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.

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