White Men Age Poorly

Why minorities and women handle aging more gracefully. In fact, white men like to ignore aging altogether.

By Colin Allen, published on September 30, 2003 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

Indeed some Baby Boomers age more gracefully than others. Charles Walker, a nursing professor at Texas Christian University, surveyed people's feelings about aging. It inquired whether boomers had made lifestyle changes to help them live longer, and it touched on how well they accepted the uncertainties of aging--such as the increased risk of chronic illness, isolation, or poverty. Also, it assessed how well they coped with changes in appearance and ability.

Walker found that women with advanced education were doing the most to mentally and physically prepare themselves for the future. Financially secure married women were most accepting of the uncertainties of old age, while minorities were more comfortable than whites with changes in their appearance.

Men, though, ignore getting older altogether, as it threatens their sense of worth. Walker notes that this may be "because men lack a dramatic biological event to herald aging's onset," like menopause for women.