Middle Age and Old Age

With several children, men and women gain status and respect. As a householder, with a wife and growing children, a man may be called upon for religious or community leadership. Mature men and women who controlled economic, political, religious, and social resources enjoyed the most power and influence. More recently, when younger adults can gain influential and rewarding positions through education, independent jobs, modern expertise, or religious dedication, they may threaten older people's authority. As time goes on, and men begin to lose their strength and abilities, their wives may gain power. When their husbands become frail, wives who are most often some years younger may still be at the height of their powers, managing family and community events and relationships. In the past, elderly parents lived with children and grandchildren who ideally placed them at the center of the family and cared for them with love and compassion. Now, young couples want their independent lives and do not appreciate interference from parents. Old men tend to become relatively marginal and dependent upon others to care for them. Older women are often more resourceful, remaining active in cooking and household work as well as in family, kin, and neighborhood affairs. Now more and more elderly live by themselves in their own homes rather than with children. There are also old people's homes for those elderly whose children cannot or do not wish to care for them. Because divorced or widowed men, more than women, tend to remarry, old men can usually count on wives to nurse them at home. Far more women than men reside in homes for the elderly.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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