Older widows’ perspectives on sexuality: A life course perspective

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Abstract

Background Sexuality is a significant component in human experience and has an important impact on the individual's general well-being. Life course events and the social construction of sexuality lead older widows to reflect upon their sexuality. Purpose To explore and describe the ways in which older widows construct and perceive their sexuality along the life course. Method A phenomenological-qualitative approach was conducted. Data collection was performed through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 17 widows, between the ages of 62–91, followed by content analysis. Results Three major themes emerged: (a) Approaching sexuality: Conservative vs. progressive attitudes; (b) Multiple ways of perceiving sexuality: Constructing a sexual identity along the life course; and (c) Sexual self-perception: Integrating late life and widowhood. Conclusion Sexuality among widows in later life includes continuity and change processes. In the context of social construction, sexuality is a subject that should be examined in greater depth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Aging Studies
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects

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