Good Question: Why Do Women Begin To Feel Old Earlier Than Men?

By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If age is nothing but a number, it’s a number a lot of us work hard to avoid. Men and women apparently have very different ages when they begin to feel old. What are those ages, and why?

According to a new poll released by Avalon Funeral Plans, a British company, women start feeling old, on average, at 29. Men feel old beginning around 58.

“There are different markers that male and female identify with when it comes to aging,” said Dr. John Tauer, a social psychologist with University of St. Thomas, who points out that Avalon Funeral Plans isn’t exactly a giant in the research world.

“Anytime you interpret data like this, you should proceed with caution,” he said.

According to the results of the study published in the UK’s Daily Mail, a quarter of women said they felt old when they spotted their first grey hair.

“Our culture places inordinate emphasis on attractiveness and youth and beauty, and those messages are pervasive and directed at women more than men,” Tauer said.

He indicated that a female’s biological clock may also give women another reason that they start to feel old as they approach 30.

On my blog at, Susan wrote: “Age is just a number and you are as old as you want to feel, act or be. I’m 51 years old and get told that I look only in the mid 30s.”

Jamie tried to explain: “We carry heavy burdens and stress. We are so headstrong that we feel the need to push ourselves to keep up with life. We want to be successful wives and mothers. It’s a lot of work.”

Tauer laughed at men saying they’re not old until 58.

“That’s the other possibility, that men are in denial,” he said.

Men report feeling old when they retire, and 22 percent said they felt old when the music at restaurants and clubs felt too loud. Two-thirds said they felt old when they could not longer perform in the bedroom.

More from Jason DeRusha
  • Victim Du Jour

    Because they go through life comparing themselves to 18 year olds.

    • Pop

      Victim Du Jour
      don’t you work?

      • Victim Du Jour

        Have you ever heard of a Smart phone? Or are you still using a PC and a CB radio?

  • KegHead

    I just turned the big 6-0.
    I fell like I’m 30.

  • Kathy

    Woman age quicker than men, its a well known fact.

    • Courteney

      What? Women don’t age faster. They MATURE faster. Which is usually a case of societal pressures and expectations than anything else. Men can be just as mature (or even more mature) than women at a young age and women can be just as immature (or more immature) as men at an older age. It depends on how people were raised, their life experiences, and the decisions they make.

  • Billy

    You see a lot of older guys with younger woman but how many older woman do you see with younger guys, not many.

  • Courteney

    Because of society.

    Society promotes the idea that as a man gets older he becomes wiser, distinguished and ruggedly hansome. Society also promotes the idea that as a woman ages she just gets old and dried up.

    Society (and the media) loves young, beautiful women. There’s not really anything wrong with that. However, the problem arises when people start to think that a person has to be young in order to be beautiful (or meaningful to society).

    And I’m not blaming either gender for this. I think both genders have played their parts in this and share responsibility.

    But society is slowly starting to turn this same “young” spotlight on men. Just google how much cosmetic surgery has gone up for men. Yes, women still have the highest numbers for cosmetic surgery, but it says something when we have such an increase in men having cosmetic surgery. It seems society is chaning from “worshipping youthful women” to just “worshipping youth”. Not any better, just different.

    I think we should start to respect people who have more brains, experience, wisdom, good character and have lived a good life; no matter what their age is or what they look like.

  • Valerie

    When I turned 30 I felt like 30 was an OLD age. It’s hard to leave the carefree 20’s behind. I really didn’t feel old though. Women probably feel older like the article says around 29, but that’s because USUALLY they are the ones in charge of taking care of all the kids (which you’ve usually had at least one by now), the household & everything in it & probably a job outside the home. That is enough to make anyone feel more tired/older.

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