Aging a concern for many Americans but harder for women : poll

Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:09pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Aging is a concern for many Americans, particularly its impact on health, but men seem to have an easier time dealing with the hallmarks of passing years than women, according to a new survey.

The national poll of 2,000 U.S. adults found that nearly 90 percent of people think women are under more pressure to look younger than men are. Men are also considered old about five years later than women, and sexier at an older age.

While gray hair was thought to make men look distinguished, on women it was associated with being old. And the age when women were thought to be the most attractive was 30, compared with 34 for men.

"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, the executive editor of Allure magazine, which commissioned the poll.

"People overwhelming said they were concerned about the effects of aging. They were concerned about how it would affect their attractiveness to the opposite sex and particularly with women, how aging would affect their career."

Forty-two percent of women aged 50-59 years old said they felt they needed to look young to be successful at work, nearly double the number of men, but overall men and women thought that gender played a larger role in workplace discrimination than age.

LOOKING YOUNGER, GETTING SEXIER

Although aging is a concern for both sexes, about 60 percent of men and women said they thought they looked younger than other people their own age, and a similar number of both sexes said sex gets better with age.   Continued...

 
A woman is reflected in a rain puddle along with the Ferry Building following a steady rain in San Francisco, California March 2, 2009. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith