Ageism, Yes – Sexism, Maybe

I run a group on Flickr called Faces of Maturity. While my rules allow photographs of anyone older than forty, the vast majority of images are of individuals over seventy.

Faces of “old people” are rare on Flickr. Even in portrait groups they make up a very small fraction. Out of the first five pages of the group Portraiture (150 images) exactly seven are of “senior citizens”. This disparity of mature faces, by the way, is one of the reasons I started Faces of Maturity.

Today, as I reviewed the latest additions to FOM, I noticed for the first time a significant imbalance in photos of men and women. A review of the last five pages revealed a ratio of three to one in favor of men.

When the subjects are young, on the other hand,  there is a marked preference for women on Flickr.  A survey of portrait groups shows a ratio of something more than three to two in favor of women and girls.

Why is my group tilted toward men?  And why did it take me so long to notice? Sexism? Or is there some other, more benign explanation. I have no firm opinion although I lean toward sexism, especially for that second question.

Your opinion welcome…

Here’s one of my photos of the mature face:

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