Reflections of men and women in advanced old age on being the other sex
2010 (English)In: Ageing & Society, ISSN 0144-686X, E-ISSN 1469-1779, Vol. 30, no 2, 193-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The study reported in this paper is part of the Umeå 85+ project in Sweden. The aim was to investigate gender perspectives among ‘the oldest old’, by asking men and women in advanced old age living in a sparsely populated area of northern Sweden to reflect on how life might have been if they had been born the other sex. Thematic narratives from nine men and seven women were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The content of these narratives was resolved into eight categories in two domains, respectively men's and women's reflections about being born the opposite sex. The narratives of both the men and women indicated that they were satisfied with their actual birth sex. The men were aware that if they had been born female, they would probably have experienced more hard work and had a more restricted life, and they were conscious of both women's relative powerlessness and their greater ability to manage and organise work within the home. The women's narratives described a femininity characterised by longing for a state of being unconcerned when young, and their narratives also displayed awareness of women's physical strength and that men's lives had also been hard.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 30, no 2, 193-206 p.
reflection; older people; rural way of life; narrative; gender
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-41286DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X09990377ISI: 000274261600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-41286DiVA: diva2:405459