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Gay and Lesbian Aging

Gender Differences

Lesbians and gay men represent two distinct communities and the issues of each group differ. Older gay men are likely to either be in a long-term relationship or not in one at all, with a small percentage having numerous short-term relationships. Although they tend to maintain positive attitudes regarding their physical agerelated changes, older gay men appear to be more concerned with this than their lesbian counterparts. Furthermore, older gay men are likely to be more financially secure than older lesbians, due to gender inequalities across the life course.

As a result of the virtual invisibility of older lesbians, they are more likely to be ignored at the level of policy and practice. Older lesbians are likely to have practiced serial monogamy. They usually report a positive self-image and positive feelings about their identification as a lesbian and generally do not report fear of changes in physical appearance associated with aging. They express greater fluidity in their sexual orientation, are more likely to have been heterosexually married, and are more likely to have children than gay men.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 2Gay and Lesbian Aging - Myths And Realities, Gender Differences, Major Issues With Aging, Cultural And Subcultural Variation, Historical Variation - Organizations