Conference Paper Joint Empirical Social Science Seminar
Older people: a gendered review and secondary analysis of the data
12 Apr 2006
An increasing number of studies have addressed issues related to the social inclusion of older people. However, research in this area has so far paid scant attention to the gender dimension. Our work focuses specifically on gender differences in social inclusion of older men and women, defined as people aged 65 and over. Using data from the 2001 Census and the 2000-01 General Household Survey, we first present a portrait of the social conditions of older men and women with respect to their demographic, social and economic characteristics. Then we ask whether existing patterns are going to persist in the future with the aid of available population projections. Finally, we begin investigating differences among older men and women with respect to the degree of social inclusion they might experience. The latter is defined in terms of (i) use of services, (ii) provision of care and (iii) participation to social networks. A preliminary analysis of the data seems to reveal that while older men and women are rather similar amongst the 'youngest' old, gender differences become significantly stronger among the oldest age groups. Also, differences between men and women along the three dimensions of social inclusion seem to be fairly well explained by differences in family arrangements. We conclude that recent trends in family dynamics are particularly important in order to address the future service needs of older men and women.