Race and Gender-Based Perceptions of Older Septuagenarian Adults

Forest Melton, Kelly Palmer, Sade Solola, Luis Luy, Kathryn Herrera-Theut, Leanne Zabala, Shannon M. Knapp, Ryan Yee, Erika Yee, Elizabeth Calhoun, Megan C.Thomas Hebdon, Natalie Pool, Nancy Sweitzer, Khadijah Breathett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Older adults face racism, sexism, and ageism. As the U.S. population ages, it is important to understand how the current population views older adults. Methods: Participants recruited through Amazon's Mechanical Turk provided perceptions of older Black and White models' photographs. Using mixed-effect models, we assessed interactions between race and gender of participants and models. Results: Among Participants of Color and White participants (n = 712, 70% non-Hispanic White, 70% women, mean 37.81 years), Black models were perceived as more attractive, less threatening, and sadder than White models, but differences were greater for White participants (race-by-race interaction: Attractive p = 0.003, threatening p = 0.009, sad p = 0.016). Each gender perceived their respective gender as more attractive (gender-by-gender interaction p < 0.0001). Male and female participants perceived male models as happier than female models, but differences were greater for male participants (p = 0.026). Irrespective of participant age group, women were perceived as more threatening (p = 0.012). Other perceptions were not significant. Discussion: Participants had few biases toward older Black and White models, while gender biases favored men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)944-956
Number of pages13
JournalWomen's Health Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bias
  • Gender disparities
  • Geriatric
  • Racial disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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