Social Psychology and Society
2022. Vol. 13, no. 4, 47–67
ISSN: 2221-1527 / 2311-7052 (online)
Men VS Women: Gender Asymmetry in Age Perceptions of Men and Women of the Same Age
Objective. To describe the specific ways of age perceptions in men and women of the same age. Background. The relevance of the study is grounded in the fundamental nature of age construction due to social perception and the shortage of research on gender-age dimensions of perceived age. Study design. Photos of three pairs of the same aged men/women were presented to age evaluations by between comparison and direct evaluation. Participants. The "Between comparison" subsample consisted of 155 people (109 women, 46 men aged 17-60 years), the "Direct evaluation" subsample consisted of 60 people (47 women, 13 men aged 17-77 years). Measurements. "Photo-video-presentation of appearance" procedure designed by T.A. Vorontsova. Results. Gender asymmetry was found in age perception of men and women: young women are perceived to be older than men of the same ages, mature women are perceived younger. We found that the older the woman, more salient is gender asymmetry in age perception. The age construction of men and women of the same age due to social perception is influenced by age and gender of perceived individual: the greater age difference between perceiving individual and perceived social object, the less the difference in the perceived age of men and women of the same age if the perceived objects are highly older than perceiving subjects. Among male perceiving subjects, we found higher proportion of those who evaluate all women (of any ages) older than men; and among women there are higher proportion of those who evaluate any male older than females. Actualization of different mechanisms of social cognition (comparison and evaluation) when constructing the perceived age of unfamiliar men and women gives similar results. Conclusions. Gender-specific patterns of the construction of perceived age in the perception of men and women of the same age are found, due to gender stereotypes and related practices of caring for their appearance: mature women look younger than their male peers, equalizing their capabilities and resources with a more youthful appearance; young women look older than their male peers, demonstrating maturity associated with an older perceived age.
Keywords: age, perceived age, appearance, social cognition, social perception, men, women, age groups, gender asymmetry, ageism
Journal rubric: Empirical Research
Article type: scientific article
Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Science Foundation, project number 22-28-01763, https://rscf.ru/en/project/22-28-01763/ at the Southern Federal University.
For citation: Vorontsova T.A. Men VS Women: Gender Asymmetry in Age Perceptions of Men and Women of the Same Age. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2022. Vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 47–67. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2022130404. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)
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