Presentation on theme: "Chapter 11, Age and Sex Age Stratification The Social Significance of Aging Growing Up/Growing Old: Aging and the Life Course Sex, Social Structure and."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 11, Age and Sex Age Stratification The Social Significance of Aging Growing Up/Growing Old: Aging and the Life Course Sex, Social Structure and Social Stratification Sexuality and Sociological Theory
Chapter 11, Age and Sex Contemporary Sexual Attitudes and Behavior Sex and Social Issues Age, Sex and Social Change The Graying of America: A Society Grows Old The Sexual Revolution
Theoretical Perspectives on Age Stratification Functionalism sees both youth and elderly as less useful or “functional” for society. Disengagement theory predicts that as people age, they withdraw from society and are relieved of responsibilities.
Theoretical Perspectives on Age Stratification Conflict theory sees ageism as eliminating youth and the elderly from competition over scarce resources. Symbolic interaction theory sees youth and the elderly as infantilized via cultural symbols, such as language and popular culture.
Physical Process of Aging The effects of aging depend on biological, social, and environmental factors. Short-term memory becomes less accurate, but long-term memory becomes more accurate. Artistic abilities have been known to develop in later life.
Life Course Perspective Within each generation, life events shape the sociological experience of age groups: Childhood Youth and adolescence Adulthood Old age
Childhood The image of a childhood as carefree is not the reality for many children: 1/4 of those living in shelters are children. 26% of children live in poverty. As many as 16% of girls under age 18 experience sexual abuse.
Youth and Adolescence Until the 20th century, children moved directly into adult roles, there was no adolescence period. Establishing an identity is the central concern of this life stage. Special vocabularies and manners of speaking, argot, define youth independence from adults.
Adulthood Carries more responsibility, rights and privileges than any other stage in the life cycle. The economic and social resources one has influences how one experiences each phase of adulthood, including “mid-life.”
Retirement Maintaining social contacts from work and elsewhere eases the burdens of retirement. Taking on a job when retired creates social networks, which is linked to better health. Most pension systems discriminate against women who have on average lower lifetime earnings.
Old Age The majority of men and women remain sexually active well into their 70s and 80s. The majority of the elderly adjust well to changes. Only about 10% of the elderly become senile. One of the most difficult adjustments of old age is widowhood.
Elder Abuse There are between 820,000 and 1,860,000 abused elders in the U.S. Includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, abandonment and self-neglect. Median age for elder abuse victims is 76.5 years.
Social and Cultural Basis of Sexuality Human sexual attitudes and behavior vary in different cultural contexts. Sexual attitudes and behavior change over time. Sexual identity is learned. Social institutions channel and direct human sexuality.
Sex: Functional or Conflict-Based? Functionalist theory tends to depict sexuality in terms of how it contributes to the stability of social institutions. Conflict theorists see sexuality as part of the power relations and economic inequality in society.
Social Construction of Sexual Identity One’s sexual identity develops through social experiences. Different sexual identities are possible, and are learned through socialization.
Sexual Practices of Americans Random sample of nearly 3500 adults reveals several trends: Young people are sexually active earlier. The proportion of young people who are sexually active has increased. Having only one sex partner in one’s lifetime is rare.
Sexual Practices of Americans A significant number of people have extramarital affairs. A significant number of people are homosexual. For those who are sexually active, sex is relatively frequent. People are not very well informed about sex.
Sex and Social Issues Sex is related to some of the most difficult social problems including: Reproductive technologies Abortion Pornography Teen pregnancy
The Graying of America By 2015, 27% of population will be 55 and over. By 2025, 30% will be over 55. The percentage of the population classified as the oldest old will continue to grow. Women will outnumber men in old age.
The Sexual Revolution Many changes in the sexual revolution have been changes in women’s behavior. Resulted in more commercialized sex and defined sex as a commodity. Definitions of sexuality are influenced by the advertising industry. Inequalities of race, class, and gender shape sexual relationships and values.