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Poll Reveals Women Have More Difficulty Dealing With Aging

Update Date: Mar 21, 2013 10:31 AM EDT

Although aging is inevitable, many Americans still have difficulty coming to terms with the changes that comes with age. According to a national poll done in the United States, both men and women have a hard time dealing with the physical signs of old age. The poll that interviewed 2,000 people, however, revealed that aging takes a larger toll on women than men, with women feeling more pressure to appear young.

"The survey definitely shows that aging, when we are talking about appearance, is a real emotional touch point for both men and women, no matter whether they are 20, 40, 60," said Kristin Perrotta who commissioned the survey. Perrotta is the executive editor of Allure magazine. "They were concerned about how it [aging] would affect their attractiveness to the opposite sex and particularly with women, how aging would affect their career."

Of the 2,000 people surveyed, almost 90 percent of the interviewees felt that women had more pressures when it came to appearing younger. In addition, they found that people considered men old a lot later than they would consider women. For example, if a man and a woman were both 45-years-old, the majority of the people thought that the man still looked young where as the woman was considered to be old. The poll reported that people found women the most attractive at the age of 30 whereas for men, people thought that they were the most desirable at the age of 34. Furthermore, people were more attracted to gray hairs in men, which they associated as wise and distinguished, than they were in women.

In terms of self perception, 42 percent of women who were from the ages of 50-59 reported that they felt the need to appear youthful at the workplace in order to be successful. This percentage is nearly double the percentage of men who felt the same way. However, about 60 percent of men and women felt that they personally looked better than other people around their age and stated that despite growing older, sex was getting better. A surprisingly large number, 70 percent, of African American women stated that they were not concerned about aging at all. This number was the highest amongst all races.

This poll provides insight into how physical appearance might play a role in the workplace, as well as self-esteem and confidence. The stereotype that younger people appear to perform better at work or are more successful seems to perpetuate within the society. In addition, even though older people might feel somewhat insecure about their age in comparison to younger people, people overall do not seem to worry too much about their looks in comparison to those of the same age.

This poll also informs the society of the effects of aging on people and how the society can start normalizing age instead of being afraid of it. The online survey was administered by Penn Schoen Berland and reported a margin of error of plus or minus three percent. 

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