(Brian Heaphy 2007)
By Alexandra Lawton and Natalie Lumb
 Some studies argue that older lesbians and
gay men can find ageing less problematic
than heterosexual people
 …however ...
 Sexuality can be seen as a social construction
due to the values that have been historically
embedded in the societies w...
 Many lesbians in later life are likely to be
disadvantaged by gendered processes in the
labour market
 Dunne (1997) has...
 Number studies researched implications that
non-heterosexuality has on gendered patterns of
unpaid domestic work:
- Gene...
 Giddens (1992) has argued that heterosexual
couple and marriage relationships are
becoming similar to same-sex relations...
 Research suggests older gay men are more
likely to live alone.
 Women more likely to have stronger social
networks.
 M...
 Diverse possibilities exist for how non-
heterosexual women and men experience and
negotiate ageing.
 Ageing in a non-h...
 Theorists of lesbian and gay life have
conceptualised sexual communities as
radical social and political developments
(P...
 It is older gay men who are most likely to tell
stories of the implications of age for a sense
of ‘exclusion’ from the s...
 On the one hand, non-heterosexual
experience illuminates possibilities that
exist for reconfiguring given meanings and
p...
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Alex natalie sexualities gender ageing

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Alex natalie sexualities gender ageing

  1. 1. (Brian Heaphy 2007) By Alexandra Lawton and Natalie Lumb
  2. 2.  Some studies argue that older lesbians and gay men can find ageing less problematic than heterosexual people  …however on the other hand research has also pointed out that some lesbians and gay men risk being particularly lonely and isolated in old age.
  3. 3.  Sexuality can be seen as a social construction due to the values that have been historically embedded in the societies we live in.  Ginn and Arber (1995: 1–3) note that ageing and gender have not until recently been integrated in sociological thought and their combined influence has been largely ignored.  They also argue that there are significant benefits to be gained from placing sexuality at the centre of our sociological analyses.  The fact sexuality is often seen as a private matter can be an issue for research however.
  4. 4.  Many lesbians in later life are likely to be disadvantaged by gendered processes in the labour market  Dunne (1997) has argued that economic independence is a key factor of many non- heterosexual women’s lives.  Some older non-heterosexual women believe their sexuality has led them to traditionally ‘masculine’ areas of work, which are generally paid better than traditional ‘feminised’ jobs.
  5. 5.  Number studies researched implications that non-heterosexuality has on gendered patterns of unpaid domestic work: - Generally on younger women/men - Suggest tendency for non-heterosexual households to adopt co-independent stance in terms of financial and material resources. - Also tendency to actively negotiate roles in relation to domestic tasks. - This has led some to characterise same-sex households as ‘egalitarian’ and ‘ungendered’ spheres.
  6. 6.  Giddens (1992) has argued that heterosexual couple and marriage relationships are becoming similar to same-sex relationships in that both partners meet as ‘equals’. - Related to women’s increasing ‘equality’ in the labour market. - Consequence: heterosexual men and women more equally resourced later in life and have more equal marriage and domestic relationships. - Caution: several studies show women continue to perform the bulk of domestic, emotional and caring work.
  7. 7.  Research suggests older gay men are more likely to live alone.  Women more likely to have stronger social networks.  Men and women ‘do’ relationships with family and personal communities differently: - Women highly value emotional and relational connectedness. - Men adopt more independent stance.
  8. 8.  Diverse possibilities exist for how non- heterosexual women and men experience and negotiate ageing.  Ageing in a non-heterosexual context can, for example, sometimes mean that individuals are less aware of the ageing process.
  9. 9.  Theorists of lesbian and gay life have conceptualised sexual communities as radical social and political developments (Plummer 1995). - Argue these communities played crucial role in opening up social, cultural, political and individual possibilities, and in generating resources/ social capital. - As such these communities are viewed as self-made forms of socialising and support.
  10. 10.  It is older gay men who are most likely to tell stories of the implications of age for a sense of ‘exclusion’ from the scenes and groups that they perceive to make up sexual communities (Heaphy et al., 2004).  Whether the consequences of youth- orientated communities and scenes or overt ageism, many men shared a belief that their ageing bodies mark them as unwelcome in gay identified places.
  11. 11.  On the one hand, non-heterosexual experience illuminates possibilities that exist for reconfiguring given meanings and practices as they relate to gendered living and ageing.  On the other hand, non-heterosexual experience also indicates the resilience of hegemonic meanings and institutionalised practices as they relate to gender and ageing.  Non-heterosexual experience further illuminates the uneven implications of social change for agency in relation to gendered ageing.

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