Just Kill Me When I’m 50: Impact of Gay American Culture on Young Gay Men’s Perceptions of Aging

Rob Jay Fredericksen


Young gay men’s negative perceptions of growing older have been indicated in prior research [Bergling, 2004; Jones & Pugh, 2005; Cohler & Galatzer-Levy, 2000]. A recent resurgence of HIV infection rates among young gay men [Mitsch et al, 2008] calls into question whether these negative perceptions contribute to a lack of future-oriented health investments; i.e., a “live for now” outlook. Strength of future orientation has repeatedly predicted risk aversion [McCabe & Barnett, 2000], hence, it is of great social and public health value to ask: what does aging mean to today’s youngest generation of gay men? How do cultural norms in the gay community inform how today’s young gay men imagine growing older? This research explores these questions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/aa.2010.68


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