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Gerontophobia Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerontophobia

Gerontophobia is the fear of age-related self-degeneration (similar to Gerascophobia), or a hatred or fear of the elderly due to memento mori.[citation needed] The term comes from the Greek γέρων – gerōn, "old man"[1] and φόβος – phobos, "fear".[2] Gerontophobia has been linked to Thanatophobia as fear of old age can be a precursor to fear of death.[3] Gerontophobia can be caused by harmful stereotypes of elderly people displayed in the media[4]

Ageism[edit]

Discriminatory aspects of ageism have been strongly linked to gerontophobia. This irrational fear or hatred of the elderly can be associated with the expectation that someday all young people including oneself will be old inevitably and suffer from the irreversible health decline that comes with old age, which is associated with disability, disease, and death. The sight of aged people could be a possible reminder of death (memento mori) and inevitable biological vulnerability. This unwillingness to accept these can manifest in feelings of hostility and discriminatory acts towards the elderly.

History[edit]

Old age was previously seen as a golden age in the Middle Ages[5] Around the time of the Anglo-Saxons there was a shift towards more negative views of the elderly, which led to more and more literature developing a Gerontophobic view.[6]

Portrayal in Literature and the Media[edit]

Gerontophobia is heavily portrayed in literature and the media starting as early as Anglo-saxon poetry[7] but is also found in common literary classics such as Shakespeare's King Lear, Johnathan Swifts' Gulliver's Travels, and Jane Austen's Persuasion[8] Gerontophobia can also be found in many TV shows and movies.[9]

Treatments for Gerontophobia[edit]

Treatment for Gerontophobia can include better education about the elderly and aging as well as an increase in exposure and insight therapy.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ γέρων, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. ^ φόβος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  3. ^ Jacobsen, Michael Hviid; Teodorescu, Adriana (2022), "Gerontophobia: The cultural roots of the old-age anxiety in contemporary society", Shaping Ageing, Routledge, doi:10.4324/9781003046790-4/gerontophobia-michael-hviid-jacobsen-adriana-teodorescu, ISBN 978-1-003-04679-0, retrieved 2022-03-27
  4. ^ "The Manifestation of Gerontophobic Stereotypes in Russian Television - Media Watch Journal". 2020-12-21. doi:10.15655/mw/2020/v11i4/204638. Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  5. ^ Burrow, J. A. (1986). The ages of man : a study in medieval writing and thought. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-167098-5. OCLC 610591940.
  6. ^ Porck, Thijs (2020). "Gerontophobia in Early Medieval England: Anglo-Saxon Reflections on Old Age". Sense and Feeling in Daily Living in the Early Medieval English World: 219–235, 278–282, 287. doi:10.17613/zbgk-yv52.
  7. ^ Porck, Thijs (2020). "Gerontophobia in Early Medieval England: Anglo-Saxon Reflections on Old Age". Sense and Feeling in Daily Living in the Early Medieval English World: 219–235, 278–282, 287. doi:10.17613/zbgk-yv52.
  8. ^ "Aging and the Elderly: Humanistic Perspectives in Gerontology, Aging and Income: Programs and Projects for the Elderly, Normal Psychology of the Aging Process and Old and Cold: Hypothermia and Social Policy". Social Work. 24 (3): 258–258. 1979-05-01. doi:10.1093/sw/24.3.258. ISSN 0037-8046.
  9. ^ Sorokin, Gennadii G. (2020-12-01). "The Manifestation of Gerontophobic Stereotypes in Russian Television". Media Watch. 11 (4). doi:10.15655/mw/2020/v11i4/204638. ISSN 2249-8818.
  10. ^ BUNZEL, JOSEPH H. (February 1973). "Recognition, Relevance and Deactivation of Gerontophobia: Theoretical Essay". Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 21 (2): 77–80. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.1973.tb01222.x. ISSN 0002-8614.

External links[edit]