Understanding gender differences in older people's attitudes towards life-prolonging medical technologies

Arber, S., Vandrevala, T., Daly, T. and Hampson, S. (2008) Understanding gender differences in older people's attitudes towards life-prolonging medical technologies. Journal of Aging Studies, 22(4), pp. 366-375. ISSN (print) 0890-4065

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Abstract

The power of medical technologies to extend the final stages of life has heightened the need to understand what factors influence older people's wish to use such medical technologies. We analyse gender differences in such views, based on audio-recorded interviews with 33 men and 36 women (aged 65–93) in south-east England. Older women were twice as likely as men to oppose using medical technologies to extend life. More older women voiced ‘other-oriented’ reasons for their opposition, particularly not wanting to be a burden on others. Older men's attitudes were primarily ‘self-oriented’, reflecting a concern to stay alive for as long as possible, with fewer expressing concern about consequences for others. Women's greater life course involvement in caring and empathising with the wishes and concerns of others underlay these gender differences. Thus, women were ‘performing gender’ by putting others before themselves, even at this critical juncture in their lives. Keywords Gender; Life-prolonging medical technologies; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Older people

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Psychology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (until 2017) > School of Psychology, Criminology and Sociology (from November 2012)
Depositing User: Tushna Vandrevala
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2014 08:13
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2014 08:13
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2008.05.009
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/28604

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