The present study examined the reflections of older men and women on sexual functioning in later life. We interviewed 24 men and 23 women about sex, using constant comparisons and contrasts (relying on inductive and deductive reasoning) to analyze the interview data. Gender was used as a comparative framework. Our findings show that male erection and ejaculation and penetrative sex define sexual functioning for most respondents. Both men and women tend to identify men as a source of sexual challenges and decline in later life and as the ones who are more negatively affected by later life changes. Health care professionals should assist older adults in identifying more diverse views of sexual functioning in old age beyond a heteronormative perception, which equates sexual functioning with sexual intercourse. This could potentially result in greater satisfaction and lower distress concerning sexual functioning, particularly among older men.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists.
- older adults
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health