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Women's aging questions

1. According to Lee and Bakk, what changes occur in the life of a woman when she loses a partner?
2. Discuss what the Davidson refers to as the "gendered meaning of selfishness" (p. 305).
3. "The death of a loved one is a stressful event regardless of age and personal resources [but in terms of health] older women face particular challenges" (Feldman, et al 164). Discuss.

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1. According to Lee and Bakk what changes occur in the life of a woman when she loses a partner?

The article shows how both harm and opportunities occur. First, let's assess the negatives as loss is often "more stressful than a serious personal illness, separation, or divorce; being sentenced to prison; or living through the death of a parent or child (DiGiulio, 1989)" (3). Social effects are cited since loss imposes "a significant impact on her social support systems, as well as her past and present roles" (4). This loss definitely affects women's overall sense of identity as "When she loses a loved one, she also loses a sense of self, which intensifies grief and requires a new identity formation (Hurd, 1999). A husband's death leaves numerous voids in a woman's life; because her self-image was shaped by her identity as half of a couple" (5).

Role theory also explains identity confusion since "They are left with no role expectations to perform, and are no longer expected to participate in any of the activities typically related to this role. Disengagement and loss of life satisfaction often results from the loss of this major life role" (7). Alienation is also a major effect socially.

The article also discusses emotional/psychological ramifications as "They become depressed" (4) during bereavement. Anger and guilt are ...

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Women's aging questions are assessed from the attached files.

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