Sociology 13 Aging and the Elderly MCQ


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This photo depicts a young boy with dark hair looking out the window.
Some children may learn at an early age that their gender does not correspond with their sex. (Photo courtesy of Rajesh Kumar/flickr)

In 2009, the eighteen-year old South African athlete, Caster Semenya, won the women’s 800-meter world championship in Track and Field. Her time of 1:55:45, a surprising improvement from her 2008 time of 2:08:00, caused officials from the International Association of Athletics Foundation (IAAF) to question whether her win was legitimate. If this questioning were based on suspicion of steroid use, the case would be no different from that of Roger Clemens or Mark McGuire, or even Track and Field Olympic gold medal winner Marion Jones. But the questioning and eventual testing were based on allegations that Caster Semenya, no matter what gender identity she possessed, was biologically a male.

You may be thinking that distinguishing biological maleness from biological femaleness is surely a simple matter—just conduct some DNA or hormonal testing, throw in a physical examination, and you’ll have the answer. But it is not that simple. Both biologically male and biologically female people produce a certain amount of testosterone, and different laboratories have different testing methods, which makes it difficult to set a specific threshold for the amount of male hormones produced by a female that renders her sex male. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) criteria for determining eligibility for sex-specific events are not intended to determine biological sex. “Instead these regulations are designed to identify circumstances in which a particular athlete will not be eligible (by reason of hormonal characteristics) to participate in the 2012 Olympic Games" in the female category (International Olympic Committee 2012).

To provide further context, during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, eight female athletes with XY chromosomes underwent testing and were ultimately confirmed as eligible to compete as women (Maugh 2009). To date, no males have undergone this sort of testing. Doesn’t that imply that when women perform better than expected, they are “too masculine,” but when men perform well they are simply superior athletes? Can you imagine Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, being examined by doctors to prove he was biologically male based solely on his appearance and athletic ability?

Can you explain how sex, sexuality, and gender are different from each other?

In this chapter, we will discuss the differences between sex and gender, along with issues like gender identity and sexuality. We will also explore various theoretical perspectives on the subjects of gender and sexuality, including the social construction of sexuality and queer theory.


International Olympic Committee, Medical and Scientific Department. 2012. “IOC Regulations on Female Hyperandrogenism.” Retrieved December 8, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Maugh, Thomas H., III. 2009. “Row Over South African Athlete Highlights Ambiguities of Gender.” Los Angeles Times . Retrieved December 8, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

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Sociology 13 Aging and the Elderly MCQ
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Sample Questions from the Sociology 13 Aging and the Elderly MCQ Quiz

Question: Today in the United States the poverty rate of the elderly is ______.


lower than at any point in history



the same as that of the general population

Question: The "graying of the United States" refers to ________.


the increasing percentage of the population over 65

faster aging due to stress

dissatisfaction with retirement plans

increased health problems such as Alzheimer's

Question: Who wrote the book On Death and Dying, outlining the five stages of grief?


Ignatz Nascher

Erik Erikson

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Carol Gilligan

Question: In Erik Erikson's developmental stages of life, with which challenge must older people struggle?


Overcoming despair to achieve integrity

Overcoming role confusion to achieve identity

Overcoming isolation to achieve intimacy

Overcoming shame to achieve autonomy

Question: For individual people of a certain culture, the life course is ________.


the average age they will die

the lessons they must learn

the length of a typical bereavement period

the typical sequence of events in their lives

Question: In the United States, life expectancy rates in recent decades have ______.


continued to gradually rise

gone up and down due to global issues such as military conflicts

lowered as health care improves

stayed the same since the mid-1960s

Question: Thanatology is the study of _____.


life expectancy

biological aging

death and dying


Question: In most countries, elderly women ______ than elderly men.


are mistreated less

live a few years longer

suffer fewer health problems

deal with issues of aging better

Question: The measure that compares the number of men to women in a population is ______.



sex ratio

baby boomer


Question: America's baby boomer generation has contributed to all of the following except:


Social Security's vulnerability

improved medical technology

Medicaid being in danger of going bankrupt

rising Medicare budgets

Question: What is the approximate median age of the United States?






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