Interest in the sex lives of older people has surged over the past decade. Studies in the US 3the UK, 4,5 Finland, 6 Sweden, 7 Australia 8 and other countries 9 have repeatedly demonstrated that older adults remain interested in and capable of sexual activity across the life span. Yet tired stereotypes of older people as asexual or inappropriately sexual persist. Neither of these contrasting images provides a good basis for promoting sexual health and sexual rights for older people.
Changing Standards of Sexual Health. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.
For sexual health to Sexuality and aging cartoons attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.
The following should help clarify what the issues are for older people and ease many of their concerns about sex in the golden years. Sexuality may change with age, but not necessarily in ways that mean decline, or produce distress. Contributions from Kinsey 12,13 and Masters and Johnson, 14,15 among others, stressed that sexual activity could be enjoyed across the full span of life, and that sexuality was a healthy component of successful aging.
Men and women were told they might need to "Sexuality and aging cartoons" to some physical changes associated with aging. They were urged to learn to continue to enjoy sex as Sexuality and aging cartoons matured, but to focus more on intimacy and less on performance.
Where's Viagra for Women?
It would be difficult to discuss aging and sexuality without at least acknowledging the impact of the development of sexuo-pharmaceuticals. These have become closely associated with the treatment of age-related sexual dysfunctions.
Viagraof course, became a global blockbuster, new erectile drugs such as Levitra and Cialis have come to market, but the search for an equivalent drug for women has been elusive. Flibanserin is a re-tooled antidepressant, which must be taken daily. It has a number of potentially unpleasant or risky side-effects and very limited potential benefits an increase of about. Sexual health has become increasingly focused "Sexuality and aging cartoons" sexual desire and performance where it was once Sexuality and aging cartoons as reproductive health and absence of sexually transmitted disease.
So the overriding message has shifted to one of opportunities for rehabilitation to enable performance of penile-vaginal intercourse. Little attention has been paid to prevention of sexually transmitted infections, despite recognition that older adults are now accounting for a growing proportion of new infections. What follows is Sexuality and aging cartoons review some of the key findings of contemporary research on aging and sexuality and a discussion of two key areas where significant gaps in knowledge remain: It is only recently that major studies of sexual behavior began to include older respondents.
In the past decade, however, several well-publicized studies have investigated the sexual activity of those as old as However, a majority of older adults still see their sexuality as important, and many older people are regularly sexually active even into their eighties and nineties.
More important are overall physical and mental health, attitudes towards sexuality and presence of an intimate partner. Frequently reported concerns include erectile difficulties in men, lubrication issues and sexual pain in women, and in both men and women, difficulties reaching orgasm, and lack of sexual desire. While large-scale surveys have been invaluable in putting issues of sexuality and aging on the health promotion agenda, qualitative research has been important in painting a more detailed picture.
For example, the decrease in the frequency of sexual activity documented among older people may not be a source of dissatisfaction in relationships, 32,33 nor are changes in sexuality experienced necessarily cause for distress.
Research on Viagra users and their partners, for example, has shown a far from uniformly positive reception.
Some partners may welcome the prospect of more penetrative sex, others may not. Some complain that there are new pressures to be sexual on demand once the pill has been taken, others especially older women regret the renewed emphasis on penetrative sex as the main event. As noted above, one of the shortcomings of biomedically-driven models of sexuality has been its focus on penile-vaginal intercourse in the monogamous, heterosexual couple as the normative form of sexual expression.
This not only limits our understanding of sexual practices among those who identify as heterosexual, it fails to even put non-heterosexuals on the map. So, even less is known about sexuality and aging in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered LGBT individuals than in those who identify as heterosexual. The invisibility of LGBT elders is certainly related to the historical de-sexualization of the seniors more generally, but just recognizing the sexuality of older adults is not sufficient to encompass their concerns.
These LGBT seniors are not confident in relying on health care systems that have historically discriminated against them, and many are not willing to disclose their sexual identity to their health care providers. Transgender Seniors Once among the most invisible of older adults, Sexuality and aging cartoons special challenges that face transgendered persons in later life have recently been highlighted by the very public transition of Caitlin Jenner, at 65, as well as similar fictional portrayals in the critically-acclaimed television series Transparent.
Transgender elders may Sexuality and aging cartoons special health care needs related to both physical and social aspects of aging. Some transgendered individuals may identify as heterosexual; others may identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, suggesting that these needs may overlap with those larger groups.
However, they also face some issues specific to gender transition. Little is known about the long-term effects of life-long hormone treatments or other medical interventions related to physical transition.
Transgender individuals also vary in the extent of surgical reassignment they have undergone. There is no doubt that the sex-segregated nature of most long-term care facilities may make the prospect of residential care especially difficult for transgendered elders to contemplate navigating. It "Sexuality and aging cartoons" important to keep in mind that, like their heterosexual counterparts, LGBT elders are not a homogenous group, but are shaped by gender, race, geographical location, socioeconomic status and age, among other factors.
In general, a perspective on sexual health that embraces sexual diversity suggests that whatever their sexual or gender identity, older adults are entitled to express their sexuality and to have access to information and services which will enable them to do so in a personally fulfilling and safe manner.
One aspect of aging and sexuality, which has received insufficient attention, is prevention of sexually transmitted infections. Older adults are, on the whole, less aware of the risk factors for HIV than younger people, and more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected intercourse.