle age onward especially abilities to learn and remember. For example “ You can’t teach and old dog new tricks”  In fact most of the differences between younger and older persons can be explained by factors other than age (illness, motivation, learning style, lack of practice, amount of education.
  5. Mental Illness:  Some people believe that the majority of people over 65 have some mental illness severe enough to impair their abilities.  In fact “…only about 2 percent of persons 65 or older Uare hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of psychiatric illness
  6. Uselessness: “Because of these beliefs that the majority of old people are disabled by physical or mental illness many people conclude that the elderly are unable to continue working and those who do continue are unproductive.

There are three more points in this section. I suggest you get Palmore’s book for a lot more information and a total of 15 chapters.

[1] Erdman Palmore Ageism: Positive and Negative: Volume 25 in the series on Adulthood and Aging

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