Psychological Aspects of Sexual Dysfunction in the Elderly

  • Mark L. Elliott


The aging male and female are confronted with a vast array of psychological, physiological, social, and environmental changes. This period of life rivals adolescence for the number and intensity of transformations. Longer life-spans and improved medical technology create a whole host of new situations and problems for today’s elderly to navigate. A paramount concern for aging men and women is sexual functioning. “Next to the fear of death, the fear of losing sexual pleasure and intimacy... ranks highest in the hierarchy of pressures that we encounter as we enter middle age and advance in years.”1 Nevertheless, the study of sex and aging has been mostly neglected until recent time. Landmark sexuality studies2–5 briefly addressed this topic and found that the elderly were neither asexual nor disinterested, which was inconsistent with contemporary opinion. The sexuality of aging persons has continued to gain considerable clinical interest. However, sexual problems during the climacteric years are still not fully understood.6,7


Sexual Dysfunction Sexual Desire Sexual Functioning Sexual Interaction Sexual Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York  1990

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  • Mark L. Elliott

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