Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sex and Aging Older Adults (Research, Video 5:08)

Attitude is everything. Take sexual expression of older adults. Many people, including too many older adults themselves, assume the attitude that older people have or should have little or no sex. Having this attitude can become a reality for those who believe this is a normal part of aging.

In recent years, the older adult population has been studied more, and the results are interesting. In this research on whether sexual attitudes contribute to sexual well-being of participants over the age of 45, gender comparisons were made with these results:

1) Age-related sexual attitudes significantly contributed to sexual well-being.
2) Women held slightly more positive age-relative sexual attitudes than men.
3) Among middle-aged and young-old adults, sexual well-being may be reduced by harboring negative ageist sexual attitudes.
4) Efforts should be made to reduce stigma surrounding continued sexual activity and expression among the aged.

Honest communication is important in building better relationships. The following video effort titled “The Truth About Sex and Aging” and produced by AARP reduces the stigma surrounding continued sexual activity and expression among  aging older adults. Dr. Pepper Schwartz explains why the golden years may be much better than many people’s attitudes.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.


  1. Well expressed and encouraging.

    1. Thanks, Dave. I don't think some people realize how powerful their own negative stereotypes about aging can be in impacting their lives. Research shows that children as young as three are already beginning to develop negative stereotypes (grouchy, slow, nosy, not too current) about older adults. I noticed this with my students when I was a school principal. If these young people's views don't change, they can grow up to become the stereotypes they believe, just like many older people have done today. That's why intergenerational activities are so important with varieties of older people. Fortunately, increasing research studies about older adults are being done that provide more accurate and often more positive information. Have a great summer!