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Gender. Race. Age. What do these all have in common? These are the three prime examples of discrimination in today’s society. Although ageism is found cross-culturally, it is particularly prevalent in America. While most believe ageism is specifically targeted at the elderly, it can just as easily be found in adolescents. A common example of ageism would be that teenagers are immature and irresponsible, and that the elderly are frail and have the mental capability of a child.
On the ageism test, my results indicated that I have automatic preference of young people over older people. However, I believe that the test was inadequate for truly testing if I had a bias between younger and older generations. I honestly hurried through my test, and by mistake pressed the wrong button a couple of times, which made me, have an “automatic preference for young people over older people”. If you are going to do a study on ageism and bias, then it would be far more accurate if it was a field study. I am very close to my parents, and even closer to my grandparents, so the results were extremely shocking! Many of times I prefer going out with my parents and their friends, rather than going out with my friends the same age as me. During the summer, I was an intern at my mother’s office (Occupational Therapist), and I often helped the elderly perform tasks to recover from an injury. By doing so, I developed a great love for helping others, and someday I hope to pursue a job as a Pharmacist.
In my home country, South Africa, aging is perceived as gaining more knowledge, not losing it. To me, age is not a big deal. However, this is partially because my boyfriend is younger than me by 2 years, and my dad is older than my mother by 12 years. If you are in love, what is there to question. I think that in America, people often over analyze age as something extremely important and therefore a bias is formed. For example, it is okay for an older man to date a younger woman of 20 years, however, in the case of Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, it is often viewed as cradle robbing because of our society’s views.
Plastic surgery. Hair dye. Cosmetics. These products are all used as a means of reducing your appearance in age. Do they work? Sure. However, one can only perform so many surgeries, and apply so much makeup to reduce the aging process. Due to theories on aging, (Primary Aging and Genetic Preprogramming) our aging process is due to genetic programming, and our body’s DNA genetic code that contains a built-in time for the reproduction of human cells. In a nutshell, this means that no matter how much cosmetic surgery you may receive or how much wrinkle cream you may apply, there is no way to run away from aging. It’s funny how young people want to be older, while older people want to be younger, will we ever reach a happy medium?
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