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ERIC Number: ED191772
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Sex Roles and Sexual Politics in Later Life.
Clavan, Sylvia
Through a review of relevant literature, the paper illustrates how role expectations of males and females are modified with age and with the decrease of major family/work expectations. The discussion is based on the framework of sexual politics which is defined as power-structured relationships in which one group of persons is controlled by another. In marriage, power is determined by decision making, earning power, and bargaining and/or exchange. Several studies indicate that with progression of age, especially by late middle age and the approach to older age, sex-role emphasis diminishes. For example, older men feel easier about expressing traditional female qualities such as nurturing while females feel less guilty about being openly aggressive. Major changes which commonly occur with age and which contribute to diminishing sex roles are retirement from work, adjustment to reduced income, and the "empty nest." Within this context, sexual politics consist of a general abatement of sexual activity and the relatively new phenonmenon of the older working woman. For single persons in older age, interpersonal relationships consist of a network of friends and some relatives. Literature indicates that close and enduring friendships are common between older females and that this ability to relate intimately to another woman helps maintain good morale. Literature also suggests that men are less apt to enter a comparable male/male friendship. The author concludes that the decline of sex-role defined behavior toward the latter half of life merits serious attention for the benefit of both older citizens and younger ones. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A